CURDRIDGE vs BEDHAMPTON II's - 17th July 2021
It was quite a week for selection last week, as Covid finally breached the sturdy walls of Curdridge Cricket.
Jay was the first victim, a result of hugging a spurs fan, Luke was then ruled out as co-residence with Jay in Bitterne Towers, and Dave for once wasn’t over exaggerating his symptoms and he too fell victim.
Tav and Jack then were ruled out as a result of close contact in a tent in Brecon (best not to ask!), and Usman became the 6th man down on Friday night
Fair to say Skipper felt like a winner just getting 11 men onto the park on Saturday,
Into the side for league debuts came Joel F, Dan & Jo Reilly and James D, with James A also making his first appearance this year. Rob, Del, Alan, Alex, Punter and Skipper then made up the brave warriors.
A trip to Bedhampton was the mission and a baking hot day with a large outfield
Now normally this would be a bat first pitch all day long, but with 5 out of the regular top 6 missing, the brave decision to bowl first was taken to give the Machine the best chance of picking up some points.
At least one thing went right though as skipper won his first toss of the year, and the Machine was revved up in the field.
Del and James A were the chosen ones, and started with matching maidens before the openers began to get a taste for Del’s wobblers, James returned a great opening spell with 6 overs only going for 12 runs and at ten overs the score was 29-0.
The Hedge End Heat were then called upon as Alex and Joel tagged in and it wasn’t long before they showed the oldies how it was done - 2 balls to be exact before Joel castled the well set opener to end a partnership that had now breezed past 50.
Alex also found his range (after a bit of trouble calibrating for no-balls) and he too was in the wickets inducing a simple caught and bowled, and Joel followed up with another stump removal as the two youngsters were both bowling some quality wheels - well done lads!
With the scoreboard rattling on though Skipper tried a change of strategy and called upon Rob and his leggies - and early success came at a cost as the batsmen carved out a few boundaries.
Ten overs remained and the score was 152-4, and bowling options were somewhat limited,
Punter tagged in for one, but that didn’t stem the tide, so it came to the last resort as skipper asked himself to bowl.
Now I can’t explain what happened next but two wickets came in the first over - as well as two dropped catches, and then another wicket came courtesy of a cracking catch from Rob.
After 3 overs, Skipper didn’t want to push his luck (and he was sweating like a ripe Camembert) so he left Joel and Alex to finish up,
Another wicket was almost delivered via another stunning catch from Rob who unfortunately let the ball get two thirds of the way through 'Hands, Face, Space’ resulting in a spot of claret and a trip to A&E to tidy up his looks, leaving the Machine down to ten.
The innings finished on 225-7 with 3 bowling points delivered and a sterling effort from the lads who never let the heads drop on a tough day in the field.
Tea and cold drinks taken then Alan and James took to the middle but it wasn’t the day for Salmon to be left out in the sun and he departed after 3 balls - commendable effort behind the sticks though Al!
James showed flare to match his flowing locks with some dashing boundaries before he was the victim of an unfortunate run out.
Skipper joined Joel in the middle and sensible batting was employed, and with the target well out of reach the mission was to acquire some batting points,
Joel was unfortunate to get one that popped a bit to end a sensible knock that again showed his potential.
Anchor was then dropped at Skippers end as he nursed the rest of the batting as far as we could get, as the warriors all made efforts to contribute to take the innings to the 30th over,
Highlights were Dan Reilly not getting run out, and James A crashing a couple of boundaries to secure the first batting point.
With Del at the other end, Skipper finally succumbed and the innings closed on 82.
Four points delivered, it was a performance the club could be proud of, and there was definitely some potential uncovered for the future in the form of Joel and Del.
Next Week: Big Game, home vs Railway Triangle (1pm)
Diet Coke Moment (too young for Champagne): Joel wins this week, with an excellent ball that cut back into the timbers, and broke the opening partnership,
Man of the Match: Skipper for getting a team out, and then an all round performance (and I don’t get to write that often!)
Donut of the Day: Skipper wins that too for telling people it was a 1.30 start (I think my brain melted last week!)
One sad note to end on, our superstar umpire Andy P took a tumble on Saturday evening - now I don’t want to start rumours or point fingers but Del said he dropped him outside the pub...
Unfortunately the prognosis is a broken hip so he is currently shacked up in QA - I am sure everyone at the club will join me in wishing you well Andy, speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing you down the club soon.