Round 6 Review
Round 6 winners were: Waratah, Palmerston and PINT.
Runs, runs and more runs was the order of the day in Round 6 – except that is, for Tracy Village who couldn’t compete with the guile of the Weerasinghe siblings in their crucial match at Gardens Oval.
Batting first after winning the toss, Tahs merrily went about its business compiling 7-230 at the compulsory closure. The Villagers did however do what no others could so far in the season, when Antum Naqvi separated the Red Cap openers, Isaac Conway and Austin Umpherston, when he trapped Umpherston in front with a mere (by their standards) 22 runs on the board. However, a second wicket stand of 132 by Conway (71) and Dylan Hunter (65) got the home side back on track and with Ashley Chandrasinghe (38 n.o.) also contributing for the first time this season, an imposing total was eventually posted.
The Villagers were knocked over for 150 in 41.5 overs with a 62 run second wicket stand between skipper Hugo Burdon (36) and Jackson Edmondstone (30) being the only obstacle offered by the batting team. Not surprisingly, it was the Weerasinghe duo – Madura (3-38, 10 overs) who opened the bowling and Udara (5-28, 9 overs) that did the damage.
The “hmmmm?” for the round was Tracy’s youngster Jaxon Treumer who batted at 11 and didn’t bowl! And while there may be a perfectly good reason, I recall writing something similar last season about the same young man – for what it’s worth: there is no value playing a youngster up a grade if he isn’t allowed to contribute. A gentle reminder about lads who were mere juveniles when they first played test cricket: Pakistan duo Hasan Raza - 14 years, 227 days and Mushtaq Mohammed - 15 years, 124 days; Indian genius Sachin Tendulkar - 16 years, 205 days and at 17 years and 239 days, Ian Craig became Australia’s youngest Test cricketer, scoring 53 and 47 against South Africa at the MCG in 1953 etc etc. I’m not suggesting that Treumer is anywhere ready for the international arena, but if his selection was warranted, then let him showcase his talents!
Nightcliff continued to find a way to lose, especially after posting a competitive 7-236 at the close – in a solid batting performance, each of the top seven got starts but only Ryan McElduff (55) managed to dominate a steady Maroon, albeit occasionally wayward, attack again led by Hamish Martin (3-44, 10). The Palmerston fielding was outstanding and always threatened to expose any errant running between wickets by the Tiger batsmen and may just have restricted them to a gettable total.
Palmy lost a couple of early wickets but good players can’t be denied, and although in a run-drought by his standards, Alex Bleakley (106 n.o., 112 balls) batting at four, led his team to victory with opposing captain Nash Sant (2-55) the only bowler to claim multiple wickets.
Batting first after winning the toss, Southern Districts also scored heavily and posted 6-220 when they closed. Batting at the top of the order Shobit Singh (77) played patiently for his second consecutive half-century for the club and with Brodie Symons (35) and Jackson Isakka (33) did the bulk of the scoring. Two wickets each to skipper Tim Garner (2-23) and the impressive Blade Baxter (2-47 – 16 wickets after six rounds) were the best of the Green Cap bowlers.
Like most of his top order batting counterparts, Ben Speake (113 n.o., 149 balls, 9x4, 3x6) had struggled at the crease but displayed a more disciplined attitude which clearly paid dividends. Inspirational captain Tim Garner (51) scored his fourth half-century of the season and together they led PINT to a meritorious six wicket victory (4-223) with five balls to spare.
Round 7 Preview
With one minor round remaining before the one-day final and Tracy Village drawing the bye, only remarkable circumstances will prevent Waratah and PINT playing for the silverware. Ironically, it is Tahs who host PINT at Gardens Oval and both will be out to prove a point prior to the main event in two weeks.
Tahs have displayed a steady progression based on the bowling of Madura and Udara Weerasinghe and the batting of Isaac Conway and Austin Umpherston at the top of the order. PINT on the other hand, has been erratic and relied heavily on skipper Tim Garner’s batting in the middle order and the bowling of Blade Baxter who generally makes early inroads into opposition willow wielders.
The Green’s probably have more to prove in the Round 7 fixture because of their tendency to play without plan or apparent conviction, but the last round successful run chase suggests a more disciplined attitude may be on the agenda – if Josh Neill can find a semblance of form, PINT will indeed become a force to be seriously considered.
A disappointing Southern Districts play host to a rejuvenated Palmerston at Gerry Wood Oval. The Crocs have a batting line up full of potential but lack similar strength with bowling where Matt Hammond and Jackson Isakka appear the most likely to take wickets – without Hammond last week, the attack had little impact.
Palmerston’s attack is similarly without any solid penetration and apart from the in-form Hamish Martin, lacks an ability to bowl out the opposition although their fielding is right out of the top shelf and provides extra pressure on opposition batsmen to take them on if they dare. The return to form of batting mainstay Alex Bleakley provides a major boost for Palmy’s winning chances.
Darwin travels to the northern suburbs to tackle the enigmatic Nightcliff and while the Tigers only have one win on the board this season, they are clearly no easy-beats, and have scored heavily in most of their games but despite most of the top order getting starts, none turn them into match winning performances. A young and energetic fielding group together with a solid bowling array, led by off-spinner Ryan McElduff, will provide stubborn opposition for the Eagles.
An area in need of improvement is Darwin’s lack of early wickets within games so far this season – an exception is Luke Zanchetta. A shortage of batting solidarity is another problem source where apart from Anthony Adlam at the top of the order, it is clearly the area the requires immediate attention – it’s not as though there aren’t a number of well credentialled players in the lineup.
Round 7 Fixture
Nightcliff v Darwin at Nightcliff Oval (11am)
Southern Districts v Palmerston at Gerry Wood Oval (11am)
Waratah v PINT at Gardens Oval (11am)
Bye: Tracy Village