SATURDAY XI v PAULTONS - 13th August 2016
A strong Curdridge XI made the trip to the picturesque New Forest to face a Paultons side hot on their heels in the league ladder.
Pitch inspection revealed a very green strip, with weeds strategically placed on a length and a short boundary that served as a barrier to the various livestock that were patrolling the boundary.
Bowl first was the clear decision and skipper obliged by losing the toss and Curdridge was predictably invited to have a bat.
Nick and David were sent out to make the best of the conditions and a solid partnership was forming before Nick middled one to gully and the fielder pulled off a worldy one handed grab to send him back to the shed.
Alan then marched to the crease on the back of a couple of useful knocks to join David in a partnership with a high propensity for a ‘Biff’
The score rattled on at a fair rate with some quality shots at both ends before Alan was caught behind. The damage had been done though and Curdridge were already on 91, 60 runs having been added in quick time.
Skipper came and went before Dan Clarke made his way to a middle with his magic bat.
Magic bat was put to good use with a couple of lusty blows before Dan’s eye for the fairer sex got him into trouble. With a young lady sending down some medium pace, Dan decided that he was going to launch the ball into cow corner (and there was a few corners populated with cows so he had a fair choice of where to put the ball). Unfortunately for Dan the lady had his number and his middle stump was knocked back. To his credit, Dan took the disappointment well, and his team mates hardly mentioned it for the rest of the day.
David then contrived to chip a ball to square leg for an excellent 66 and all of a sudden the innings was creaking at 131-5 and Curdridge were faced with the prospect of being rolled for 150.
Jack and Jon Edwards then proceeded to steady the ship with some sensible batting nurdling a few singles as the overs passed until Jack lost his middle stick with the score on 142.
Clodey was sent out with captain hoping for 175 to secure 4 batting points. Unfortunately Jon and Clodey had different ideas, with Jon in particular finding the accelerate button and a series of lusty blows saw the run rate rocket, with the 41st over alone yielding 20 runs alone, and Jon finishing with an excellent 39 not out.
Curdridge’s innings finished on a respectable 202-6 and full batting points were secured for the first time this season.
An excellent tea was demolished and Curdridge set about the opposition with Monster and Del starting up,
Monster was having a bit of trouble with the footholes which resulted in several balls being bowled to second slip, but Del was his usual model of consistency and it wasn’t long before the opener was sent back, Nick Hiller taking an excellent one hander in the slip.
Number 3 was bowled, again by Del and then the Salmon leapt into action taking an even better catch in the gully.
However the batsman were digging in and wickets were difficult to come by, although the run rate was kept down with some strong fielding, particularly from Dan Clarke in the covers.
Skipper turned to DJ who made the most of the incline in the pitch to generate some serious pace that saw the slips standing halfway to the boundary.
The edge was found and the ball rocketed towards gully (and Alan’s face) at a significant rate of knots. Fortunately the housewives favourite looks were preserved as Alan got his hands to the ball and pulled off another worldy catch.
Next batsman lasted one ball as a full bunger removed the off stump from the ground and David had 2 in 2 balls.
The hat-trick didn’t arrive but it wasn’t long before David had another with his slower one tricking the stubborn opener into skying one to cover.
Skipper then rang the changes with the bowling to prise out the tail and Clodey, Luke and Jon Edwards all got themselves wickets to end a stubborn resistance with the opposition dismissed for 97.
Another great all round performance and full points against one of the better sides in the league mean Curdridge remain hot on the heals of the two leaders, and any slip up from them in the last two weeks could see Curdridge finish even higher then their current 3rd spot.
Man of the Match
David Janes makes a good claim with 66 runs, 2 catches and 3 wickets, however his head would be so big that it would not fit back into Curdridge so this weeks award goes to Jon Edwards who played a perfect knock to turn a below par score into one that delivered full batting points, and then cleaned up the tail with a couple of his magic deliveries.
So many to choose from this week, Steve T making a right hash of a dolly at mid-on, chesting it down before managing to volley it several yards to David who just failed to get a hand on it. Salmon (or Trout) Bollard taking two excellent catches in the gully and Nick with a stunning one handed grab in the slips. However this weeks vote goes to a Jon Edwards six that was launched into the cow field, and went so far it lodged firmly beneath one of the larger pieces of livestock. The game was then delayed as the fielder struggled to persuade the said cow to move on to allow the ball could be retrieved - great ‘biff’ Jon!