CURDRIDGE vs HAMBLEDON II's - 12th June 2021
Cricket returned to the Lane Saturday and a solid group of misfits were assembled
There was shock news as the team sheets were swapped as Del Candy had to make a late withdrawal when his toupee got caught in his electric garage door mechanism.
There was also a welcome return for Tav after a spell at his majesty’s pleasure for guinea pig smuggling.
Win the toss and bat Skip on a roasting hot day - I think we can all predict how that went, yet another tossing failure and the Machine was assembled in the field.
With several bowling options missing it was Tav and Alex who started up and it was tidy from the start with pressure on the opening batsmen.
Alex in particularly being miserly with only 13 runs coming from his 6 overs - a young Del Candy in the making perhaps?
The shackles were just starting to come off though, before Tav snuck one through and one end was open.
Bitterne’s best breakdance crew - Jay and Luke then tagged in to further limit the rate, and it was Dimmy who got the next breakthrough, dislodging the well set opener.
Good fielding from all (apart from Punter dropping a dolly) was keeping pressure on, and Dimmy followed up with two more in rapid succession - with solid catching from Skip & Tav.
Rob and Sammy then continued the theme to close the innings out and there was two more wickets for Sammy who bowled his full box of tricks, and Rob induced a wicket with his new variation - the slow full toss rubbish one!
Tav returned to pick up another at the death, helped by Skipper tumbling down the hill and using his full long barrier to swallow the ball.
A super bowling fielding combo had limited the Hambledon lads to 142 and Curdridge were well set at tea.
Luke and Usman then opened up and Luke must have had a bulging set of DM’s in his inbox that he needed to get back to as he lasted 4 balls.
Jay and Usi then rebuilt in the face of some quality seam bowling, runs being tough to come by but wickets were kept in hand.
As the openers were coming towards the end of their spell Jay succumbed and Hambledon then switched to a loopy spin tactic.
This was too much for Usi and he also returned to the shed and the score was 49-3 at the halfway mark.
Skipper and Jack then tucked into the buffet and the scoreboard accelerated with some biffs and the Machine was getting the rate back in order.
Jack then departed and Skipper followed to leave the game in the balance at 106-5 with 6 overs left and 37 runs needed.
Alan, Tav, Punter and Rob then swung the willow as Curdridge closed in on the target but in the face of the returning openers it was a bridge too far and the Machine pulled up 12 runs short.
The second week running that the Machine has been in a winning position and contrived to not get over the line, it was a disappointing end particularly when our bowling and fielding had been top drawer.
Onwards to next week and a trip to Waltham awaits - 1pm start at Albany Lane
Man of the Match: Dimmy takes it with a fine spell and 3 wickets, offset by a batting quack
Donut of the Day: He was already favourite for dropping a catch, but walking out to bat without your timber punter is a classic!
Champagne Moment: Back to Back 6’s from the Skipper takes the prize this week