Portsmouth centurion leads heroics

Scott Curwood   Picture: Dave Vokes/ LMI Photography
Scott Curwood Picture: Dave Vokes/ LMI Photography
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Scott Curwood went from the high of scoring a fabulous unbeaten century to the low of sitting in accident and emergency as Portsmouth claimed a 40-run win at Hartley Wintney in Southern Electric division two.

The 41-year-old, who is head of cricket at Portsmouth Grammar School, was playing only his second game of the season because of his coaching commitments to the young cricketers.

But he has clearly been listening to his own advice after hauling Portsmouth back from the brink of a lowly total when he arrived at the crease at 35 for six to steer the team to an impressive 280 for eight.

After two century stands for the seventh and eighth wicket with both Matt Shaw (62) and Pat Burns (55), Curwood remained unbeaten with a terrific knock to reach 104 not out.

But things went downhill during the Hartley Wintney reply as he was struck by a powerful blow from South African Ari Karvelas, who many spectators felt should have been out the previous ball to an edge behind.

With a dislocated wedding ring finger and a nasty wound, Curwood eventually found out his team had won as he sat in the hospital waiting room several hours later.

Curwood said: ‘I guess you could say it was a mixed day!

‘I played last week when we beat Langley Manor so it was really nice to be hitting them that well when I have spent so many hours coaching kids over the summer.

‘I try to follow my own coaching advice so it was nice to have three PGS boys watching as well!

‘Then when I was bowling, I got one smashed back at me by their overseas player, basically.

‘It didn’t look good. The seam had cut through the skin and then it looked a nasty dislocation on the X-ray.

‘To get the caught behind the ball before would have been rather nice as it would have meant I wouldn’t have spent the next five hours in hospital.

‘But Dave Henderson (Portsmouth captain) kindly texted me the result as I was sat in accident and emergency waiting to be seen.’

After coming in at number eight, Curwood has scored a handful of centuries in his career, but also needed some excellent support from Shaw and Burns to build a useful total.

He said: ‘Matt played some fantastic shots and then Pat came in and got a quickfire fifty.

‘He’s a strong, young Aussie and put three sixes out of the ground.

‘To get to 280 was a good effort from where we were.’

Burns then picked up three for 56 but it was a heroic effort from Portsmouth who also had to contend with two more injuries that left them with just eight mobile fielders.

Rob Jones took a nasty blow to the leg while fielding at silly mid-off before Shaw pulled up with a back strain.

Curwood said: ‘We were the walking wounded but by all accounts, everyone pulled through for each other.’

Skipper Henderson said: ‘Scott’s was the best innings I’ve witnessed in 20 years of league cricket.

‘One of the spectators said he looked like David Gower in his prime, while another one asked if we’d reversed the batting order.

‘But it was a remarkable game of cricket. I was delighted with the win and it means we’re safe now.’