Round 7 Review
Round 7 winners were: Waratah, Palmerston and Darwin.
Waratah pounded PINT by 10 wickets in their top-of-the-table clash at Gardens Oval. PINT won the toss and decided to bat and at 3-130 it looked like a good decision but after the top order all got starts and with the prolific Tim Garner not playing, the Green caps slid to 10-164 without much of a whimper. Not surprisingly, it was the Tah tweakers who did the damage – Dylan Hunter (4-17), Udara Weerasinghe (2-32) and Madura Weerasinghe (2-36).
Isaac Conway (75 n.o.) and Austin Umpherston (73 n.o.) set about the unproductive Green Cap bowlers and calmly ran down the total in 34.3 overs to record a moral boosting victory ahead of the final next Sunday.
I hinted last week that Nightcliff top order batsmen continually failed to capitalise on good starts, well, after dispatching the first two balls he faced to the boundary in forceful, but elegant fashion, opener Joel Curtis (103, 121 balls) took a toll on some ineffective Darwin new ball action, and with Ryan McElduff (37), set up a competitive total (9-220) at the compulsory close. However, once Beau Webster (3-42) took the first wicket with 43 runs on the board, it was he and spinning counterpart Connor Hawkins (2-43) who produced a steady stream of wickets to restrict the early Nightcliff offensive.
Darwin began the run chase in explosive fashion, but Jacob Dickman (22) and Harry Chamberlain fell to rather undisciplined shots to opposition skipper Nash Sant (2-44, 10 overs) and at 2-72 the others still had some work to do. In the end though it became an uneven contest because Anthony Adlam (100 n.o., 124 balls, 12x4, 1x6) and Beau Webster (77 n.o.), in a 149 run unbeaten 3rd wicket partnership, carried Darwin home with 8.3 overs to spare.
On the back of another worthwhile Alex Bleakley (46) innings, Palmerston managed 8-180 at the closure after being sent in to bat by Southern Districts skipper Matt Hammond at Gerry Wood Oval. It was relatively slow going by the Maroons but they were up against some steady bowling, and a positive was they batted out the their full quota of overs. Nathan Hangan (3-24, 9 overs) claimed the best return and typified the stable attack.
In reply, Districts were bowled out for 170 with only Hammond (62) being able to quell the equally capable Palmy bowling offensive again led by in-form Hamish Martin (3-16, 10 overs) and pacer Daniel McKell (3-24), playing against his former side.
Round 8 Preview
Red ball cricket commences this weekend after seven rounds of one-day white ball fixtures concluded with the final between top two teams, Waratah and PINT, to be played at DXC Arena on Sunday commencing at 2pm.
A different tone may take place in the next seven rounds and clubs will need to decide whether to reward those players who may be better suited to the longer form of the game, or if it is best, to stick to the same legion of personnel – player depth and previous form in red-ball cricket will be among the selection criteria.
Southern Districts fell away badly during the concluding one-day matches and will need to find the winning recipe against a Darwin side that is packed with batting potential but lacks similar bowling strength. Too much is left to the all-round capabilities of skipper Matt Hammond and he will need bowling support if his side is to make inroads into a solid Eagle batting array led by Anthony Adlam, Beau Webster and others if they are prepared to play with more discipline than their current form suggests.
On the back of a resurgent batting performance from Palmerston main-man Alex Bleakey and the continued wicket taking form of spinner Hamish Martin, the Maroons will travel to Gardens Oval to take on competition leaders Waratah. It’s no secret that Tahs rely heavily on the batting talents of opening pair Isaac Conway and Austin Umpherston to lay the foundation for a competitive total and with the longer form of the game more suited to the abilities of Ashley Chandrasinghe, Palmy will need more than Martin to contain the opposition to a gettable total – another good bowling performance from quick, Daniel McKell, would be a welcome piece in the bowling attack profile.
However, Tahs bowl deeply, and again it’s no secret, that they rely heavily on their impressive spinning array but patience on the normally placid Gardens track is essential for the Maroon capped willow carrying men.
Tracy Village is coming off the bye and will be disappointed they will not feature in the one-day final after some solid performances, but they must now focus on the future and their main attention should be on selecting players capable of taking wickets in the longer form of the game where it is normal that opposition batters generally play with more caution.
Playing at home against PINT, Village will need to be at their best because while the Green Caps are often disorderly in their manner of play, they have the potential to destroy opposition attacks when in the mood.
PINT also need to find players capable of either restricting or bowling out opponents because otherwise a run-feast is likely to be the order of the game on a normally flat wicket and lightning fast outfield.
Round 8 Fixture - 29 May and 5 June
Southern Districts v Darwin at Gerry Wood Oval (12:30pm)
Waratah v Palmerston at Gardens Oval (12:00pm)
Tracy Village v PINT at Tracy Village Oval (12:30pm)