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Reading Room Lane hosted the latest attempt to complete a game of cricket, following washouts in the previous 3 weeks the Curdridge XI were ‘pumped’ for a game against Bedhampton, who sat just above them in the league.

Skipper won the toss and informed a confused looking opposition captain that we would like them to have a bat. 

Despite missing the heavy roller (David), Curdridge were still blessed with a range of bowling options. Del and Steve were first up, and it wasn’t long before the openers were back in the shed - Steve bowling the left-hander round his legs and Del trapping the other one LBW with his topspinner.

Backed up by some excellent fielding, particularly Dan Clarke in the covers, the pressure was on the batsmen as they tried to rebuild and a partnership was in danger of flourishing before Del got one to ‘pop’ and Chris Vickery sprung into action at point with a full length dive down the hill to catch the ball inches from the turf. Unfortunately the names of ‘Salmon’ and ‘Trout’ are already taken so Chris you are now 'the Haddock'!


Some more straight ones then did for the middle order and it was a case of 'deja vu' as Del had 5 wickets before drinks!

Clodey then made the most of the overcast conditions wobbling the ball all over the place to bamboozle the lower order and Luke gave it a rip at the other end to finish another comprehensive Curdridge demolition job with a shell shocked Bedhampton all out for 50.

Skipper sent the openers straight out and the ‘very experienced’ pair of Mike Hillier and Chris Vickery gently set about knocking off the 51 runs required. 

Unfortunately for Mike the skipper wanted an earlier finish so when the ball hit the pads right in front the finger went up. Hawkeye replays may have shown an inside edge but if you don’t use the face of the bat what do you expect?

This brought Dan Clarke and his magic bat to the middle for their first outing of the year. He eased himself in gently blocking the first ball before lacing the second straight back over the bowlers head, almost cleaning up the umpire (skipper) in the process. This was followed by a sequence of lusty blows scattering the field, and reducing the runs required at a rate of knots. The ‘Haddock’ also got in on the act bunting the ball back over the bowler for a couple of fours.

Things were all going well until ‘bat-gate’ occurred. Dan gently chipped a full toss straight to mid-wickets hands. Unfortunately though, this was closely followed by his magic bat as a swipe of frustration resulted in Dan’s best piece of wood hurtling towards the aforementioned fielder who had by now successfully caught the ball. More controversy followed as the ball was deemed a no-ball (full toss above waist height), and then Dan was caught in the middle of the pitch, without bat, and an easy run out opportunity was then butchered by the keeper fumbling the throw. 

Sheepish apologies followed and Dan decided he would make it up to the opposition by putting them out of there misery quickly, as he and Chris knocked off the runs required.

Another crushing victory and game finished before tea, leaving plenty of time for some social beers.

Next week we make the trip to Langstone Harbour to face the Railway Triangle.

Man of the match: Del Candy 5-14 (and he did get the jug in this time!)

Champagne Moment: Chris Vickery has an honorary mention but this weeks champagne moment actually took place on Friday. Curdridge’s county superstar Sian Edwards was batting for Hampshire Ladies in a T20 at the Ageas Bowl and launched the only six of the game soaring over mid-wicket. Not many people have a six at the Ageas Bowl on their CV, well done Sian!

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