Round 13 – Day 2 Review

Runs-on-the-board is generally one ingredient of the cricket match winning recipe and that certainly was the reality on Day 2 of DDCC Round 13 where batting teams all failed to chase down some impressive opposition totals.

Despite a steady opening stand (70) between Yash Pednekar (41) and Ashley Chandrasinghe (28), the Red Cap batsmen just couldn’t get on top of a relentless Tracy Village bowling array. Stand in Village captain Josh Kann astutely rotated his quicker bowlers and for their part, including Kann himself (3-31), Kane Hurley (3-36) and Noah McFadyen (2-30), they responded positively and didn’t allow the opposition to become accustomed and their often-impeccable areas resulted in undisciplined batting and the huge victory total (373) was never going to be realised.

Nightcliff required 426 against Palmerston for victory and I’ve been waiting for opener Ryan McElduff to turn one of his five half-centuries into triple figures. Well, he did that (141: 18x4, 2x6) and in the process of his 183-ball stay, gave his side an outside chance of claiming a miraculous win against all odds but the Tigers eventually fell short after being bowled out for 339. I wrote last week “…. the Maroons lack bowling depth, (but) it has the option of giving LAO Hamish Martin a long spell where he will either contain or take wickets or both ….” Dare I write: Martin’s 6-66 from 21 overs tells it all.

PINT had the incentive of jumping into the top four by chasing down the Southern Districts 396 but apart from a feisty 106 from Lachlan Bangs (86 balls, 9x4, 8x6), the Greens were never in the hunt (10-272) after Jackson Isakka (4-42) removed both openers with a mere 20 runs on the board. And then among the other six bowlers used, five, including Kierran Voelkl (1-17), took wickets.

Round 14 – Day 1 Preview

Round 14 marks the conclusion of the minor rounds and while results will determine the order of the top-four, only PINT (5th, 25 points) can jump into the play-offs by replacing Southern Districts (4th, 32 points). To achieve that outcome, the Greens need other results in their favour, and they may also require an outright victory over Waratah in the match played at DXC Arena.

Tahs (1st, 38 points) are not at their best and having the likelihood of losing the services of NSW all-rounder Jack Edwards and with star batsman and Captain Isaac Conway still unable to play they are vulnerable, but the return of Austin Umpherston will strengthen the batting against arguably the least penetrative bowling attack in the competition.

However, nothing ventured, nothing gained (a quote used by others including American writer, philosopher, scientist, politician, patriot, inventor, publisher and Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)) – and it may mean that the collective PINTers will need some of Franklin’s wide-ranging attributes to achieve what is hopefully a team (and club) goal.

But Tahs will not be a push-over and with the combative Udara Weerasinghe at the helm, nothing short of a victory and minor premiership silverware will be good enough.

If Waratah is unsuccessful in their minor premier quest, Darwin (3rd, 34 points) will be ready to pounce (Tracy Village: 2nd, 36 points have the fixtured bye), when they meet Nightcliff at the Eagle Eyrie.

Although languishing for much of the season and playing without injured leaders Nash Sant and Joel Curtis, Nightcliff have exhibited admirable team spirit and with the eventual peak reached by Ryan McElduff last week, they have a potential match winner and cannot be ignored by Darwin who will play without match winners of their own.

While I applaud the administrative work done by all clubs in attracting southern (and even international) recruits, an unfortunate downside of DDCC cricket can be that some are contracted to their home clubs and state bodies and become unavailable at the pointy end of our season. This often occurs and Darwin clubs should prepare for the inevitability and draw from within during the season.

Darwin may just have discovered a jewel from within with middle-order batsman Ethan Anderson who was outstanding in his most recent innings (Darwin had the fixtured bye last Round) and while not wishing to burden him, replacements must be found for their departing players if they wish to be serious contestants in the finals race. Another essential for the Eagles is that skipper Jacob Dickman spend longer at the batting crease. Because of the no bonus points system (hmmmm), the often-silly decision not to continue with first innings play, has resulted in Dickman spending limited time in the middle where he has scored only two DDCC half-centuries at below 30 in all forms of the game - not good numbers for a player of his quality.

It was clear three rounds ago that Southern Districts simply needed to keep winning to play finals. Well, they have kept their side of the bargain so far and a victory over Palmerston at Cazalys Oval will pretty much ensure a major round berth.

Although Palmy’s last round result could not be very much better, they meet Districts who are making runs and combing to take wickets – while Jackson Isakka is pounding opposition bowlers to all parts of the oval and beyond, he is receiving good support from those around him in the order. The Maroon’s rely heavily on skipper Alex Bleakley to anchor their batting and while he exploded to great effect last Round, his general form has been patchy so others must be prepared to share the burden if they wish to finish the season with a positive result.

Round 14 Fixture - Saturday 21 and 28 August

Darwin v Nightcliff at Kahlin Oval (12.30pm)

Palmerston v Southern Districts at Cazalys Oval (12.30pm)

PINT v Waratah at DXC Arena (12.30pm)

Bye: Tracy Village