Round 14 – Day 2 Review

The DDCC 2021 minor rounds are complete and all finals bound teams, except Tracy Village who had the Round 14 fixtured bye, tuned up for their assault on the coveted silverware.

Reigning premier Waratah ended the season as minor premier (44 points) following its resounding win (10-338) over PINT (10-154) at Gardens Oval. The Red Caps already had first innings points stitched up but had a bit to play for – namely, to claim minor premier status and to anxiously watch left-handed opener Ashley Chandrasinghe reach his maiden DDCC century. And while both goals were achieved, Chandrasinghe who was stranded on 90 n.o. from Day 1 had some moments of torture before he finally posted his century. That he ended on 172 (261 balls, 25x4, 2x6) is some achievement but he had to push through the nervous ninety-eights – on 98 he faced two overs and three balls from PINT medium pacer Blade Baxter before elegantly driving through extra cover and raising his bat to the acknowledgements of his supporters and teammates.

An interesting sideline is that PINT bowler Dylan Harrison-Smith (5-96, 27 overs) made it bookend five wicket hauls – 5-36 in Round 1 – and in a season where the Greens struggled to take wickets, where was he in between the “five for’s”? (Hmmmm?).

Darwin looked to be cruising at 1-124 chasing Nightcliff’s highly competitive 10-304 but three quick wickets including the prized scalp of Anthony Adlam (77) got the Tigers back on track but a middle order batting resurgence – Will Anstey (73), Ethan Anderson (22) and Ben Reichstein (65) tipped the scales back in favour of the Eagles. Anderson looked set to follow his breakout innings but his over-aggressive manner at the crease was his downfall while Anstey and Reichstein were more composed as the 107 run sixth wicket partnership testified. Ryan McElduff (3-81, 24 overs) capped off a wonderful all-round season for Nightcliff.

Southern Districts continued to amass runs and had too many batting options for the limited Palmerston bowling attack to counter. Chasing Palmy’s 10-326, Districts always seemed in control especially following a 152-run opening stand between Lochie Hardy (178; 197 balls, 21x4, 5x6) and Kierran Voelkl (70) – Brodie Symons (47) batting at five iced the cake and sent the Crocs to 6-328 at the close. Oscar Oborn-Corby (2-70) and Hamish Martin (2-127 from 31 overs) did the bulk of the bowling for the Maroons.

Semi Finals – Preview

The finals format sets Waratah (1st, 44 points) v Tracy Village (4th, 35 points) and Darwin (2nd, 40 points v Southern Districts (3rd, 38 points) as opponents – winners in the Saturday / Sunday matches meet in the season decider next weekend.

Firstly, Waratah playing at home have an outside chance of including prolific opener Isaac Conway back after recovering (Hmmmm?) from a finger injury. If the Red Cap skipper plays, he will be short of any form of practice because the injury is on his dominant batting left hand, but nevertheless he will be a huge bonus if fit. The question is, will Tahs use him in his normal position at the top of the order to partner in-form Ashley Chandrasinghe and move Yash Pednekar down the list? Austin Umpherston showed he has retained form while Dylan Hunter displays glimpses of his talent but occasionally fails to turn solid starts into big scores which may be essential because the middle and lower order batsmen have shown little ability to score heavily.

Similarly, Tracy Village rely heavily on a few to get the scoreboard ticking along – Jackson Edmondstone has been a revelation and with Josh Kann has been the backbone of the Tracy batting and although recent middle and lower order players have risen, their form has been patchy throughout the season and they come up against a wily, although not deep, Red Cap bowling array which is based on a quartet of spinners – Udara and Madura Weerasinghe and LAO pair Dylan Hunter and Ishara Gange if he is selected.

Village bowling is also thin and struggles to make early inroads, however, it may just be time the talented all-rounder Kyle Scrimegour, who was a late starter to the season, got going with both bat and ball.

In the other semi, Darwin squares off against Southern Districts, arguably the form team of the competition, at DXC Arena. The rural men can do no wrong either chasing scores or batting first and posting strong totals. Lochie Hardie and Kierran Voelkl are forming a sturdy opening combination and with Jackson Isakka (if fit), Brodie Symons, Matt Hammond and Dylan Milius all contributing with the willow, the Eagle bowlers have a huge task ahead.

 Darwin batting has been well served at the top of the order by Anthony Adlam and more recently Adam Costello although he must turn promising starts into big scores, while the middle order of Ethan Anderson, Will Anstey and experienced Ben Reichstein is finding some traction.

Both teams have bowling depth although Symons (Districts) and veteran Luke Zanchetta (Darwin) need to make early inroads into opposition batting or huge totals are likely. A bonus for Darwin will be if skipper Jacob Dickman can knuckle down and quickly find the batting form that has in the past set him above most others in the DDCC competition.

Semi Finals Fixture - Saturday 04 and Sunday 05 September

Waratah v Tracy Village at Gardens Oval (12.30pm)

Darwin v Southern Districts at DXC Arena (12.30pm)