SATURDAY XI v SARISBURY 3rds - 19th May 2018
Curdridge made the annual trek to Stubbington Rec on Saturday to face Sarisbury 3rds. Confidence was high following two early season wins and a strong team assembled with Dan C swapping in for Dan T who was busy camping outside Windsor Castle waiting for a glimpse of his hero Harry.
Skipper continued his hot streak losing his third toss in a row and was unsurprisingly asked to have a bowl on a flat deck, accompanied by an agricultural outfield, with the sun beating down.
Phil Tufnell lookalike Matt and delightful Del Candy took the new ball and were faced with an aggressive opening pair with the larger lad a clear graduate from the block and biff school of cricket.
Unfortunately for Del, he had left the block in the locker and the ball was dispatched to the boundary on a regular basis as the scoreboard rattled along early doors.
There is no substitute for experience though and Del soon got his man well caught by Dave at long off. He followed it up bowling the other opener and Curdridge were then able to put the brake on the run rate.
Luke and Dave tagged in for Matt and Del as the Sarisbury boys build a steady partnership without taking too much risk. The score had reached 80 before Dimmy found the outside edge and Jack took a good catch behind the sticks.
Dave then followed with the same trick and another one was sent back before Dan stepped up to the plate trapping their big hitter right in front.
Wickets continued to fall with two more for Dimmy, a run out that involved some part of skippers body deflecting the ball to Clarkey who returned it to find the batsman stranded, and another one for Dan leaving Sarisbury 9 down for 154.
Unfortunately due to a combination of lax fielding, and sensible batting the last pair wagged and they pushed the score up to 189 by the close which was about par, but probably 30 runs more than it should have been given the position Curdridge had got themselves into.
Tea was demolished and Craig and Jack took to the middle to start the reply. It wasn’t their day though and both were in the shed with only 3 runs on the board.
A rebuilding job was needed and Curdridge’s resident duck farmer, Jay, strode to the crease. Fortunately he wasn’t on the hunt for another bird, and he steadied the ship supported by Dave at the other end.
Dave made a brisk 19 and skipper followed with a patient 11 (until we tried to launch the spinner out of the ground and perished just inside the rope).
Curdridge were in trouble at 68-5 and over half the overs had been bowled.
The American model, Al Bollard, strode to the crease (you can ask Craig what this means Al), and put the pedal down to push the score on, and a successful partnership was forged. Unfortunately for Al this resulted in a bit of running, and obviously the pre-season fitness regime hadn’t done the job as the Salmon was starting to blow a bit.
The game was turning though as the scoreboard started to motor and by the time Al had blown a gasket and missed a straight one, the game was back in the balance with Curdridge 140-5 and the ask was ten an over for the last 5 overs.
Matt joined Jay in the middle who had now passed 50, and the slog was on, Curdridge keeping up with the rate and the game was still alive.
Jay eventually departed, and Dan joined Matt with 35 runs needed from 3 overs.
More biffing at both ends, interspersed with a couple of stoppages as Matt took one in the box. Unfortunately for Matt though he had forgotten his box and we now know him as Mary.
The last over arrived and 15 runs was the ask. Despite the efforts though it just proved to be too big an ask and the Curdridge chase fell just 6 runs short.
A great game of cricket and a match that Curdridge could have won, and arguably should have. Too many runs were lost in the field and ultimately that proved to be the difference between the sides. A lesson for Curdridge that you can’t have an off day in this league.
Next week, our dear friends Challengers make the trip to Reading Room Lane
Man of the Match: An excellent knock from Jay laid the platform for the chase, without this Curdridge would have been a long way short. Good to have you back mate.
Champagne Moment: The look on Craig’s face when having asked the oppositions most talkative player whether he had the changing room key, and then politely listened to twenty minutes of less interesting cricket facts, before finding out the chap never had the key in the first place.
Donut of the Day: Punter wins for turning up at the wrong ground.