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The showers were (partially) dodged on Saturday allowing Curdridge’s finest to take to the field for their final friendly outing before the league season begins. 


Five Rivers were the visitors and with only ten men and pleading a weakened side so Skipper agreed a loan deal for Jay to play for the opposition (on the basis he got runs last week so it wasn’t going to happen two weeks running!)


Into the home side came James A, James D, and Alex B as skipper implemented his controversial rotation policy to give the squad an early season run out.


A suitable coin has been located (and kept) as Skipper won the toss and elected to have a bat with showers predicted later in the day. The track was same as last week but had hardened up to give a decent batting deck,


James D and Luke opened up and some Zorro like cut shots yielded some early boundaries for James before the opener got one past his sabre.


Luke steadily accumulated with Jack his partner in crime and the score had reached 60 before they both left the scene in quick succession.


David, making a rare appearance due to his new job farming daffodils, was joined by Skipper in the middle, and it was like old times until skipper clunked one to point.


A new bat can do wonders for the confidence, and an off season investment is paying dividends for Sammy as he used his new wand to smash the ball to all parts. Unfortunately for Sammy he failed to invest in new trainers at the same time. These may have made running those threes a bit easier. A cracking knock of 35 ended just in time for Sammy to have a lie down.


Dave left the party with a well made 66 leaving Punter and Alan to finish off the innings


Punter especially took to the Five Rivers weaker bowling as Jay was bought on, with a lovely moo to cow corner the highlight of an unbeaten knock, 


Alan did the ‘usual’ at the other end biffing a late order 27 and the Curdridge innings finished on a healthy 217.


Tea was accompanied by a change in the weather as grey skies rolled in and only three overs were able to be bowled before cover was taken from a passing shower that was enough to turn the ball into a bar of soap.


Del and James A started up in the face of some agricultural batting and it was Del who got the breakthrough with another Punter special, the ball swirling in the wind at deep long on before lodging safety in his bucket hands. 


This bought Jay to the crease for the opposition to bring some calm to proceedings.


Alex B was the first change but unfortunately he had fitted slicks when the rest of the grid were on intermediates and the now damp track couldn’t support his speed so only a couple of his overs were possible.


Fortunately Dave is a heavier model that has more natural traction so he was called upon to replace Alex at the car park end.


Sammy tagged in for Del at the other end with a tidy spell, and another short break for rain led to some confusion over the number of overs we were now playing.


The Five Rivers innings remained on target run rate led by some decent whacking from Jay, and wickets were difficult to come by for the machine with a dead track and wet ball that wasn’t going anywhere off the straight.


Dimmy was called upon and both James, Alex and Dave returned for second spells but the breakthrough couldn’t be found.


As the darkness fell, the flood lights were now on and jumpers fully employed. Rumour has it that Five Rivers reached the target with an over to spare (with Jay unbeaten on 92), but quite frankly it was so dark that any result could have taken place.


Whilst victory was not ours, the key objective was achieved with another good run our for the Machine and over 300 runs scored by the squad before the first league game next Saturday. 


Man of the Match: Jay would normally win it with 92 runs but he is disqualified for playing for the opposition, so Dave wins this week with a fifty and a couple of late wickets.

Champagne Moment: Its a double for Punter going back to back with another super catch in the deep, Curdridge’s answer to Ravi Bishnoi!


Donut of the Day: No obvious contenders this week so Andy P wins it for suggesting that we would go off if the rain got any heavier, as the rain was bouncing off the wicket and most of the assembled had already sprinted halfway to the pavilion.


Next Week: Solent Rangers (away) 1pm start at Hayling Island (PO11 0EA) for our travelling army…

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