SATURDAY XI v RAILWAY TRIANGLE 2nds - 17th June 2017
Curdridge returned to Reading Room Lane to take on a mid-table Railway Triangle side, looking to make it 5 wins on the spin. Skipper was missing several regulars and rustled up a team that included season debuts for Trevor Cake and Si Pitter, and bucket loads of experience within its ranks, as over half the team had clocked up half a century of years on our planet.
On the hottest day of the year, Jon Edwards had produced an another road of a pitch with a lightning fast outfield to go with it. Definitely not a day to be a bowler, and perhaps just a coincidence that Edwards Senior chose to declare himself unfit with a bad back.
Skipper made his way to the middle for what was always going to be a critical toss, with each captain wanting to put his feet up for a few hours and watch their batsmen deliver a score, whilst the opposition chased leather in the heat of the afternoon sun.
Heads was the call and the coin came down a tail, much to the relief of Skipper who politely invited the visitors to have a bowl. Cue relived faces all round, except for Chris and Tav who were invited to put the pads on.
Time in the middle however was short lived for Tav who missed a straight one, and Chris and Nick followed in quick succession to leave Curdridge in early trouble at 30-3.
The engine room was employed and Dave and Skipper began a rescue job, seeing off the opening bowlers before starting to build some momentum, and the scoreboard started moving at a steady pace until Dave was subject to a controversial appeal for caught behind, leading to a verbal exchange of views between Dave and a few of the close fielders.
The Railwaymen learnt that they shouldn’t 'poke the bear', as Dave went into beast mode, and took his anger out on the bowlers, dispatching the ball to all areas (well mainly the leg-side boundary!).
Skipper played the support role, ensuring 'the bear' remained on strike, and only contributing to demonstrate to Dave what a classical batsman would look like, crashing a series of boundaries through cover.
Dave soon raced past 50, making the most of the generosity of the Railwaymen fielders, who decided he should have several lives,
A hundred partnership was delivered for the second time in two weeks, before skipper departed after his brain melted and he forgot to hit the ball, leaving him trapped right in front.
Alan joined Dave in the middle with the scoreboard looking a lot healthier and a platform was again in place to invoke ‘smashee smashee time’
A few more biff’s and a few more drops followed before Dave helped himself to a well deserved century. Well batted!
Dave was finally caught in the deep for 108, and Alan then pushed on before a smart caught and bowled ended his cameo, and the lower order was employed to push the score on, Jack in particular playing some good looking strokes to help us deliver a season high 242 runs, and Curdridge taking full batting points for the third week running.
A fine tea was devoured (thanks Jack’s mum), before Curdridge took to the field with Del and Dave opening up.
Del’s accuracy was key up front as a series of bowled and LBW’s meant it looked like it was going to be an easy day for the home side. Dave bowled a pacey five overs and picked up the dangerous number 3 batsmen caught behind.
Tav replaced Dave once fatigue set in and once Del had bowled out skipper had to play his wild card and brought himself onto bowl. A wicket in his first over meant the visitors were 7 down with the scoreboard less than a hundred and Curdridge were strong favourites.
Sensible batting then followed and a strong partnership flourished pushing the score forwards and maintaining the required rate at circa 10 runs an over, giving themselves a platform to make a serious assault on the Curdridge total.
Fielding was good (Trevor (Fish)-Cake in the gully), bad (Mike Hillier with another ‘marine roll’), and ugly (Jack and David with an attempt at relay fielding that would have made the Chuckle Brothers proud!)
By now Skipper had emptied the tank, with his final over a particular lesson in knowing your limits as the scoreboard rolling on, and the game was well in the balance as it approached the final 7 overs.
Tav was specialist death bowler at one end and Jack’s tweakers was the option at the other as Curdridge tried to close the game out. Crucially Jack found the outside edge and the partnership was broken, this brought a new batsmen to the crease and the visitors momentum was lost, finally ending their innings thirty runs short.
Another competitive game, but ultimately the total set was big enough and the win means Curdridge continue to sit proudly at the top of the table.
Man of the Match: It’s been a while since we have seen a century from a Curdridge player so Dave is the well deserved winner this week.
Champagne moment: A few contenders, but this weeks vote goes to a steepling catch taken by Si Pitter to crucially break the obdurate 7th wicket partnership and ensured that Curdridge would go home with the win. This capped a fantastic fielding display from the debutant - perhaps you could run some fielding training for the youngsters Si, I am sure they will appreciate it!
Next Week: A trip to Fareham for a tricky fixture against one of the teams tucked just behind Curdridge in the league.