Chasing 401 against Waratah, Darwin commenced in what appeared to be a rush to win in record time, however, the plan quickly backfired when Anthony Adlam was caught by the keeper following a sequence of uncharacteristically expansive play and misses then with only eight runs on the board, Dylan Brasher and Matt Calder fell in quick succession. A mini recovery was led by keeper/batsman Dhruv Kant (54) but more undisciplined batting in the middle and late order resulted in the Eagles plummeting to a paltry 111 all out from 32.3 overs.
Chief destroyers during the early stages were seamers Sam Geyer (2-17) and Caiden Eaton (2-37) and then medium-pacer Nadeesha Belpage (2-5) and left-arm orthodox spinner Dylan Hunter (2-17) chipped in to finish the job.
With outright points up for grabs and 42 overs left in the day, Waratah skipper Isaac Conway asked Darwin to bat again but it was a desperate tactic and Eagle opening pair Adlam (22 n.o.) and particularly Brasher (56 n.o.) toyed with the bowlers setting an astonishing batting atmosphere and stumps were drawn with Darwin at 0-88 from 20 overs.
It was an imaginative gesture by Conway and with the competition tight at the top he displayed reasonable foresight even though the outcome wasn’t what he would have preferred.
Nightcliff slipped out of the top four last round and with a fixtured bye on the agenda in the final round, a win was essential but chasing 315 against Southern Districts was always going to be a tough ask. Although the Tigers put on a brave display, they were eventually bowled out for 188, well short of the required total and only Josh Brown (62) and Caelan Maladay (42 n.o.) batting at six and nine respectively displayed any real purpose but their endeavours were too little too late.
Districts bowlers shared the wickets but although expensive, leg spinner Tom O’Connell (4-54 from seven overs) returned to a semblance of his early season wicket taking form. The win, and with other results favouring them, pushed Districts back to top position on the ladder.
PINT, with 361 on the board, recorded its second win of the season at the expense of Tracy Village who were rolled for 119 (41.3 overs). Josh Hoffman (61) batting at the top of the order was again the best for Tracy but it was Green left-arm paceman Nick Winter who dominated proceedings with 5-39 from 16.3 quality overs.
Round 13 Day 1 – Preview
If Waratah manage to bat first in their game against Tracy Village, then all roads may just lead to Gardens Oval to witness the possibility of Top End cricket history being made with Red Cap opener Ashley Chandrasinghe standing alone at the top of the batting tree by scoring centuries in five consecutive Premier Grade games. In Chandrasinghe’s last four Premier Grade digs he has scored 102, 123, 108, 166 n.o., and maybe another one in this match – no pressure Ashley but I will be watching!
Anyway, Tahs meet Tracy Village who just cannot buy a win in the red ball game; however, an analysis reveals they are not without talent but don’t have the batting or bowling depth and currently rely heavily on Josh Hoffman with the willow and Reiley Mark with the ball. Tahs on the other hand are taking all before them and while they will be without allrounder Dylan Hunter, his replacement Austin Umpherston, back from injury, is pretty handy at the top of the order. Hunter’s bowling will be missed but that opens the way for the Weerasinghe siblings, Udara and Madura, to shoulder more of the load.
Tahs will also be without in-form seamer Sam Geyer so while the Village batsmen can’t relax, it’s an opportunity to display resolve at the crease, a feature also missing from their game.
Nightcliff sit four points outside the top four and have a final minor round bye so to say that a big win against PINT at Tigerland is crucial is somewhat of an understatement.
The Tigers are their own worst enemy because while the bowlers generally do what is required, the batsmen fail to display the same determination whether chasing or setting totals. All too often, promising starts don’t realise big runs necessary to secure victory.
PINT hasn’t been much better, but they will be buoyed by the recent win where Jack Wood and Nick Winter were outstanding and while Jonathon Caderamanpulle and Coby Edmonstone provided batting support, Winter pretty much was stand-alone with the ball.
Southern Districts currently stand at the top of the table and meet Palmerston at Gerry Wood Oval.
The Crocs’ recent form has been red-hot although a dependence on Brodie Symons with the ball is obvious, however while Tom O’Connell and Corey Kelly both got among the wickets in their last outing, O’Connell in particular was expensive but with Sam Kerber, Matt Hammond, Xavier Crone and Dean Fry all waiting to get their hands on the ball, Districts have plenty of fire power.
Palmy are holding fourth place on the ladder and their season has been like a rollercoaster – up and down. To secure a finals place, they must win one of the final minor rounds so an immediate form bounce must be a goal – they have the all-round ability to make that happen provided a positive mindset is near the top of the agenda.
Round 13 Fixture - Saturday 06 August and Saturday 13 August
Southern Districts v Palmerston at Gerry Wood Oval (12.30pm)
Waratah v Tracy Village at Gardens Oval (12.30pm)
Nightcliff v PINT at Nightcliff Oval (12.30pm)