Round 5 Review
Round 5 winners were: Nightcliff, Tracy Village and Waratah.
I wrote last week “…… 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 ……” well, call me Nostradamus if you like (Michel de Nostredame (1503 – 1566), who is best known for allegedly predicting future events) because Nightcliff recorded a four wicket victory – its first win of the season after some agonisingly close losses. Districts batted after winning the toss and could only manage 5-187 at the compulsory close. Most batsmen got starts but none could extend their stay and close at match winning proportions – Nightcliff’s bowling was steady with Ryan McElduff (3-35) again taking the honours.
Nightcliff’s batting struggled but with Janu Varatharajan (58 off 56 balls; 3x4, 3x6) providing the fireworks in the middle-order, they managed to run down the required total in 48.4 overs – Matt Hammond (2-34) and Brodie Symons (2-59) shared the bowling spoils.
Big runs were scored at the batting friendly Kahlin Oval where Waratah returned to the winners circle following a well-crafted six wicket victory over Darwin. Batting first, Darwin steadily progressed to 7-236 at the closure, but at 4-204, it could have been much better. However, the maestro, Udara Weerasinghe (4-41), stepped up and took the crucial wicket of Anthony Adlam (94) and the characteristic Eagle batting fragility was again on display.
Tahs openers Austin Umpherston (107) and Isaac Conway (44) set the victory foundation with yet another half-century stand (73) and with Darwin bowlers unable to gain an ascendancy, the Red Caps surged to victory.
Tracy Village made it three-from-three following its healthy 5-259 with the bat against a largely ineffective Palmerston bowling attack – a 117 run opening stand between Antum Naqvi (96) and Jackson Edmondstone (38) provided the groundwork and with skipper Hugo Burdon (50) compiling another half-century, a match winning total was emerging – only Maroon spinner Hamish Martin (2-46) was able to provide some form of concern for the batters.
Palmy struggled with the bat (10-160, 42.3 overs) and in a wonderful double, Naqvi (3-27) and Andrew Somerville (3-28) were the chief Villager destroyers with the ball.
Round 6 Preview
With two minor rounds remaining before the one-day final, the race is well and truly on for a top two place and the Waratah (3rd) / Tracy Village (1st) clash at Gardens Oval may just decide one of those spots.
Both go into the game full of confidence with the knowledge that each has the potential to score heavily and put the required scoreboard pressure of their opponents. Each has also displayed a deep and effective bowling array although Waratah relies heavily on the Weerasinghe siblings to limit the run rate and then to take wickets. If Tahs have a weakness in their game, and it stood out last weekend, it is fielding that was below standard – in particular, with regular ‘keeper Isaac Conway unable to employ his expertise behind the stumps because of specific injury, his replacement must take the chances given by his spinners on a more consistent basis. On the other hand, Village, don’t have the spin options but do have a more lethal new ball attack that can make early inroads into opposition batting lines – but, they come up against the competition’s most effective opening pair in Conway and Austin Umpherston, and if the Red Cap duo can overcome the early Tracy blitz, the game could become one sided.
PINT suit up following the bye and will face Southern Districts at DXC Arena – Districts will rightly be unhappy about the loss last week while PINT clearly should have been focussing on developing a sounder match plan that effectively puts both batters and bowlers on notice because too much is being left to too few.
PINT bowling lacks penetration and unless this aspect improves, the Districts batsmen may just take control and post, or chase, any total sizable or otherwise.
PINT top-order batting has been haphazard and too much left to skipper Tim Garner in the middle-order to control and work towards a competitive total. Opposition captain Matt Hammond has been their bowling mainstay but needless to state, he needs more support in the wicket taking and runs against columns.
Coming off a meritorious win, Nightcliff host Palmerston at Nightcliff Oval.
The Tigers will be buoyed after their victory, but they must be aware of false expectations because Palmy are capable of upsetting any opposition if given an opening. Neither has enjoyed early success with ball and each relies on spinning depth – Hamish Martin (Palmerston) and Ryan McElduff and Nash Sant (Nightcliff). While neither is likely to feature in the one-day final, it is nevertheless a match that could just kickstart the success for the remainder of the season because both look to be more suited to the two-day, red ball game.
Round 6 Fixture
Nightcliff vs Palmerston at Nightcliff (11am)
PINT v Southern Districts at DXC Arena (11am)
Waratah v Tracy Village at Gardens Oval (11am)