It was like chocolate’s to boiled lollies for Palmerston as Darwin pounded the Maroon bowlers to all parts of the park in their Carlton Mid Premier Grade clash at Kahlin Oval. Following Palmy’s outright victory the previous weekend and subsequent elevation to ladder leader, Darwin set about the bowling from the beginning and led by a near faultless 203-run opening stand between Dylan Brasher (195; 205 balls faced, 17 fours and eight sixes) and Anthony Adlam (76) the Eagles amassed 8-486 at stumps on day one.
While Brasher was the early star of the show, Matt Calder, batting at four, iced the cake with a belligerent 91 (46 balls faced, eight fours, six sixes) and there was little the Palmerston bowlers could do to contain the batting onslaught and even star LAO Hamish Martin (4-136, 24 overs) couldn’t halt the rampaging attack.
Also pleasing were the contributions made by the middle and lower order batters which has been a problem area for the Eagles in past rounds.
Although not (yet) at the top of the tree, Waratah opener Ashley Chandrasinghe nonetheless joins a select group of players that have scored Premier Grade centuries in three successive games – one behind the all-time leaders in that category.
For the record:
Four consecutive centuries: Greg Clarence (PINT) 2013 – 106*, 139, 131, 258*and Jake Weatherald (TV) 2015 – 113*, 136, 195*, 135.
Three successive centuries: Brett Gardner (TAHS) 2009 – 162, 107, 173*; Simon Lavers (PINT) 2010 – 28 and 101*, 131 and 51*and 192*; Ashley Chandrasinghe (TAHS) 2022 – 102, 123, 108.
Chandrasinghe’s most recent ton (108, 214bf, 12x4) was against Nightcliff and in partnership with skipper Isaac Conway (73 – his fourth consecutive half-century) the pair added 151 for the second wicket. Another productive stand with Jagadeswara Koduru (50) carried the Red Caps to 8-291 at stumps. Not so pleasing for Tahs was another failure by the middle and late order to capitalise on the batting platform set up by those at the top where at 3-256 a more substantial score may have been expected.
Credit to the Nightcliff bowlers who toiled hard on the unresponsive track at Tigerland but only off-spinner Param Uppal (4-62) and big quick Caelan Maladay (4-73) tasted any form of success in the wicket’s column.
The Tracy Village form slump continued against Southern Districts, and they were bowled out for 140 from a mere 40.5 overs. Keeper Tim Cummins (47) batting at six was best while Antum Naqvi and Reiley Mark got 36 each but a gloomy outcome was that six batters failed to score.
In reply, Districts are 4-159 (Xavier Crone 74 n.o.) and have already banked first innings points.
Round 11 Day 2 – Preview
Darwin has the runs on the board (8-486) and while skipper Connor Hawkins has suggested the job is only half done, that may just be adopting an overly cautious approach even on the usually placid Kahlin Oval track. And while that mindset is admirable and does not disrespect Palmerston’s batting ability with the likes of Connor Carroll, Awid Naqvi, Alex Bleakley, keeper/batsman Corey McDean and last round century maker Mitchell Hearns in the line-up, reality suggests surpassing the total is a tall order.
Key Eagle quick Jake Reed is back after missing the last round because of Covid protocol restrictions and with the skipper himself rolling them out to good effect, it may be an ideal opportunity to get some match conditioning into medium pacers Luke Zanchetta and youngster Will Pilkington because otherwise, the Eagles lack penetrative bowling depth with finals approaching.
However, caution may be warranted because a win by either side will be crucial with at least five teams being legitimate finals contenders with a bye fixtured for Darwin before the minor rounds are complete.
Waratah will also be conscious of making finals and while they also have runs on the board (291) Nightcliff is capable of chasing down what is a moderately competitive score. The ever-optimistic Tigers will be buoyed by holding their opponents to a reasonable extent following the dominance of the Red Cap top-order and will look to the likes of Michael Kudra and captain Josh Hartill to provide batting steel in support of Josh Brown, Param Uppal, Raveesh Srivastava and Yuvraj Sharma.
For their part, Waratah rely heavily on a dominant top-order batting array, and similarly, it has been the bowling combination of Roby Lane and Sam Geyer that has carried them to recent successes so more bowling support will be needed to restrict the Tiger batting on their home ground.
Tracy Village (10-140) is in a form slump and have already conceded first inning points to Southern Districts (4-159) when a win was essential to the Villagers keeping in touch with the top four.
All-rounder Xavier Crone (74 n.o.) is at the crease and strangely no Districts batsman has scored a Premier Grade century this season so it is expected that he will be given every opportunity to right that anomaly and then the rural men may step up the intensity seeking outright points which could return them to the top of the table.
The challenge for Tracy will be firstly to restrict an anticipated batting assault and secondly, deny Brodie Symons, Crone, Corey Kelly and Matt Hammond the luxury of easy wickets.
Round 11 Fixture - Saturday 09 July and Saturday 16 July
Nightcliff v Waratah at Nightcliff Oval (12.30pm)
Darwin v Palmerston at Kahlin Oval (12.30pm)
Southern Districts v Tracy Village at Gerry Wood Oval (12.30pm)