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CURDRIDGE vs  Ryde II's - 16th July 2022

It was the first leg of the Machine’s world tour on Saturday as Curdridge made the trip to the Isle of Wight to face a Ryde side that are always a strong proposition at home.


In an extraordinary feat of logistics all were on board the 11.15 ferry enjoying the best view of Portsmouth (when you leave it behind you!)


14 hardy sailors made the trip with super scorers Jan and Haley, and Andy P in the coat, together with the finest array of athletes you could possibly wish to see.


Back into the side came Dan C (X-treme ironing conference last week), Gary (returning after meeting someone for 5 minutes in the services last Saturday, no questions asked...), and James A (post cosmetic surgery).


Win the toss and bat was the advice from the bowlers, bowl first was the advice from the batters so Skipper was hoping to absolve responsibility and lose the toss, something he is normally super proficient at,


Not this week, and Skipper had to pick which side of the team to upset in the sweltering island heat, bowl first was what came into his head so we took to the field.


Del and James started up and it was a steady start with maidens from the Candyman and James swinging it towards the sticks.


First blood soon came, as James castled the opener, before he went one better bowling the number 3 behind his legs, and completed the hat-trick of wickets with another Ryde victim missing his off stump.


Del meanwhile ended a stoic spell wicketless and at the first drinks break it was the Machine ahead with the score reading 49-3.


The Ryde middle order then hit back with some solid batting and few chances offered as they took advantage of a lightning fast outfield to rack up the boundaries.


Curdridge stuck at the task as Skipper rotated the bowling options - Dan Clark bowled well with no luck as edges were found and a catch went down - no blame attached so he will remain nameless (it was me!)


Sammy and Mark then had a tweak but again to no avail and the scoreboard had motored onto 153-3 by the second drinks break, and with 15 overs still remaining the Machine was facing a big total.


Panic stations (Skipper bowling) and James coming back turned out to be a masterstroke as both set batsman were dispatched within 3 balls, and we had a bit more control again.


James then finished up his spell with another beauty to remove a new batsman again losing his poles, and it was JUG-TIME for James, well bowled sir 5-26 an excellent effort.


Dan was summoned for another effort and got a reward for his efforts, Skipper picked up another and when Jack C bowled the number 9 with the score on 215 then it was looking like significant damage had been averted.


It wasn’t to be though as the 10th wicket pair went into smashee smashee mode, and the scoreboard rocketed on again, with only one chance that was spilled (again remaining nameless - it was Dom)


With other options exhausted Skipper returned and the last wicket was delivered with the Ryde lads all out for 286.


There was a rarely seen phenomenon in the book as well, with the Curdridge bowlers proving they can bowl straight as all 10 wickets had been clean bowled.


Tea done and a tough task ahead so it was a case of take it steady and accumulate the batting points.


Dom and Jack fended off some decent early bowling and made some inroads with an opening partnership of 64 before Jack succumbed.


Skipper then joined Dom and looked to keep the momentum building until Dom didn’t quite clear the field going over the top.


Skipper then perished, and Alan chose a mallard - and the innings was rocking at 95-4 with the Ryde target well out of sight,


The Bash it brothers (Gary and Craig) then decided the best option was the counter attack, and set about the attack with a dedication they normally reserve for an all you can eat buffet.


Craig departed for a well made 29 and Mr Red hat (Mark) joined Gary in the middle and the plan did not change.


More biff and boom, as the poor cricket ball took some pain, and the Machine had rattled along to 185-5 and incredibly with 12 overs still left Curdridge were looking like slight favourites to pull off a monster chase.


Ten whacks Gary then used up his last swish as he found a fielder and he departed for an entertaining 51.


Mark and James then continued the assault motoring past full batting points (225) and whilst wickets continued to fall the whole tail continued to wag.


Dan, Sammy and Del all contributing to get the score up to 238-9 at the close, and the Ryde lads definitely knew they had been in a game.


Then the fun started, with the amount of runs scored the game had gone well past standard operating hours (and eroded valuable drinking time) and there was some concern to ensure we made the last ferry at 9pm.


Mild panic ensued but nerves were calmed by the Ryde clubs hospitality as all were delivered back to the port in time complete with warm cans of San Miguel to operate the post game debrief


Boat, beer, train and Hampshire winning the T20 all made for a fun trip home as the boys landed back in the manor circa 11pm.

After a few chastening defeats this was a much improved performance by the Machine and on another day we might just have pulled off a win, definitely a confidence builder as we move onto crucial games in the coming weeks

Next week - Away vs Kerala - a big game at the bottom 1pm start

Man of the Match - Some top biffing by Gary but James bowled an awesome spell - 5- 26 top effort mate!

Champagne Moment - No stand out moments on a day when everyone contributed to the cause, but the team watching Hampshire win the T20 on a tiny I-Phone as we pulled out of the Harbour station was a good moment (both times that they won it!)

Donut of the Day - Skipper and Dom with a couple of costly drops can share the sugar snacks this week

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