SATURDAY XI v Locks Heath III's - 18th May 2019
Following their opening day success, a confident Curdridge eleven made the short trip to the seaside to face Locks Heath at Royal Victoria Park.
Lewis tagged in for Rob who was on overseas manoeuvres, and Skipper returning after spending a week building a new pond to keep all his ducks in.
Bowl first was the obvious option with overcast skies and a new ball on the artificial track, so when the coin went up skipper plumbed for tails and was promptly asked to have a bat.
With Jack delayed on route as his pony was a bit tired, Lewis ‘volunteered’ to open up with Mark Emms.
A decent partnership was developing until Lewis got a good one and was sent back to the hut.
The man the crowds come to see for his exciting batting, Jay walked out at 3 and promptly tied down one end. Mark meanwhile was breaking the shackles with some aggressive shots when the bowling allowed.
Mark then fell for a well made 19 and Jay soon followed and the score sat at 59-3 after 16 overs.
Skipper and Dave were now in the middle with plans on a big total, unfortunately Skipper hasn’t unpacked his batting powers from last season (or any season) and he departed for 8, swiftly followed by Alan both surprised by the bounce in the track.
Dave meanwhile was nurdling the ball to the boundary for a well made 42 before he was done by a slower ball, and on a pitch where 200 was a par score, then the Curdridge innings was having its weekly wobble at 116-6.
Jack and Mike Punt were tasked with a rescue job, and they delivered a beauty.
Jack blending a straight bat with some sparking shots all round the park, and Punter rotating the strike with quick singles meant the score board cantered along through the last 10 overs of the innings.
Jack reached his 50 with another fine boundary before succumbing in the penultimate over, leaving Tav and Punter to scamper more precious runs with the innings closing on 179-7, still below par but it could have been a lot worse for the Curdridge boys.
A fantastic tea was then attacked with gusto before Curdridge took to the field, knowing that they would have to be at their best to defend their score on a flat track with a rapid outfield
To make things more interesting, Del started off with a half track long hop that was almost deposited onto the deck of a passing cruise liner.
Tav meanwhile decided that he would test out the young openers best shot by feeding him a series of short balls which the batsman duly dispatched to the leg side boundary.
Tav then calibrated the radar to sneak one through one of the openers defences.
Lock’s Heath’s number 3 then continued the aggressive start with some unorthodox shots, and the home side were a third of the way to their target with only 1 wicket down, and the game was fast running away from Curdridge.
Del then thought he made the break through, tricking the number three into lobbing a dolly to Jay in the covers. Unfortunately for Del though Jay only deals in world class catches so refused to take the easy chance.
Punter then shelled another at mid off before skipper pouched an easy one to get the much needed breakthrough.
Dave then swapped in for Tav, and supported by good banter from the covers, worked up to his military medium pace, sending down some full straight ones that were too good for the middle order.
Three wickets were delivered in quick succession, all bowled, and Curdridge were clawing their way back into the game with the chase sitting at 85-6.
However the dangerous opening bat was still at the crease and Locks Heath had kept some hitters lower down the order so the game was still in the balance.
By now Del had bowled his 8 overs, and on came Sammy the Ferret (best ball finder in the club) to send down his spinners masterclass.
It took three balls before he got the key wicket, tempting the opener to drive and squirting the ball out into the covers where Lewis took a great diving catch to send him back for a well made 40.
Two more wickets followed for Sammy’s turn and guile, and it was spin at both ends that wrapped up the tail with Jay picking up the last two and Curdridge had dug out another victory in a close game that they were losing for most of it.
It is two wins from the opening two weeks, and the Machine now looks forward to next Saturdays home game vs Easton Martyr Worthy (1.00pm start)
Man of the Match - Good performances from Dave with bat and ball, and Sammy with key wickets, but this weeks winner is Jack Keogh with a counter attacking knock that rescued the innings and gave the bowlers something to work with - well batted!
Champagne Moment - Lewis with a fine diving catch in the covers
Donut of the Day - Only one winner this week with a Krispy Kreme special from Jay dropping the simplest of catches!!!