Round 9 Day 1 – Review
Darwin ruled the day/nighter at DXC Arena pounding the PINT bowlers to the tune of 7-354 at the compulsory close.

Darwin won the toss and elected to bat, but the Greens tasted early success when Jonathan Caderamanpulle knocked over Anthony Adlam with a mere 16-runs on the board. But further success was spasmodic: Dylan Brasher (105) and Dhruv Kant shared a 124-run second wicket stand before the keeper/batsman was dismissed for 46; then Brasher and a feisty Matt Calder (118, 93bf, 9x4, 5x6) put on 109 for the third wicket and at 4-317 the Eagles were soaring. To add insult to injury, classy batsman and former captain Jacob Dickman, playing his first game of the season, chipped in with a steady 54 batting at five.  

Among the eight PINT bowlers used only Tharinda Balasooriya (2-31) and Caderamanpulle (2-44) returned multiples in their wickets column. 

Batting first after winning the toss, Waratah set top-of-the-table Southern Districts a sizable total (6-298) to chase. After a moderate beginning to the season, recently awarded Victoria Cricket rookie Ashley Chandrasinghe (102, 191bf) knuckled down and peeled off a characteristically resolute century. He was supported in partnership by Isaac Conway (80) who recorded back-to-back half-centuries and hard-hitting Jagadeswara Koduru (75 n.o.). Noticeable again was the lack of Red Cap batting depth once the Croc bowlers finally removed the top order.

Although underdone, Brodie Symons (2-24) and steady medium-pacer Nathan Hangan (1-34) stood out among the long line of District bowlers used on the placid Gardens track.

In the match played at Cazaly’s Oval where the home side and Nightcliff are playing for outright second place on the ladder, the Tigers started positively with the bat, putting on 54 for the opening stand between Yuvraj Sharma (33) and Michael Kudra (23) and a sizable score looked likely. But skipper Alex Bleakley (6-20) and Hamish Martin (4-32, 24 overs) stepped up and took all ten wickets to fall – only Nightcliff captain Josh Hartill (54) batting at five appeared comfortable against the bowling pair.

The Maroons are 1-21 in reply but importantly for the visitors, top order star Connor Carroll (7) was sent back to the shed by Phillip Hull.

Round 9 Day 2 – Preview
AT the risk of stating the obvious, PINT is chasing plenty – 355 to win – and while the total is formidable, it is not insurmountable, especially with inform opener Dhanusha Gamage (342 at 57.0) leading the charge. But an imperative is that captain Sanka Wijegunarathne and Coby Edmonstone maintain form and with help from others, the run chase can be achieved against an Eagle bowling attack that relies heavily on experienced quick Jake Reed to take match winning wickets.

Reed can be explosive and while Connor Hawkins (LAO) and leggie Shehan Sinnetamby offer variety, there is a bit of sameness among the rest of the medium pacers once the early juice goes from the wicket. PINT batters must have belief but follow a plan that includes discipline when at the crease.

Waratah has 298 on the board but Red Cap bowling depth is limited whereas Southern Districts has displayed an ability to bat deep so while plenty of runs is a positive, the Crocs have the wherewithal to run the total down.

Tahs rely heavily on the Weerasinghe spinning brothers Udara and Madura to bowl the bulk of overs, but success may depend on Roby Lane and Sam Geyer and medium-pacer Austin Umpherston to contribute to the wicket taking against the formidable array of Districts batsmen: Lochie Hardy, Dean Fry, Sam Kerber and Tim Garner all the way down to Daniel Mylius who will likely come in at nine.

With both Palmerston and Nightcliff on 20 competition points, clear second place on the ladder is up for grabs to the winner of their delicately poised clash at Cazaly’s Oval.

The Maroons are 1-21 requiring another 176 to win but the bad news is prolific opener Connor Carroll has been dismissed but that may be the motivation for his batting partner Awad Naqvi (7 n.o.) to shine. Still to bat for Palmy are skipper Alex Bleakley, Connor Blaxall-Hill, keeper/batsman Corey McDean and Hamish Martin and together with others they have the ability to run down the moderate total set by the Tigers.

However, while Nightcliff doesn’t have the frontline bowlers to take charge, they are well led by quick Caelan Maladay and leg-spinner Yuvraj Sharma together with a long line of others who are cleverly and patiently rotated through until the right options are found.

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