Round 8 – Day 1 Review / Day 2 Preview

What a difference the colour of the ball seems to make! Darwin front line bowlers could hardly buy a wicket in the white ball games this season, but, with the first of the two-day fixtures getting underway, and the red ball being unveiled for the first time, opening bowlers Troy Ryan (5-18; wicketless in previous three white ball games) and Luke Zanchetta (3-43; three wickets previously in five white ball games) combined to overpower Southern Districts at Gerry Wood Oval. Clearly, they appreciated the extra freedom which allows bowlers in red ball games to use more line discretion and have less field restrictions when bowling – a worthwhile consideration during future white ball cricket selection processes.

Districts won the toss and batted but couldn’t handle the persistence of Ryan and Zanchetta and were bowled out for 158 in 51.3 overs – only Jackson Isakka (53) batting at four managed to control the attack.  However, while the Eagle bowlers rose to the occasion, the fragile top order batting was again on display and at 4-71 there is still some work to do – although Anthony Adlam failed to score after being knocked over by Brodie Symons, he is the exception to the rule because his batting at the top of the order this season has been outstanding. Four Districts bowlers shared the spoils and Darwin will now rely heavily on not out batsmen Jacob Dickman (16) and Ethan Anderson (1) to claw their side to victory against a disciplined bowling array led by skipper Matt Hammond and Isakka.

Waratah hosted Palmerston at Gardens Oval and after winning the toss, the visitors managed 9-280 at the completion of the regulation 80 overs. Maroon openers Liam Sparke (86 off 195 balls) and Shane Buttfield (21) laid a sedate but nonetheless solid foundation compiling 43 for the first wicket and they were supported by some solid middle order batting – Corey McDean (36), Harry Zimmerman (31) and Harshtik Bimbral (37) at five, six and seven respectively. The Red Caps toiled hard on the placid pitch and used eight bowlers to little wicket taking effect – Udara Weerasinghe (4-33) and Ishara Gange (2-44) recorded the best returns.

The strength of the home side is clearly their batting where Isaac Conway and Austin Umpherston are both in dazzling form and the total is not beyond them and those following including: Dylan Hunter, Yash Pednekar and Ashleigh Chandrasinghe.

My hmmm? for the week is that in all DDCC sanctioned games Umpherston (470 runs at 80.4) and Hunter (386 runs at 48.3 together with a recent century (114) in the DDCC T20 League; 16 wickets at 20.3) are not included among those selected to take part in the upcoming Cricket 365 playing program. Both can also take their turn at the bowling crease with Hunter (LAO) being the more likely to be labelled as a genuine allrounder. I am aware there may be perfectly good reasons for such omissions, but under normal circumstances, some reward for performance seems not to be an unreasonable expectation.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Tracy Village squandered a strong start in its match against PINT at the Village Green – slumping from 4-167 to all out for 198 in 59.2 overs. Jackson Edmonstone (58) continues to impress at the top of the order but sooner rather than later he must turn a solid display into triple figures to ensure he is recognised as a rising talent outside his immediate surrounds. Once Blade Baxter (5-57, 22 overs) removed Josh Kann (64) it was all downhill for the Tracy batting – losing their last six wickets in quick succession for a mere 31 runs.

In reply, PINT was 0-25 at stumps with Ben Speake (16) and Cormac Hassett (11) still at the crease and with the prolific Tim Garner back in the fold for the Greens, the Tracy Trundlers, including Kann and Coby Edmonstone, will need to be at their best but they return with the knowledge that the PINT batters, Garner aside, are notoriously brittle in the middle and late order.


Round 8 Fixture - 29 May and 5 June

Southern Districts v Darwin at Gerry Wood Oval (12:30pm)

Waratah v Palmerston at Gardens Oval (12:30pm)

Tracy Village v PINT at Tracy Village Oval (12:30pm)

Bye: Nightcliff