Round 6 – Review
So much cricket lost during the early stages of the DDCC 2022 season and last weekend (Round 6) was no exception with the match between Palmerston and Southern Districts scheduled for Cazaly’s Arena abandoned due to localised rain on Friday. But with that game crucial to the makeup of the one-day final, there is no provision for a catchup match to be played. Certainly, there can be no weather control, however with other jurisdictions around the country able to account for changing weather patterns and unseasonal rain, potential solutions or contingencies are something Darwin cricket could consider moving forward. 

Antum Naqvi continues to be a batting strength in the DDCC and his anchor role in Tracy Village’s win over Waratah on his home track was another example of his strength and resilience at the crease.
Chasing the competitive Waratah total (9-202), Naqvi strode to the wicket with his side precariously situated at 2-27 which included out-of-form Josh Kann (23) who opened the innings. Naqvi was there at the end (100 n.o., 113bf, 11x4) and shared in an 86 run third wicket partnership with Joshua Hoffman (36) as the Villagers posted 4-205 in 45.2 overs. Earlier it was the Tracy off-spinning pair Todd Murphy 4-15 (10 overs) and Reiley Mark 3-31 (10 overs) that dismantled the Red Cap batting although rear-guard resistance from Madura Weerasinghe (40), Udara Weerasinghe (35) and a typically breezy Himesh Sandaradura (34 n.o., 25 balls faced) innings gave their team some score substance.

Nightcliff bounced back from its horrible Round 5 performance by defeating PINT by seven wickets at DXC Arena #1. 

Key to the win was Tiger leggie Yuvraj Sharma (6-40, 10 overs) who despite a solid 99-run opening partnership between Liam Blackford (69) and Dhanusha Gamage (42) pretty much alone – the other wicket was a run-out - reduced PINT to a moderate 7-208 (50 overs).

PINT bowlers again revealed a lack of penetration and couldn’t stop the Nightcliff top-order batting offensive which commenced with a 76-run opening stand between Michael Kudra (45) and Raveesh Srivastava (44) and flowed to an unbeaten 79-run partnership between Sharma (49 n.o.) and Josh Brown (62 n.o., 35bf, 6x4, 4x6) – stumps were drawn with Nightcliff at a dominant 3-211 (40.5 overs).

Round 7 – Preview
With one Round to play before the Carlton Mid Premier Grade Competition one-day final opponents are decided and with Southern Districts (15 points), Darwin (15 points), Palmerston (14 points) and Nightcliff (14 points) a reality is that the Tigers cannot feature in the top two due to a fixtured bye. Curiously then, each of the top three meet teams not in contention so a big win is essential for those remaining in the mix.

Arguably, Palmerston has the toughest task against an out-of-form but unpredictably capable opponent in Waratah. Palmy didn’t play last round (abandoned game) but have shown vast improvement in all aspects and a lesser dependence on Alex Bleakley and Hamish Martin to head the run making and wicket taking respectively. The Waratah reliance on opening batting pair Isaac Conway and Austin Umpherston has not realised the expected flow of runs, furthermore, recently awarded Victoria Cricket rookie contract player Ashley Chandrasinghe has also failed to worry the scoreboard attendant with a flurry of runs; and Red Cap bowlers have yet to relocate match winning and wicket taking zones.

Darwin is at home to traditional rivals Tracy Village and while the Eagles have shown an all-round strength, the Villagers who will be buoyed by recent winning form, rely heavily on too few; Antum Naqvi (328 runs at 82.0) and off-spinners Todd Murphy and Reiley Mark but the normally batter friendly Kahlin track may test the bowling pair.

Underperforming PINT meet competition heavyweights Southern Districts at DXC Arena #1 and while the contest may appear lopsided, it is the ideal opportunity for the Green’s to showcase their combined talent and push the reigning premier who will be desperately looking for a win.

Green top order batting has been strong with Dhanusha Gamage (196 runs at 49.0), but his challenge will be to turn one of his half-centuries and near half-centuries into a big triple figure number. However, he will need support against a varied Croc bowling attack that is unrelenting in its depth and capability.

Similarly, PINT bowlers need to develop a strategy to contain and then force errors from the long list of competent Districts batters led by Dean Fry (4 matches, 164 runs at 54.7) - the equation is not simple, but it is also not insoluble for the men in green.

Round 7 Fixture - Saturday 21 May 
Darwin v Tracy Village at Kahlin Oval (10am)
Waratah v Palmerston at Gardens Oval (10am)  
PINT v Southern Districts at DXC Arena #1 (10am) 
Bye: Nightcliff