Round 8 Day 2 – Review
Southern Districts leapt clear at the top of the table following a comfortable five-wicket win over Darwin at Kahlin Oval.

Commencing at 2-66 chasing 197, Districts lost Daniel Kerber (31) early when Jake Reed fired in a short-pitched delivery that the batsman couldn’t handle and while Reed (4-42, 16 overs) continued to be a handful that no others could match, a series of middle order partnerships ensured the Crocs (5-198, 50 overs) secured the victory with plenty of room to spare. Chief among the batters was Tim Garner (53 not out).

Not surprisingly, the other early finish was at Cazaly’s Oval where the home side ran down the PINT total (254) in 50.5 overs with the loss of only three wickets (3-258). It was the Maroon top-order that the Green bowlers had trouble curtailing with productive opener Connor Carroll (70; 2x100, 333 runs at 66.6) leading the way. And then Alex Bleakley (67 not out), keeper/batsman Corey McDean (50 not out) and Connor Blaxall-Hill (48) completed a forceful top-order foursome. 

The win elevated Palmerston to second on the ladder, equal with the other Round 8 winner – Nightcliff.

Playing at the Village Green, Tracy was always on the backfoot chasing down Nightcliff’s impressive 8-320 and at 2-20 the task appeared even more substantial. However, Antum Naqvi (30 at three), keeper/batsman Tom Jackson (89 at four) and Josh Kann (35 at five) slowed the offensive, but the Tigers rotated through its extensive bowling group (eight used) until they found the right combinations and did the job – eventually winning by 83 runs. 

Nightcliff quick Caelan Maladay (3-55, 20 overs), was the most successful while Param Uppal followed his Day 1 innings (132) with 2-50 (16 overs).

Round 9 Day 1 – Preview
Coming off the bye and sitting outside the top-four, Waratah will be keen to get back onto the track and find the winning formula which inevitably leads to playing finals. The uncompromising leadership group at Waratah will expect no less, and the game against current ladder leader Southern Districts at Gardens Oval will be the perfect setting to begin their 2022 assault.

A big win before the fixtured bye will undoubtably buoy the Red Caps, but just as importantly, it was the form re-emergence of batting guns Isaac Conway, Austin Umpherston and Ashley Chandrasinghe together with the bowling wizard Udara Weerasinghe that was an ominous signal to all others in the race for silverware.

If the batting trio and just as importantly the bowlers can find immediate traction, then Districts will be tested. Those may however be too many hopeful wishes because the Crocs have shown they don’t rely on a few to get the job done and while talented all-rounder Corey Kelly will be missing, his replacement Brodie Symons is more than worthy.

Palmerston (2nd ,20 points) and Nightcliff (3rd, 20 points) are both chasing down Districts at the top of the table and they meet in a crucial game at Cazaly’s Oval. Both are coming off strong wins and each has demonstrated deep batting lines however that strength is not replicated in the respective bowling depth.

Spin duo Connor Blaxall-Hill and Hamish Martin bowled 52 overs between them last round while the Tigers tended to share the load and ran through eight bowlers looking for the best combinations.
Because the strength of each team lies in batting depth, early wickets will be essential, otherwise, fielders from both teams will be chasing plenty of leather in what may simply be a run feast. 

And in a day/nighter at DXC Arena commencing at 3pm, PINT is at home to Darwin in a must win game for the fourth placed Eagles (15 points) to ensure they stay in the finals mix with Tracy Village (12) points and Waratah (10 points) breathing down their necks.

A priority for the Eagles should be to bat their full quota of overs – even to the extent of playing on in the first innings after passing the opposition total in a manner similar to an outright victory attempt.
For PINT it is a similar story, replicate the batting display from the previous round where middle order support for opener Dhanusha Gamage was a feature, but the Green’s must also strengthen their bowling plans because while Darwin can boast a deep batting list, there is not an obvious connection between making runs and spending time at the crease in the red-ball game.

Round 9 Fixture - Saturday 11 June and Saturday 18 June
Waratah v Southern Districts at Gardens Oval (12.30pm)
Palmerston v Nightcliff at Cazaly’s Oval (12.30pm)  
PINT v Darwin at DXC Arena (3pm – Day/Night) 
Bye: Tracy Village