Semi Finals Review – Day 1
Day 1 of the Semi Finals was ruled by the batting “lefties” – with Waratah opener Ashley Chandrasinghe (156; 213 balls, 11x4, 1x6) and Southern Districts number three Matthew Gilkes (101; 103 balls, 17x4, 1x6) leading their respective sides to impressive totals at stumps on the first day.
Playing at Gardens Oval, Tahs won the toss, chose to bat, and without injured skipper Isaac Conway, Chandrasinghe and Yash Pedneknar (52) put on 109 for the first wicket before off spinner Antum Naqvi (4-96, 26 overs) snared his first of four wickets when he enticed Pednekar into a false shot.
But Chandrasinghe was the rock as he shared eight more partnerships with teammates leading to 9-322 at the close, and in the process, scored consecutive DDCC 150+’s. Naqvi was outstanding with the ball, and for what it’s worth, followed up on his 5-33 (including hattrick) the previous evening playing in the inaugural Community Cricket Cup 2021, also at Gardens Oval.
Out at DXC Arena, Southern Districts continued its red-hot batting form, totalling 8-390 at the compulsory close. It didn’t look too good early however after Darwin main-men Luke Zanchetta and Troy Ryan each claimed an early wicket to have Districts at 2-46, but Gilkes and number four Dean Fry (96) applied steadily increasing pressure and formed a 146 run third wicket stand that looked impossible to break until Ryan had Gilkes picked up at second slip in an innings that was as good as it gets – a mixture of sound defence, elegant driving and cutting, and occasionally, a bit of brute force.
Eagle bowlers toiled relentlessly but were overpowered by a number of middle and late order partnerships with Brodie Symons (54) and Daniel Mylius (50) benefitting from a tired attack.
Chasing a mammoth 391 for victory, Darwin batsmen knuckled down to the task and although three got half centuries – Anthony Adlam (59), Ben Reichstein (59) and Jacob Dickman (57) – it clearly required someone in the top order to anchor the batting and score a big hundred. Furthermore, when Matt Hammond (5-38, 11 overs) finally introduced himself into the attack he was immediately rewarded with Dickman’s wicket and apart from some Reichstein heroics, no others could handle the Hammond disciplined bowling on the flat DXC Arena track. Darwin managed 245 from 63 overs.
Tracy Village didn’t fare well at the start of their innings losing three early wickets – a silly run out and two, including the prized scalp of Josh Kann, to Red Cap medium pacer Adam Barker. But Coby Edmondstone (81), batting at three, withstood the early mayhem, and found an ally in Kyle Scrimegour (88) and the pair added 111 for the fourth wicket before Edmondstone fell to Ishara Gange (3-53), and although Scrimegour pushed on, he was finally hit in front by Madura Weerasinghe (2-37) and it was pretty much the last chance with the Villagers falling to 10-221 after 64.3 overs.
Grand Final – Preview
So, it will be the Red Caps (Waratah) against a “Red Hot” Southern Districts that will grace DXC Arena to play for the DDCC 2021 Carlton Mid Premier Grade Cricket Silverware in a Saturday / Sunday fixture.
Tahs have been a front runner for most of the season and are vying for back-to-back titles. Districts on the other hand had an awful start to the season but came home with all sails wet and tightly stretched.
Both have opening batsmen capable of completely blanketing opposition bowlers – Ashley Chandrasinghe and Yash Pedneknar (Waratah) and Lochie Hardie and Kierran Voelkl (Districts). Each also has a solid top order array – Matthew Gilkes, Dean Fry and Jackson Isakka (joint 2021 Ralph Wiese Medallist - if fit) (Districts) and Austin Umpherston, Dylan Hunter and Isaac Conway (if fit) (Waratah). But on recent form, it is the rural team that boasts a slightly more prolific middle order – Matthew Hammond, Daniel Mylius and Brodie Symons although the city men can argue that apart from one aberration, their batting also holds together pretty well.
Compare from Rd 11: Waratah 275, Districts 283, 12: 300 (with Jack Edwards), 366, 13: 156, 396, 14: 338, 328, SF: 322, 390.
With the batting pretty much a line ball, clearly, the pressure falls on the bowlers and with Brodie Symons, Jackson Isakka, Nathan Hangan and Chris McEvoy Districts have the medium / quick bowler edge because only Adam Barker can claim any reasonable Red Cap wicket taking form with the “new cherry.”
However, the spinning siblings – Udara and Madura Weerasinghe together with LAO pair Ishara Gange and Dylan Hunter give Tahs a clear edge in that important area because as good as he is, Croc captain Matthew Hammond carries the burden alone and if denied any semblance of penetrative power by the opposition batsmen, Districts have few other creditable options.
Grand Final Fixture - Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September
Waratah v Southern Districts at DXC Arena (12.30pm)