CURDRIDGE vs PORTSMOUTH & SOUTHSEA III's - 14th May 2022
Cricket was back at the Lane on Saturday, with yet another glorious May Saturday to welcome the athletes of Curdridge and Portsmouth & Southsea.
The preparation had been somewhat disrupted by an intermittent gang mower fault that required open heart surgery from Doctor Hillier to bring it back to life, so the outfield was a little longer than the normal standard.
The pitch was a beauty though courtesy of Matt Cozen’s who enjoys a roll or two, and had spent a fair portion of his week sat atop the big yellow machine.
Team selection was easy as Skipper again only had 10 until Very New Jack declared himself available for a game, joining Nearly New Jack in the side.
The first act of the game required a VAR review to check that it actually happened as Skipper won the toss, and excitedly offered to bowl first.
Del started down the hill, but options were limited at the other end with Sammy delayed on route with a puncture on his tandem.
Looking round the masses for an opening bowler Skipper was faced between the choice of slow or very slow bowling and neither would have made best use of the new ball so the gamble was taken and Very New Jack was asked to open up, much to his surprise.
He did a decent job for a couple of overs before Sammy rolled in and took over the new ball duties.
By now the P&S boys were off to a good start, and it was Sammy who made the breakthrough, getting one through the openers defences before Skipper employed standard belly operating procedures to capture the other opener caught at midwicket.
Del then got in on the act with an LBW, before the first champagne moment contender of the day, Rob swooping and firing in a direct hit to deliver the run out.
Rob was then pressed into action with the ball and thanked skipper by throwing down a slow full toss. Fortunately the batsman lobbed it into the leg side and Del Candy scorched across the turf to take the catch. His boots must still be smoking after that sprint.
Drinks and P&S were 80-5 and Curdridge were ahead,
Now not many people know that Mark A is a magicians assistant in his spare time, and one of his acts is to catch bullets in his teeth. This proved handy as the batsman smashed a tracer flat towards St Peters Close fence, Mark had it in his sights all the way and pouched a worldy of a catch much to the surprise of the masses.
The next batsman then had a unique method of batting, trying to (and largely succeeding in) launching every ball to the boundary. The hits were clean and the bowlers were under pressure as he raced past 50 in no time.
If you need a job doing properly then best to do it yourself, as Skipper trundled in and 2 balls later the big hitter was in the shed with his stumps scattered and a rapid fire 70 to his name.
The P&S tail wagged further with wickets for Skipper, Mark and Dom before the last man fell for 206.
Sammy and Hayley then delivered an impressive tea, particularly so when they brought it all the way from Southampton on their tandem!
Nearly New Jack then opened up with Dom, and the rest of the side settled in for another Quincey batting masterclass.
However it was a literal hero to zero with last weeks centurion dispatched without troubling the scorers, it was a special catch that did the damage though, fair play to the opposition skipper.
Skipper then marched out to join Nearly New Jack, and a promising partnership formed before Jack sent one skyward and was caught just inside the fence.
Mr Delicate (Craig) then floated out to the crease and a spell of nothing silly cricket ensued with the batsmen taking the runs on offer and keeping wickets in hand.
Slowly but surely Curdridge were getting the upper hand and both Skipper and Craig made it past fifty sharing another hundred partnership (three in three weeks) before Craig finally departed with the score on 154 and a partnership of 128.
What happened next was special even by Curdridge standards, with 15 overs still left, the ask was a gentle four an over and the game was almost up for P&S.
However Skipper departed for 63, and then there was an extra large helping of duck, as the remaining batsmen contrived to add one solitary run between them.
Eight wickets were lost for only 2 runs, which represents a new personal best collapse for the machine.
The innings closed all out for 156 and P&S could barely believe what they had seen.
Definitely one we threw away, and a game we were winning for all but the last 30 balls.
Back on the horse next week is all we can do lads, (and drink beer, that will help too)!
Next Week: At home again vs United Services 1pm starts
Man of the Match: Skipper is enjoying some early season form with a catch, 2 wickets and 63 runs, and there wasn’t much else to choose from this week so he takes it.
Champagne Moment: Any other week and Rob’s run out would take it, but Mark ’the panther’ Acaster wins the bubbles for his special catch.
Donut of the Day: Dom really didn’t have his finest day, with a dropped catch and a duck to go with it, no-one is undroppable….