Round 1 Review

Round 1 winners were: Darwin, PINT and Waratah.

Darwin started their campaign with a narrow victory over a feisty Southern Districts at Kahlin Oval. Choosing to bat first and following a number of useful partnerships, Darwin reached 10-203 (45.1 overs). Opener Anthony Adlam (51) set the foundation and number eight Connor Hawkins (42 off 48 balls) provided the fireworks at the end – not batting out their full quota of overs was the only real concern.

Districts lost three early wickets in the chase, but the revival was built around number four Jackson Isaaka (131 not out) and skipper Matt Hammond (34), but they eventually failed by three runs and finished on 9-200 after 50 overs. Isaaka’s innings (13x4; 2x6) was a study of concentration and maximising his shots without overhitting and included a number of text-book cover drives. In a welcome return to the club, left-arm medium pacer Ben Reichstein (4-29) did the early damage for the Eagles and was a constant thorn to all batsmen. A wonderful game of cricket but the result may have been different if the “rural men” had taken up the fielding challenge and not allowed at least a dozen second runs to be taken when more determination may have kept the score to a single – casualness in the field can be, and often is, costly.

 Tahs continued where they left off in 2020 with a comfortable 114 run win over Palmerston at Cazaly’s Arena. Batting first, the Red Caps eased their way to 6-190 at the completion of their allotted 50 overs. Austin Umpherston (90) and ever reliable Isaac Conway (38) set the scene with a 98-run opening stand with Hamish Martin (2-29) being the only bowler to cause any real concern. Palmy could only manage 76 (31.2 overs) in reply. Udara Weerasinghe (3-8, 6 overs) claimed the best return but notable among the bowlers was that only one wide was registered in the 31.2 overs sent down.

With lights available for the first time at DXC Arena, PINT was able to join the other winners after accounting for Tracy Village in a match that surely sent alarm bells ringing in both camps as neither team (PINT 39.5 overs and TV 33.3 overs) managed to bat more than 40 overs.

Most of the PINT top order got starts against a steady Village attack, but only skipper Tim Garner (41) finished with anything worthwhile – five of the Tracy bowlers took wickets.

PINT bowled the Villagers out for 128 with only Joshua Kann (64) managing to tame the Green Cap bowling attack. Recruit leggie Dylan Harrison-Smith (5-36) was clearly the pick of the Greens bowlers but a positive for them was the form of opening pair Pat Gallow (2-27) and Blade Baxter (3-30) who made early inroads into the Tracy batting – a feature missing throughout recent seasons.

Round 2 Preview

Nightcliff open their season at home against PINT and while the Tigers believe they are on the climb, Nash Sant and his players won’t have the luxury of their opponents to learn from their Round 1 experience.

PINT batting was not cohesive last week, and a priority will be to complete their 50 overs if batting first – and it will be against a pretty much unknown bowling attack so the Greens will need to be patient and observant.

Darwin will be buoyed by their performance which resulted in a nail-biting win last week and they come up against a disappointing Palmerston who in the past have not had the best of fortune at Kahlin Oval. Both teams look to have a solid array of bowlers but Palmy’s batting seems again to be its downfall and while Darwin don’t have an abundance of talent, they have some depth in the order especially if Connor Hawkins can replicate his performance on a regular basis. Palmerston’s batting relies heavily on skipper Alex Bleakley but he will not always succeed, and others need to be accountable – especially those given top-order responsibilities.

Southern Districts will be keen to bounce back after its agonising loss last round and playing at the newly named Gerry Wood Oval (formerly Fred’s Pass) for the first time, it gives them the ideal forum to showcase their talents against Tracy Village.

Village will not be a pushover especially if they can repeat their bowling performances, but batsmen must show resolve against Districts bowlers who at best are not penetrative but steady.

Round 2 Fixture

Nightcliff v PINT at Nightcliff Oval (11am)

Darwin v Palmerston at Kahlin Oval (11am)

Southern Districts v Tracy Village at Gerry Wood Oval (11am)

Waratah have the bye.