CURDRIDGE vs Purbrook II's - 11th June 2022
It was an away day on Saturday as the Curdridge lads took a new trip to Purbrook where they were greeted by a lovely vista on which to play cricket, only tarnished by boundaries that were going to test the cardio ability of a few of the Machines less mobile parts.
The league table told the story with both teams needing the win to move them away from the regulation places - definitely a six pointer.
Skipper had selection issues for the first time this season as into the side returned James Addis after some time out of the game establishing his Southern Fried Chicken Empire.
And Dan Clark also returned after a week off for his botox top ups.
It was a tricky decision at the toss, with recent history saying chasing wasn’t our best option so it was to the skippers relief that he lost is and couldn’t be held responsible for a bad choice.
We were asked to have a bowl so our two biggest Swingers James and Del started up, and the openers built a steady partnership with boundaries split by LBW appeals as James continually swung the ball into the pads.
Andy P was not to be swayed (and rightly so!) and turned down the first 15 appeals before finally James missed the pads but clattered into the stumps and we had the first wicket.
Del then got into the act helped by another world class grab in the gully by Dom before James then got his LBW and the Purbrook lads were rocking at 22-3.
A partnership then steadied the ship before Del bowled another, and James got his second LBW of the day and the scoreboard was now only 59-5
By now it was becoming clear that there was one key batsman at the crease and he was already doing his best to maximise strike, whilst Skipper was doing his best to give him one and bowl at the other end.
Fortunately Sammy was back (not sure who was playing last week) but all the tricks were back on show and three more wickets followed all bowled, completely bamboozled by the spin king.
Clarkey bowled a solid spell without reward and at 75-8 Curdridge were looking forward to an easy chase.
Then came the bump in the road, as a nuggety innings from the number 10 matched by some biffing from the well set batsman meant the scoreboard continued to tick on.
By the time Skipper had found a way through the defences the partnership had reached 65 and the score was looking a lot more healthy.
The last wicket fell for a nice round 150 and the Machine had a chase-able target once more, but it could have been so much easier.
Tea done, then Jack and Dom started up and the familiar flashing blade from Mr Child started the innings in a hurry until he failed to clear the fielder.
Skipper marched out to the middle, and then back again as his innings took less time than his walk to the middle.
Alan then joined Dom to steady the ship before he suffered from a bit of amnesia, forgetting that he is not 21 years old and attempting a two that would have stretched most of us athletes.
33-3 was now the score as Gary made his way to the centre and a very steady partnership ensued with the Curdridge lads taking the runs on offer but keeping wickets in hand.
Quick singles were not the order of the day though, as Dom has more ailments than a doctors waiting room and Gary had cultured a physique that I can only describe as similar to Daddy Pig for any of you familiar with Peppa.
With 20 overs left the Machine had passed halfway before disaster struck as Dom middled one straight to cover and the scoreboard was 88-4 but with recent failed chases fresh in the mind it was becoming a nervous watch for all involved.
Rob though, doesn’t deal in emotions, just sheer grit as he got his head down and ground down the bowling, before starting to expand and take the runs when available.
Gary then succumbed to exhaustion, and the tail was now required to deliver 43 runs to get us over the line.
Clarkey followed his Skippers example, and came and went quickly bringing Mr Addis to the crease.
4 an over was the ask by now, and the bookies were starting to favour the home side.
But Rob and James delivered, blocking the good balls and managing to pick off a boundary an over as the Machine nudged its way closer.
Rob then succumbed after a stellar rescue job, and Sammy wandered to the middle, with only Del Candy left back in the shed, and 12 runs still required.
Nails were definitely now being bitten as both sides sensed victory was within their grasp.
James then found the fence again, and Sammy contributed with a steady supply of singles to take the Machine to the brink.
The climax was a scrambled leg-bye to get the machine over the line with 9 balls remaining for a very hard earned win!
After a few close reverses it was a welcome result, and leaves us in the middle table mix as we approach the halfway point of the season.
Next Week - El Classico, as local friends Trojans make the trip to the lane, 1pm start.
Man of the Match - It was a complete team performance with everyone contributing with either bat or ball, but one man did both so James takes the cup this week, welcome back mate!
Donut of the Day - Not a massive amount of contenders this week, but Al Bollard thinking he was Usain Bolt is well worthy of a jam filled dough ball.
Champagne Moment - Dom’s catch get’s a worthy mention, but getting over the line was definitely the best moment of the day - Cheers all!