CURDRIDGE vs Twyford 1's - 21st August 2021
I am looking at a career change - weather forecaster is looking a good option, it could be one of the few jobs in the world when getting it 100% wrong is deemed acceptable. You would have got long odds on cricket taking place Friday night as monsoons, tornado’s and a couple of Tsunami’s had been forecast.
Half hours drizzle was all that arrived and the cricket was on to the surprise of all.
Thanks to Messers Janes and Hillier there was a firm looking deck to play with, complimented by an outfield that was styled similar to what you have in that last week before a haircut which would proved to make finding the boundary a bit of a challenge.
Twyford were the visitors for a game that had been significantly upped in importance in the Machine’s quest to stay in the division - an unexpected reverse at Locks Heath last week had dragged Curdridge into the dogfight at the bottom and big points were needed.
Finally Skipper found someone who needs more tossing practice than him, winning the first one of the season. Twyford were invited to have a bat and Skipper could put his feet up for the rest of the day with his Man of the Match contribution already delivered.
Del and James with the new ball, overcast conditions, and a green top were ingredients for the most swinging seen in Curdridge since Mike Punts last house party.
Both really boring with few runs off the bat and the breakthrough came early with Del luring the opener into a loose drive which Jay gobbled up in the covers.
James then castled the number 3 with a big in-ducker and then did for the dangerous looking opening bat courtesy of a regulation Mike Punt special at mid-on.
Dave swapped in for James and Sammy for Del as the batsmen looked to rebuild.
Unfortunately Dave was having one of those days and nothing was going his way - we are fortunate though that he is quiet and doesn’t let everyone know about it….
Sammy was reeling out his box of tricks and unfortunate not to pick up a wicket in his spell.
A change was required as the score had moved onto 84 so Dimmy took over the reigns from Dave.
Clearly a Friday night in had worked wonders for Luke (and likely gave the ladies of Southampton a well earned night off), as he spent down an excellent spell of spin bowling.
First up trapping the well set batsman plumb in front, then inducing the other to send the ball a long way up.
Mr Addis had time to look around him to see if anyone was closer, nope, so he had to take on the swirling catch. Never in doubt despite the Irish dancing he was showing off at the time.
Punter then grabbed another solid catch to give Luke his third victim, before Jack took one behind the stumps.
Next came an action replay, swipe across the line, and the ball soars up with Addis under it again, cue more Riverdance before safety pouching the catch that gave Luke his 5-for.
Dave then returned to pick on a pensioner and a young girl to get his solitary wicket, before Luke deservedly wrapped up the innings with his 6th, Jack with a smart stumping.
119 was the total and despite the lush outfield it was a getable target for the Machine as tea was taken.
Skipper decided that he was the answer to our problems opening the batting - turns out he wasn’t the solution and was sent back early doors.
Jay and Dave then contributed even less runs than the 1 they gathered last week, both choosing duck off the menu and the scoreboard was a sorry 10-3.
Luke and Jack then played some sensible cricket in the face of decent Twyford bowling and kept the opposition at bay until drinks were on the horizon before a mis-timed check drive from Dimmy failed to clear cover - deja vu anyone?
The score had now reached 57 though and the halfway mark was in sight as Alan strolled to the middle.
The stroll took longer than the innings though as a first ball swish was followed by a second ball edge and Curdridge were really wobbling at 57-5.
Sammy also failed to trouble the scorers with the teams fourth duck of the day - enough for a banquet and at 62-6 the game was almost done.
If there is ever a man for a crisis then its probably not Mike Punt, however we were down to the tail so that unorthodox but effective forward defence was called upon.
It arrested the tumble of wickets though and gave Jack the opportunity to pick the bad balls, and slowly the ask began to tick down.
Punter too got in on the act, with a four down the ground, and a beautifully placed edge to the car park as Twyford called back their opening bowlers to close the game down.
Five overs to go and 30 runs were needed, Jack was the coolest guy on the field as he marshalled the Punter to take the singles on offer and hit the bad balls when they came.
More scrambled runs as Jack passed fifty but the game, (and the season), was still on the line.
His partner in crime then departed, with 15 valuable runs to his name and James A came to the crease.
It was a short conversation on tactics, ’smash it,’ and James played a perfect forward defence before reverting to type and crashing a boundary that helped get the ask down to 5 runs needed off the last over.
First Ball - scrambled single from James
Second Ball - DISASTER! and stunned silence from the masses as Jack nicks one and departs for a superb 55.
Good Luck Rob was the message as he made his way to the middle with 4 still needed off the last 4 deliveries
Third ball - a Swish and a miss from Rob, and the tension was even higher
Fourth ball - Never in doubt, the Ice-man delivers! - a classic cover drive up the hill for 4 from Rob and CURDRIDGE WIN!
An absolute nail-biter but we crawled over the line to get the win that ensures we will finish the league in the middle of the pack. An awesome outcome given we started the season as Ladbroke’s favourites to go down.
Next Match - Chairmans Day (TODAY) - 2pm start, and Waterlooville are the visitors for the last league game next Saturday 1pm start
Donut of the Day - Dave is the easy choice this week, being bashed round the park by the opposition youth, refusing??? a catch at long off, and collecting a quack, it wasn’t his best day.
Man of the Match - Skipper was a strong candidate winning the toss but there are two standouts today - Dimmy with 6 for 14 and 30 valuable runs at the top of the order, and Jack with a stellar knock to win a game that WinViz had us at 0% for a fair chunk of our innings.
I can’t split them, so I have used my new found tossing skill and flipped a coin……
This weeks winner is ……. Jack, awesome batting mate!
Champagne Moment - Saved till the last ball, getting us home with a cover drive that James Vince would have approved of - top shot Robbo!