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CURDRIDGE vs FAIR OAK 4's - 19th May 2024

In our previous match report Jules mentioned a miracle, well, this week there are two miracles to report on. 

First, a weather forecaster providing accurate weather forecasts (thanks there to Tom “Radar” Mould)

Second, Mike decided he didn’t want to write the match report, so we don’t have to sit through another one of his weird ramblings… 

 

On the other hand, Mike seems to have been appointed Diversity and Inclusion officer for the club, so look forward to seeing us in the papers soon. The legal papers.

Anyway, onto the cricket.

The thunderstorms and heavy rain which had threatened since the start of the week having dissipated into a very short, light shower around midday and some cloud cover, the afternoon was set fair for a top-of-the-table clash with Fair Oak. 

Stand-in-skipper Rob got things off to a good start by winning the toss (so make that three miracles…), and having been reliably informed by the club’s private weather forecaster that cloud cover would persist, chose to bowl first.

Contrary to the usual round of groans and grumbles, there was even a “I think that might have been the right idea” from the ranks. After the looks of bafflement that we’d actually won a toss, of course. 

 

Having been treated to a stirring speech by Rob beforehand, the team scattered into a variety of fielding positions as Del opened up the bowling, with Sammy roaring into action from the other end. Tight bowling and sharp fielding followed, epitomised by Dan who was welcomed into the side for his first Curdridge outing, and with the runs being severely restricted a lofted shot off Sammy’s bowling brought the breakthrough with Rob taking a tumbling catch (well, I never just stand there to catch it do I?). After 10 overs Fair Oak found themselves on only 24-1.

 

Sam’s second wicket soon followed, with Dom taking the catch despite the look of panic in his eyes as the ball ever-so-slowly made its way towards him, and with Del holding his end up the runs were still slow to come. A superb piece of fielding from Dave and Jack picked up a run out for the third wicket soon after, and the pressure was mounting.

Del finished his spell of 8 overs for just 16 runs, and Sam with 2 wickets for 21 from his 8. 

 

Up next came last week’s hero Mark and, Dave making a cameo appearance before he’s unavailable for six weeks as he’s got to spend his weekends with a lot of children (I mentioned legal papers…)

Dave soon got in on the action, picking up 2 wickets in his first two overs and halfway through their innings Fair Oak were 48-5.

 

Wickets continued to tumble straight after drinks with another wicket for Dave, followed by 2 in one over for Mark courtesy of catches from Rob and Dave, followed the next over by Dave’s fourth wicket and Fair Oak were 52-9 from 23 overs.

What followed was predictable, following the finest English cricket tradition the bowling side being well on top couldn’t find a way through the 10th wicket partnership. Fortunately in this case it not being too damaging but adding 32 to the score before Dave claimed the last, and his fifth, wicket with two balls of his spell to go, ending on figures of 8 overs 5-13.

 

An outstanding effort by the bowlers and in the field left us needing just 85 runs to secure our second win of the season.

After a quick bite of tea (lunch? It was only 3pm…too many like this and the league will be turning us into a T20 league…) it was our turn to bat. 

 

With the batting order set, the stand-in-skipper was slightly perturbed to see his number 4 having changed out of his whites, and numbers 5 and 6 wandering off together to the far side of the neighbouring field… Still, the new opening partnership of Dom and Rob strode out to the middle. 

 

Continuing the vein of last week’s opening partnership, the runs flowed and a rapid start at 6 an over saw us at 30 after 6 overs. 

Between the overs Dom said ‘getting to 50 without loss would be a good start’, ‘Righto’ said Rob, before he chased a loose one outside off stump, and sent a looping catch to backwards point. 30-1 and off trudged the stand-in skipper most disconsolately (not least because he could already imagine the chorus of comments that would be coming his way on the silly shot…)

In strode Jack, having volunteered to go in at 3. Generously recognising that at that stage there was no other option for donut of the day than Rob for his silly shot, Jack felt he could have a go. Having seen off an over and got himself off the mark, playing - well, I’d like to call it a shot but that would be stretching things - completely missing, and getting cleaned up. 42-2.

 

Fortunately at the other end Dom was carrying on serenely, aided by some shoddy attempts at catching from the opposition (but after last season Dom’s definitely owed a a fair dose of fortune), and Dave, being back in whites, went out to join him. 

A fairly rapid end soon came as both batsmen struck boundaries around the park, and it was all over in 17 overs, with a crushing win for Curdridge and a 2 wins from 2 start to the season, with the team in the pub for a well-earned victory drink by about 5pm.

A great team effort again to follow last week, with everyone stepping up in the field, bowling and batting. 

Man of the Match: excellent bowling spells from Del, Sam and Mark, and Dom continuing an excellent start to the season with the bat, but this week’s award has to go to Dave for his 5-13, run out, and 22 unanswered runs.

 

Champagne Moment: it feels self-serving to say winning the toss, although that was pretty  good. A sharp run out by Dave and Jack was also a contender, but really this week it has to be for the whole team for a great win.

 

Donut of the Day: two contenders, Rob for a silly shot, but Jack wins this week for an even worse shot. 

Mike gets Donut of the Week for insisting he would write the match report then deciding he didn't want to because he found out that in work time he actually has to do work...

Next week, at home versus Cadnam, and we go for 3 wins in 3.

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