Round 8 Day 1 – Review
For the most part, willow dominated leather on day one, the exception being Southern Districts bowlers who pretty much maintained control against Darwin at Kahlin Oval.

Batting first after winning the toss, Darwin was struggling at 3-46 but a 99-run fourth-wicket partnership between keeper/batsman Dhruv Kant (62) and veteran John Flynn (51) steadied the early slide, however, a total of 197 wouldn’t please the Eagles especially since they again failed to utilise their full quota of overs - 66.1 from a possible 80.

Without depreciating the efforts of Croc bowlers Matt Hammond (5-33, 19.1 overs) and Xavier Crone (3-49) there remained an undisciplined element in Darwin’s batting that didn’t allow them to spend longer at the crease on a wicket that was generally batter friendly in character. At stumps, Districts was 2-66 with the Kerber brothers not out. 

A highlight was recently selected 2022 Australian national Under 19 team of tournament representative Tom Menzies, and it was particularly pleasing to see that Eagle skipper Connor Hawkins threw him the new ball to share with regular Jake Reed; may Menzies, with his wonderfully smooth approach to the wicket, take many more wickets at that level and gain further national recognition.

PINT finally realised some of its potential by batting all day at Cazaly’s Oval against Palmerston. And while the total (10-254, 78.1 overs) was moderate an improved aspect was a series of top-order partnerships to support inform opener Dhanusha Gamage (96, 342 runs at 57.0). Coby Edmonstone (44) at three and number five Shishir Ramakrishna (46) shared valuable partnerships with Gamage who was the fifth player out.

Maroon spinner Connor Blaxall-Hill (5-62, 27 overs) continues to impress with the ball.

Param Uppal, a former Territory Under 19 representative (2015/16), and playing his first game with Nightcliff batted at three was sixth out following a sedate 132 (163bf, 12x4, 4x6). A number of other moderate scores pushed the Tigers to 8-320 at the compulsory close against Tracy Village at the Village Green. Only off-spinner Riley Mark (6-98, 23 overs), bowling without support from his spin twin Todd Murphy (Australia A), displayed any authority with the ball on a placid wicket.

Round 8 Day 2 – Preview
Southern Districts will be buoyed following its 107-run victory over Darwin in the Casuarina All Sports Club One-Day Grand Final played at DXC Arena last Sunday, but their task will be to bat well enough to overcome the Eagle bowling group and score more than the required 197. At 2-66 Districts have the batting strength to chase down the moderate total on the generally run-friendly Kahlin track.

With the Kerber brothers at the crease (Daniel 28 not out and Sam yet to score) and Tim Garner, Matt Hammond, Xavier Crone, Daniel Mylius and Corey Kelly still to bat, the rural men have reason for optimism against a bowling attack that is steady but remains without great wicket taking venom.

A rejuvenated PINT batting display has given its bowlers something to play with, but recent performances suggest the Green bowlers are not necessarily capable of restricting Palmerston to below 254 in 80 overs. The Maroons have the incentive to keep winning since places in the top four are extremely competitive even at this relatively early stage of the season.  

Connor Carroll (2x centuries, 263 at 65.8) has been outstanding at the top of the order but like his teammates, his season hasn’t been kind with two abandoned games and limited match practice, but the mindset at Palmy is solid and the chase total is not beyond them especially if they bat the allowed overs.

Tracy Village will likely need every one of its 80 overs if they are to run down the Nightcliff total (320). Too much has been left to Antum Naqvi when Tracy bats and while he has been outstanding, players such as Josh Hoffman and Tom Jackson must spend more time at the crease. Playing at home, may just be the incentive Josh Kann needs to find some of his undoubted talent and batting skill and if Reghard Els again gets going in the middle-order, the Tigers may find themselves chasing plenty of leather.

In reality, Nightcliff bowling does not possess great penetrative power, the exception is leg-spinner Yuvraj Sharma (12 wickets at 12.4) who without white-ball restrictions will bowl plenty of overs and can be a match winner. The Villagers will be well aware of their opposition capabilities and plan accordingly.

Round 8 Fixture - Saturday 28 May and Saturday 04 June
Darwin v Southern Districts at Kahlin Oval (12.30pm)
Palmerston v PINT at Cazaly’s Oval (12.30pm)  
Tracy Village v Nightcliff at Tracy Village Oval (12.30pm) 
Bye: Waratah