CURDRIDGE vs Mansbridge - 31st July 2021
Curdridge made the short trip across to Eastleigh this week to face a Mansbridge side one spot above them in the league, with the Machine still hovering nervously above the relegation zone.
It was an interesting arena, the outfield had an eclectic mix of of animal deposits and the track certainly wasn’t a Brazilian with plenty of foliage to keep the bowlers happy.
Bowl first was the obvious choice, Skipper lost the toss (again), so we were invited to put the pads on.
Luke and Jack decided that they would do the job up front and a good platform was set with a mixture of nurdles and biffs to set the scoreboard running,
Quick singles were also a new addition to the Curdridge repetoire which was delivering some success until Jack took a quick one and Luke didn’t as he sat admiring his latest pedicure at the non strikers end.
Jack did an about turn but couldn’t beat the throw and trudged off to run through his full repertoire of expletives.
Jay marched out and got a start but couldn’t find his rhythm and was sent back with the score 60-3
Drinks bought a chance to talk tactics and Luke took on this information before steering the ball straight to gully - now am pretty sure that wasn’t the instruction he was given.
Skipper joined Dave in the middle and things were all calm until the classic yes, no, bugger as a direct hit did for the skipper.
With the scoreboard at 78-5 Dave & Alan then looked to build a partnership to make the most of the many overs left,
Alan got a good one though and Dave soon followed leaving the tail to wag to see the innings through,
Wagging wasn’t on the agenda though as the tail was ripped apart by Jay’s LBW decisions only contributing 1 run as the innings came to am abrupt end with the machine significantly below par at 127 all out.
Tea taken the Machine dusted itself down and started the wheels in motion with Del and James keeping it tight early doors.
A much improved fielding display backed up the bowlers as Del returned figures of 0-14 off his 8 overs and James 0-11 from his 6.
Spin was then turned too at both ends and Jay trapped the opener in front to get the first breakthrough before charitably gifting the batsman more runs in one over than Del had conceded in 8.
At drinks the score was 47-1 and the ask was still only 80 runs from the last 20.
Dave replaced Jay with his mixture of grunts and growls and eventually ousted the obstinate opener.
He then repeated the trick to dismiss the dangerous number 3 with a worldy of a catch from Jack behind the stumps - diving one handed to his right to take a beauty.
Dimmy kept it tight as the other end until his last over which disappeared for 3 fours and at that point the game was almost up with the score 97-3 and 8 overs remaining,
Cue Alex making an entrance, doing exactly what Skipper needed - delivering 3 wides before calibrating the radar to rip out the middle order - 2 in 2 balls, and there was now a hint of a chance for the Machine.
Dave finished up keeping the runs limited, and with 4 overs left the ask was down to 16 runs required.
Over 37 - Alex kept it tight with only 1 run yielded - 15 now needed off 3 overs.
Over 38 - James A now back into the attack again only 1 run yielded and a wicket caught in the deep by Skipper's Belly.
Over 39 - 14 off 2 required now, and Alex bowls another high class over but 8 runs are stolen and the game is almost up.
Over 40 - 6 needed to win, 5 to tie and anything less and the Machine pulls off a staggering recovery - James bowling and in his own words, "he felt a bit sick"
First ball - Wicket (and a dot) - bowled
Second ball - Dot
Third ball - Dot
Fourth ball - Stumps dismantled and now the Machine are favourites for the first time in the entire match
Fifth ball - Single but crucially the in form batsman is on strike for the last delivery
Sixth ball - 5 needed to win, 4 to tie, so the boundary was manned by all - batsman swings and the ball arrows out through the covers - but Jay scrambles to make the stop and gets it back in time to limit the damage to one run - CURDRIDGE WIN!!!
An awesome bowling and fielding performance got us across the line against all odds - and a crucial win that starts to move us up the table.
Next Week: Another crucial 6 pointer vs Purbrook, at home 1pm start
Man of the Match - I can’t split them, so James and Alex win jointly this week for getting us home through those last 4 overs, well bowled lads!
Champagne Moment - Jack with a world class take behind the stumps when we needed it
Donut of the Day - Jay for his continued poor imitation of a slip fielder - shelling another one.