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Curdridge were scheduled to play Fair Oak on Saturday but unfortunately the opposition were unable to raise a team leaving Curdridge without a fixture. However, Hampshire Cricket came up with the perfect solution, reaching out to the club to see if they would like some complimentary tickets for the ODI between England and South Africa at the Ageas Bowl.


Cue a Friday when the Skipper is normally scrambling to get a full side together, suddenly he became the most popular guy in town with several takers for the free tickets. 


16 of us made the sacrifice of our Saturday to take up the option, and we made our way to the Bowl hoping to meet up with Al Bollard and Matt Cozens to discuss how much they had paid for their tickets.


Sian was also employed working the main scorecard, but clearly she only fancied a half day as the electrics packed up mid-way through the game. Rumour has it this was caused by the spillage of her gin and tonic - yet to be confirmed if this was the case!


Unfortunately the weather did not roll over from a perfect sunny Friday, and a biting wind was buffeting across the ground causing a number of wardrobe errors among the squad. Messers Hillier & Edwards (shorts) and Dimmock (T-shirt only) were the losers, but the biggest fashion crime was committed by David Janes with his old school suede moccasins and tortoiseshell sunnies causing the greatest issues for the fashion police.


The first incident of the day occurred when armed police surrounded our area of the stand and started pointing at our crew. Some nervous looks all round, but what the rest of us didn’t know is we had some undercover informants amongst us who had identified some shifty looking individuals within the crowd. Said individuals were politely removed and taken to the back of the ice cream van for questioning. International betting riggers had been foiled!


David then revealed what was hidden within his unfeasibly large back-pack, and perhaps unsurprisingly it contained the majority of Sainsbury’s finest picnic provisions - cue a relentless parade of nutritious snacks that were shared around those present.


This wasn’t enough though for Mrs Janes Senior, not just satisfied with consuming David’s backpack feast. Instead she hatched the cunning plan of stealing food from the young gentlemen sat on her left hand side, and was midway through her second helping of pastries before she was rumbled - muttering the immortal words, ‘I’m so sorry, I have just eaten your pork-pies!'


Much embarrassment followed, but the Curdridge lads were very kind in not mentioning the incident for the rest of the day - Dave, can you make sure your mother is kept a safe distance from our cricket teas in future!


The game itself was a fantastic match with over 650 runs scored and ending with South Africa just failing to get the 7 runs needed off the last over to chase down 330. Skipper hopes those present have taken on some batting tips for the remainder of the season.


The cherry on the cake, was the news that the leagues fixtures played on the day have resulted in Curdridge moving further up the table, and we are now sitting in the promotion positions at this early stage of the season. 

Man of the Match: Those responsible for the amateur detective work

Champagne Moment: Pork-Pie Gate!

Next Week: Ventnor 3rds at Reading Room Lane - 2pm start, All Welcome!

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