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SATURDAY XI v TOTTON & ELING - 14th May 2016

Cricket returned to Reading Room Lane on Saturday, with the sun beating down on a fantastic looking venue - credit to the groundsman, Jon Edwards for nursing the pitch through the recent monsoon season.

A confident Curdridge eleven took to the pitch, the only disruption to preparation being the late drop out of Steve Turner, Steve we hope the rash clears up soon - just keep sticking that cream on it!

Skipper broke with tradition and won the toss, and immediately stuck the opposition in - it worked last week so what could possibly go wrong?

Del Boy and David opened up, and were immediately on the back foot as the solid opener displayed his one shot - a cross bat through mid-on which was hit so hard it went straight through Jon Edwards as he re-employed his dancing from last week.

However experience was the answer as Del deployed his new delivery that he has been working on over the winter. The straight one that gets 2 inches off the ground did for his middle stump.

This bought a series of youthful batsmen to the crease that simply didn’t have the patience to deal with the tight bowling at both ends. The wickets began to tumble and Curdridge were soon into the middle order. 

A small partnership was forming before David found the edge and the ball arrowed towards the gully region. Diving forwards, with left hand outstretched, Al Bollard snaffled the catch millimetres from the turf to the astonishment of the batsman (and to be honest Al, the rest us!). The cheer from the crowd was so loud it registered on the local richter scale monitor (or perhaps this was the tremor from Al’s delicate frame hitting the ground?).

Del then employed a sophisticated jug avoidance scheme. Having taken 4 wickets in nine overs he took the opportunity at the drinks break to slip the scorers a fiver, and as we returned to the field, it was called out that Del had bowled his full ten overs. 

Fortunately the plan was uncovered and Del was asked to bowl his tenth, and the fifth wicket duly arrived with another ‘straight one’. JUG TIME!

Totton were now 7 down, and skipper had a wealth of bowling options to choose from, Dimmy and Clodey were employed and this quickly did for the tail. It was a case of de-ja vu as the opposition were all out for 73.

As per last week the skipper went for the quick turn around and sent out a youthful looking opening pair - Nick Hillier and Chris Vickery with over 1000 years of experience between them.

The partnership flourished with classy shots at both ends, and by the time tea was taken the job was half done with Curdridge on 40-1. Nick the man out with one that turned, bounced, rolled, disappeared, boomeranged and eventually trapped him LBW (or at least this was what Nick reported later on in the Railway post a few beers!)

This bought Edwards junior to the crease, and Sian nursed the ball to all areas of the ground with a confident knock to take Curdridge to the victory target with ease. Credit to Chris Vickery who ended on 32 not out, great to have you back Chris - that winter training has clearly paid off.

Another comprehensive win for the Curdridge outfit, and the juggernaut moves on to a game against old foes Riverside next week - one more win and we should be safe from relegation!

Man of the Match - Del Candy - 5-26, no substitute for experience!
Champagne Moment - Alan ‘Richter Scale’ Bollard - What a catch!

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