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SATURDAY XI v Portchester - 16th June 2018

Five missed calls on Skippers phone on Saturday morning always spells trouble. Check the voicemail and netball has stopped play with Portchester’s ground unavailable due to an unforeseen festival at the school. 

Cue tentative call to Jon Edwards to see whether we could play the game at home - and we got the right answer. 

Next step scramble a crack team of groundsman’s helpers to get a pitch ready. 

By the time skipper had got to the pitch Curdridge’s own version of the A team were on the case helping Jon - Jack ‘Face’ Keogh on the roller, Alan B. A. Bollard marking the boundary, Pinky ‘Mad Murdoch’ lending a hand where he could and Dave ‘Hannibal’ Janes forming the plan of action.

After a couple of hours of graft we were all fit to go, and a strong Curdridge side were assembled, with Jay returning to the side after a week off showing his price guinea pig ‘Peaches' at the UK Championships and Mike Punt returning after having his highlights done.

Skipper did the usual and lost the toss but got what he wanted with Portchester choosing to bat against a new ball in overcast conditions.

The Earl, and Inzamam Ul Haq lookalike Matt opened up the bowling, and kept it tight early doors with not much getting off the square.

The first chance then went up, and clearly Dave was keen to improve on last weeks fielding display as he sprinted forty yards to catch a ball that was dropping exactly where Luke had been standing before he had moved out the way to let the barrel through. Fortunately for both the catch was taken and the first wicket was on the board for Matt.

Matt then followed it up bowling the number 3 bringing the oppositions big man to the crease. Clearly not a nurdler he used his frame to muscle the ball to the boundary which got the scoreboard ticking, before Dave got one to lift and took the glove with Sniffer Keogh taking a good catch diving forwards behind the stumps.

Spin then took over with Dim and Jay tagging in for Del and Dave. Del with a particularly boring spell with 5 maidens out of his 8 overs bowled.

Tight fielding was supporting the bowlers, particularly Craig with some enthusiastic diving, and It didn’t take long before Dim had a couple of quick wickets and Portchester were in real strife at 67-5. 

‘Great' bowling from Nandha at the other end and a decent spell from Mike Punt wrapped up the tail pretty swiftly and the Portchester innings closed on 91.

Tea taken, Craig and Tav opened up and looked to make swift work of the small total, with the first over dispatched for 15 runs. 

More biffing followed at both ends with Craig in particular taking a liking to the slow left armer on his way to a rapid fifty. 

Tav fell to a good ball (so he said), so Jay joined Craig to finish the job and the target was reached in the 12th over.

A much improved performance from the Machine and a straight forward win which consolidates our position in the top half of the table. Next week is a tough one, home 1pm vs Solent Rangers.

MOTM - Jay makes another strong claim with 3 wickets, a catch, and some good banter in the covers, but Craig will get the hump if he misses out two weeks running so he takes it for his rapid 57 not out.

Champagne moment - Jack wins it this week for a comical piece of keeping, with the batsman gloving the ball straight up in the air, which was seen by all except Jack, who stood rooted to the spot as the ball lobbed up in the air before coming down very close to the crown of his helmet. Giggles all round!

Donut of the day - Portchester win this for their ground issues.

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