Life took a turn for cricketers in Darwin when the 48-hour snap lockdown was announced last Sunday that would go on to last a further three days until Friday.
Just hours before anyone knew the lockdown would happen on Sunday at 1pm, Southern Storm and Desert Blaze players and officials were pondering whether to start play at Cazalys Arena due to a rain-affected pitch.
Unfortunately, round two games of the Cricket 365 were quickly taken out of the hands of players and officials when the lockdown orders were brought in by the NT Government.
The lockdown lasted a total of five days with players passing the time in a variety of ways including movies, TV shows, live sport, gaming and cooking to name a few.
Most importantly, players were using the one hour of exercise granted per day to maintain their fitness levels as best as possible.
With thanks to Northern Territory’s response to the recent Covid outbreak, NT Cricket is pleased to announce the Cricket 365 competition will safely return with a doubleheader this weekend.
The suspended round two matches from last Sunday will be played on Saturday and round three will go ahead on Sunday. Players trained on Friday with their respective teams under the new Covid-19 protocols.
The resumption of Cricket 365 is set up by a brilliant round two fixture on Saturday with the undefeated, Southern Storm and Desert Blaze facing off at Cazalys Arena.
The second game will see the Northern Tide and City Cyclones play a day-night match at DXC Arena with one side to secure their first win of the tournament.
Round 2: Southern Storm vs. Desert Blaze
10:30am at Cazalys Arena
The Southern Storm will be strengthened by the inclusion of two former Australian under 19 representatives, Sam Fanning, a left-hand batsman from Western Australia, and Kyle Scrimegour, an all-rounder from Tracy Village.
State cricketers Arjun Nair (1/24 off nine overs) and Mac Wright (34) will be looking to build on their solid starts in round one.
The Storm will have an upper hand knowing the ground conditions after playing at Cazaly’s Arena in round one, although the calibre of players in the Blaze line-up will give them every chance in this match.
Australian capped ODI fast bowler Chris Tremain and 2020/21 domestic One-Day player of the year Tom Andrews will feature in the Blaze side.
Dylan Brasher and Isakka will look to continue their run-scoring after both hit half-centuries in round one.
The Blaze will have Western Australian off-spinner, Corey Rocchiccioli added to its eleven this week after arriving in Darwin last Saturday just before the lockdown.
This game is sure to be a hard-fought one with both sides looking to perform strongly to secure another win after an extended break in lockdown.
Round 2: Northern Tide vs. City Cyclones
12:00pm at DXC Arena
The arrival of New South Wales and Sydney Thunder wicketkeeper batsmen, Matthew Gilkes will give the Northern Tide some extra stability at the top of the order.
South Australian, Austin Umpherston will add to the strength of the Tide batting line-up coming in with some good form, scoring 422 runs at an average of 70.33 for the Waratahs in the Carlton Mid premier cricket competition.
With these solid inclusions, the Tide will be eager to bounce back with a win after going down in the second last over against the Storm in round one.
Tide captain Isaac Conway will be looking to add to his unbeaten 77 opening the batting in round one while New South Wales pair, Jason Sanga and Ryan Hackney will be important for the Tide.
Left-arm wrist spinner, Callum Stow from Geelong, Victoria, will come in for his first game of the tournament.
The City Cyclones will be hoping for more batters to join Dylan Hunter and Zac Sleeman in the runs after both scored half-centuries in the team’s total of 10/166 in round one.
Tasmanian batsmen, Keegan Oates will take the reigns as captain for the Cyclones and will look for a big score coming in at the top of the order.
With the Cyclones having played a day-night match at DXC Arena in round one, they will have a good understanding of the conditions, setting this match up to be a close one.
The matches will be live-streamed via FrogBox and can be viewed on the MyCricket Facebook page or NT Cricket YouTube page.
Mac Wright (c), Blade Baxter, Ash Chandrasinghe, Sam Fanning, Dean Fry, Josh Kann, Micheal Kudra (wk), Conor McInerney, Arjun Nair, Lucas Nitschke, Kyle Scrimegour, Brodie Symonds.
Tom Andrews (c), Dylan Brasher, Hugo Burden, Oscar Corby, Coby Edmondstone, Max Hatzoglou (wk), Jackson Isakka, Hayden Kerr, Hamish Martin, Corey Rocchiccioli, Chris Tremain, Jack White.
Isaac Conway (c), Lochie Bangs, Matthew Gilkes (wk), Ryan Hackney, Matt Hammond, Isaac Higgins, Corey Hunter, Noah McFadyen, Jayllen Naganayagam, Jason Sanga, Callum Stow, Austin Umpherston.
Keegan Oates (c), Jackson Edmondstone, Tushaar Garg, Dylan Hunter, Kane Hurley, Campbell Kellaway, Ryan McElduff, Josh Neill, Zac Sleeman (wk), Yash Pednekar, Banjo Waring, Alex Vincent.