SATURDAY XI v COMPTON - 12th May 2018
Curdridge took another step into the unknown last Saturday facing a Compton side who were sitting top of the table after week one having amassed over 300 runs, and bowled out their opposition for 21.
One change to the line up was required as Dan Clark stepped aside (Parent duties), and Radio Dan Tav stepped in.
The decision over whether to bat or bowl first was long debated with a good looking pitch, but rain predicted later in the day. Fortunately Skipper solved the mystery by losing the toss and Curdridge were invited to take to the field and have a bowl.
The plan worked last week so Skip again opened up with Moeen Ali lookalike Matt, and everyones favourite Great Great Great Grandma Del Candy at the other end.
It wasn’t long before the machine clicked into gear as Matt removed the openers poles with a pearler and followed it up with a second well snared by keeper Jack as an excellent opening spell had the Compton boys in trouble.
Batsmen three and four were both from the 'see ball, hit ball' school of cricket and took a bit of a liking to Del Boys dobblers before Del found a way through to send back the number 3. Matt followed up with a third wicket and the visitors were in a spot of bother at 4 down.
At the other end though it was clear that Curdridge had a class batsman on their hands, with some cracking shots rattling into the fence, all round the ground.
Skipper turned to David and Luke to stem the scoring and David obliged with a long hop first up that was promptly deposited for six onto the garages in St Peter’s Close - Can we have our ball back please.
Luke also suffered under the onslaught and whilst removing the newer bat, he was then dispatched for 3 sixes in an over and skipper was nervously looking round for other bowling options.
Suspiciously, given the ball was disappearing to all parts, Craig was now claiming injury but skipper managed to persuade him that he was fine to bowl and he tied down one end with his selection box down the hill.
The game was now resembling a replica of last week, with Curdridge trying to manage one batsman and starve him of the strike whilst attacking the tail at the other end. However this was having limited success as the Compton lad was approaching 80 and the scoreboard was homing in on 150 with ten overs still left to bowl.
Finally, the pressure eventually told and in attempting to hook David out the ground, the batsman sent up a chance with a top edge soaring to square leg. Who was the man underneath it? The Candyman, and after a series of attempts to calibrate his legs to where the ball was likely to land he eventually pouched the prize wicket.
Under the tidy bowling of Craig, Dave and Tav with an interesting spell of 3 balls 8 runs and 1 wicket then the tail was dispatched. Compton had posted a below par total of 166, and Curdridge had full bowling points in the bank.
A strong tea from Jay, and Craig and Jack took to the middle to build a platform. Craig wasted little time in finding the boundary with a series of fine shots before his stay was ended by a good one and he was dispatched for 22.
Jay then showed his consistency by not troubling the scorers (Ladbrokes new favourite for the duck cup!), and David made his way to join Jack at the crease.
An hours fine cricket then ensued with David mixing biff with block and Jack playing some cracking shots, with one cover drive in particular that James Vince would have been proud of.
David was eventually dispatched for a well made 65 and skipper made his way to the middle to join Jack with twenty runs needed.
Skipper needed to do little, as Jack continued to score all round the ground to finish unbeaten on 53 and Curdridge eased past their target with 7 overs to spare.
A fine win for the machine at Fortress Reading Room Lane, against another good side, and in a season when avoiding relegation would be a success, we finish week 2 at the top of the league.
Another tough game follows this week away to an unbeaten Sarisbury 3’s.
Man of the Match: Good Showings from David and Matt this week, but this weeks winner with a class innings batting all the way through for his 53 runs was Jack Keogh, well done sniffer!
Champagne Moment: Del Boy is an early season contender for fish of the year with two catches in two weeks, taking one that really mattered this week.
Donut of the Day: Skipper leaving Jack stranded in the middle of the wicket, as he turned for two, but forgot to switch on traction control leaving him face down in the crease, and causing Jack to make a swift U turn at the other end,