For the second straight day at the National Indigenous Cricket Championships, the Northern Territory Men’s team shot themselves in the foot with poor shot selection and running between the wickets in last night’s clash with Western Australia.
After winning the toss and batting on what looked a good Traeger Park wicket, the Territorians were quickly reeling at 3/2 and later 4/11 inside the Powerplay. It wasn’t until Sam Richards joined captain Brandon King that any form of defendable score looked like it would be posted.
King played a couple of aesthetically pleasing pull shots and cover drives but was undone by WA skipper Timothy Hale’s legspin. His return catch to the bowler leaving the NT 5/25 and hope of a three-figure score quickly evaporating.
The lower order and tail showed plenty of fight as Dayon Johnson combined some deft touches into gaps with hard running as he looked to farm the strike. Handy partnerships with Dylan Fuller and Brad Ilott saw the Territory get to 68 before Johnson was caught at third man attempting to cut a boundary.
After another disappointing performance with the willow, the NT knew that early wickets would be the only way to put a significant dent in WA’s run chase hopes.
Fuller was able to find Tom Regan’s timber with the score at 20, but the experienced Marsh Jackson and Hale got the score to 47 before a Ben Stares double strike saw some late respite.
However, victory belonged to the Westerners as they passed the Territory’s mediocre total with 56 balls remaining and only four wickets down.
Northern Territory veteran Darrell Lowe was less than scathing in discussing the team’s performance.
“It’s plain and simply just not good enough; the boys and Greg [Aldam] talked about how we were going to go about batting tonight after yesterday against NSW and we turn up and do exactly the opposite,” he said.
“Fellas just have to put their heads down and do their job, our bowling’s pretty good but those boys aren’t going to have much to bowl at if we keep batting like this.”
The Northern Territory (along with the other six states) will spend Wednesday at Cultural Day before returning to action Thursday morning against Queensland at Albrecht Oval.
Match Scores: Northern Territory 68 (16 ov. Cody Hoffmeister 3/12, Shane Bliss 2/13, Joshua David 2/16) lost to Western Australia 4/70 (10.4 ov. Ben Stares 2/19) by six wickets.