SATURDAY XI v Emsworth 2nds - 2nd June 2018
It was an away day for the Curdridge boys as they made the trek to sunny Emsworth needing a win after being on the wrong end of two last over finishes in the prior weeks.
Traffic, and David Janes taxi’s meant the team arrived with minutes to spare before kick off, to find the opposition ready having just completed their 45 minute warm up.
A hastily arranged toss followed and skipper got it right this week, Bat first was the only option and skipper set about finding two players who were dressed and ready to open up.
David and Jack were the chosen ones, and they took to a large field with a lush outfield which was to make boundaries difficult to come by for both sides.
A strong opening partnership developed, helped by some charitable fielding by the Emsworth lads and the scoreboard had ticked onto a solid 47 without loss after ten overs.
Jack then fell for 21, and Craig made his way to the middle, having been delayed arriving at the ground as he had to take his poorly parrot to the vets that morning.
The Craig David show then took centre stage and their sweet music saw the ball caressed to all parts of the ground. Unfortunately for both this rarely meant reaching the boundary rope resulting in a fair amount of cursing, running and panting.
The partnership was approaching three figures before Craig missed a straight one, and Jay was sent out to rotate the strike with the score on 150, and with ten overs still left Curdridge had the potential to go big.
Things never go to plan though and cue a series of batsmen who perished looking to push the rate on.
Dave fell for a well made 70, and it was left to the tail to nurse the score past 200, with Charlotte Edwards lookalike Matty doing the job with a trio of boundaries, including one which was biffed halfway to Chichester.
206-7 was a competitive score, and Curdridge were confident as they tucked into tea.
Del and Matt opened up but the early breakthrough wouldn’t come for the deadly duo, and with Matt’s back still feeling the effects from his shifts at Blockbuster, Dave was called upon early to find a breakthrough.
Eventually Del Candy trapped the opener stood in front of all three and we had an opening with the score 49-1.
The spin twins were then called upon for the first time this season and Jay and Dim went through their full range, but again without success, and at drinks the score had rattled on to 85-1 and Curdridge were in a spot of bother.
Skipper then turned to one of his fastest bowler's, and Dave’s response was to give Tav a go. The Bad Boy from Benidorm had clearly been playing a bit of beach cricket as he repeatedly beat the bat, before rearranging the poles of the number 3 and again Curdridge had one end open.
Run rate was still proving not to be a problem for the Emsworth lads though and another partnership built, with the opening bat in particular benefiting from some generous fielding - Tav and Dave both letting him have chances.
Craig tagged in for Dimmy with his box of tricks and found a winner with the ball spiralling up to the main man Candy loitering at square leg.
The opening bat was still at the crease now and it became clear that if he was there at the end then Curdridge would be on the wrong end of the result.
The score sat at 145-3 when skipper called upon Matt and Dave to close out the innings, but could they keep the Emsworth lads below the required rate of 8 per over?
The game remained in the balance with tight bowling, supported by some good ground fielding but there were open spaces across the large playing area which meant that the opposition were able to keep up with the rate.
Matty then bowled a blinding 35th over to increase the required rate, and Dave followed it up with more tight bowling and crucially snared a tough caught and bowled opportunity which sent back the opening batsman.
That proved to be the game, and a procession of lower order Emsworth batsmen couldn’t deal with the pace of Matt and Dave, and Curdridge ripped through the tail with the innings closing on 185-8.
Another very close game, which Curdridge just did enough to get home, it could easily have been a different result though and Curdridge can’t afford to continue to drop so many catches if they are going to continue to progress up the league.
Next week we are home vs Follands, 1pm start.
Man of the Match: Dave makes a strong claim with 70 and 4-37, but the turning point in the game was the spell from Dan Tav which swung the game back in Curdridge’s favour when it was drifting away from him so Carlos wins it this week with his medium pace dobbler’s
Champagne Moment: Matty wins it with his six in the last over sending the ball into Chichester
Donut of the day: Joint winners this week with Dave and Tav dropping key chances that would have made it a much more comfortable day for the machine.