SATURDAY XI v Colden Common - 4th May 2019
Cricket returned to a chilly Reading Room Lane on Saturday with Curdridge’s finest facing a Colden Common side in a pre-season friendly. The deck was a Jon Edwards masterpiece, and the crowds were gathered to see how the team was shaping up ahead of the start of the league campaign next week.
Skipper negotiated the option to bat first and sent the ‘beards’ out to start up, with both Jack and David having spent the winter months cultivating a spot of ginger face fluff.
Jack wasted no time finding the fence second ball, and Dave also took a liking to the opening bowling as the scoreboard rattled along at a good rate early doors.
Unfortunately though is has been a long winter, and Jack has forgotten the rules of cricket, watching the fielder pick up the ball whilst stood in the middle of the pitch, with brain disconnected to legs as he forgot to get back into his ground, and was sent back by a direct hit.
‘The wall’ then waddled to the middle as Jay was next man up and supported Dave by slowing down the scoring rate with a mixture of defensive blocks and classic leaves.
Dave then nicked one behind and skipper made his way to the middle before sacrificing his innings without troubling the scorers, to give others the opportunity to get some batting in.
Jay also missed a straight one and Rob got a dubious one to leave Curdridge having a middle order wobble with the score at 72-5.
Alan and Akshay (making a long awaited return to the fold after his spell with the travelling circus), were called upon to steady the ship. Sensible batting was needed and it was duly delivered with solid defence interrupted by the odd biff at both ends.
The partnership flourished and the off season cobwebs were duly dispersed, with less defence and more smash being employed by 'the A team’.
Alan raced past fifty and Aksay reached his own land mark (beating Jay’s score), and when the innings closed the partnership had duly delivered140 runs, with Alan finishing on 75 not out. Well batted lads!
Tea was a Punter special and Curdridge took to the field with an array of woolly jumpers employed against the chilly early evening breeze.
Del boy had been successfully defrosted after his winter cryogenics, and even the toupee was looking on point as he started off down the hill, with Tav and the other end.
Sir Candy was his normal boring self, with only 10 runs off his 8 overs but it was Tav who made the breakthrough with his ‘very slow’ one which looped up to skipper at gully.
Punter was then called upon to sling down his wobblers, and had an instant impact tempting the opener to lob the ball towards Dave at Mid-on as his first over was a wicket maiden.
He wasn’t finished there though as he went through his full repertoire of deliveries, good balls, short balls and some rank bad ones that then bought two more wickets (and could have been 3 had the Salmon been awake in the slips).
Skipper realised he had a problem and had to take Punter off, as if he had taken any more wickets then we wouldn’t have heard the end of it that evening, so he duly brought on Curdridge’s newly recruited spin twins with Sam and Rob operating in tandem.
Jay then decided that as he was now the clubs fourth choice spinner he would have to demonstrate his value in other ways, and leapt full length at cover. Using his recently cultivated curves to comfort his landing, he snared a worldly inches from the ground to bring Sam his first wicket.
Rob then gave the first outing of the season to his quicker ball and the batsman had no reply with his stumps uprooted, and Sam then followed up with 3 more wickets to sweep up the tail in quick time.
A strong performance from the Curdridge Machine dismissing the opposition for 62 and a comprehensive victory to boost the confidence.
Man of the Match: Several candidates today, with Sam taking 4 wickets, and Akshay doing a great rescue job for the team when the innings was wobbling but this weeks winner with 75 runs and 3 drops in the slips is Al Bollard.
Donut of the Day: Skipper loves donuts and takes this weeks award with a text book forward defensive, missing the ball completely as it clattered into his stumps.
Champagne Moment: Jay going full length to take a cracker in the covers.
Next week - the league season starts with the visit of Southampton Community to RRL for a 1pm start