Round 4 Review
Round 4 winners were: PINT, Southern Districts and Tracy Village.
Despite a century stand by openers Isaac Conway (64) and Austin Umpherston (41), Waratah failed to chase down the Southern Districts mammoth 5-287 at the compulsory close in a run feast at Gardens Oval. At no time did the Red Cap bowlers look like taking control with the ball and with the seven bowlers used, a single wicket was the best return for five of them.
Districts top six batsmen all got going with Brodie Symons (86) and Jackson Isakka (73) being the best – and in a welcome return to the Club, former skipper Kierran Voelkl (40 n.o.), was belligerent in his 24 ball (2x4, 2x6) cameo at the end. In a bold chase, Tahs compiled 9-249 – Districts captain Matt Hammond (4-26, 7 overs), who opened the bowling with his “offies”, led the way.
Nightcliff had been impressive in their first two outings and looked on track to jump into the winners column at the expense of an improving Tracy Village, but the Tigers failed miserably with the bat after a strong rear-guard performance by its bowlers.
Batting first on the immaculate Tracy Village Oval, the home team looked in a commanding position at 3-166 but when Tiger skipper Nash Sant trapped his Tracy counterpart Hugo Burdon (76) in front, Sant (4-35) together with off-spin partner Ryan McElduff (4-34) cleaned up the tail and rolled the opposition for a gettable 194 (46.4 overs).
But, it proved too many by a long way for Nightcliff (10-88, 35.4 overs) and in a day for the off-spinners, Village tweaker Coby Edmondstone (4-16, 6.4 overs) led his team to victory – again impressive was quick man Josh Kann (2-12) who made the early inroads and at 3-12, the visitors never recovered.
Early season bolters but last round losers PINT and Darwin did battle at DXC Arena and it was the Greens who prevailed by four runs – PINT 10-210, Darwin 10-206.
Batting first after winning the toss, PINT was in early bother when Darwin pacer Luke Zanchetta claimed two wickets without a run being scored, but step-up skipper Tim Garner (59, 102 balls) and he, with an equally resolute middle order, turned the tide to lift their score to one of some respectability. Zanchetta (2-32) set the foundation but all others failed to impress until part-time spinner Will Anstey (5-43) was thrown the ball and in clearly his best ever Premier Grade return, he set his side up with a chance.
However, it was not to be and apart from a welcome return from captain Jacob Dickman (91) at the top of the order, the rudderless Eagle batting was again on display. Opening bowler Blade Baxter (4-41, 10 overs) was the outstanding Green bowler in an array that still fails to impress as a consistent match winning unit.
Round 5 Preview
In what is becoming the most even and unpredictable season in recent memory – all teams feature in the lost game column and only Nightcliff remains winless after four completed rounds.
The Tigers have a chance to get their season on track with a win over Southern Districts at the neutral Cazalys Arena venue in a day / night fixture. Unfortunately, Districts will be no pushover and while bowling is the strongest suite for Nightcliff, they will need to be at their best because the rural men bat deeply into their order. Nightcliff’s batting performance last week seemed to be an aberration and if they can find an immediate reversal, an upset is not out of the question – also, the Tigers found a new lease of life in the field where an improved performance was noticeable.
Disappointing Darwin has little to be pleased about except perhaps the most recent form of skipper Jacob Dickman – and the Eagles have a bowling array that apart from Luke Zanchetta, just does not make early inroads into the opposition batting. Waratah journey down the hill to take on Darwin at Kahlin Oval and if a team can further highlight the Eagle lack of wicket taking efficiency it is the Red Caps who can make a plausible argument of having the most capable opening batting combination in the competition and, a more than useful top order to build on the normal solid foundation set by Isaac Conway and Austin Umpherston. Tahs bowling is deep but a degree of “sameness” was highlighted last round when Districts went on a scoring rampage, but, apart from Anthony Adlam and Dickman, others have failed to impress although the undoubted class of Beau Webster and Harry Chamberlain cannot be underestimated and Darwin has the ability to put any bowling attack to the sword, and, what better place to do it that the normally run friendly Kahlin deck.
A red-hot Tracy Village play host the Palmerston and they will go into the game full of confidence with winning form being the catalyst. The Villagers have a well performed top order batting lineup, but they fall away quickly and Palmy must ensure that taking early wickets is at the top of their match plan agenda. The Maroons are coming off the bye and impress as a team without great practitioners, but who have managed to get the best out of their available skill and talent including Hamish Martin who has settled into a bowling rhythm that has not been evident for a couple of seasons.
The Village bowling and much improved fielding has been a feature of their most recent games and Palmerston should take those qualities seriously – skipper Alex Bleakley has had a “dirty season” by his normal lofty standards, and a win may just be the result of his batting turn-around.
Round 5 Fixture
Southern Districts v Nightcliff at Cazalys Arena (2pm day / night)
Darwin v Waratah at Kahlin Oval (11am)
Tracy Village v Palmerston at Tracy Village Oval (11am)