After falling short with the bat against WA in Round 1 of the male Under 17 Cricket National Championships being played in Mackay, the NT fared a little better in their Round 2 match against Victoria Country.

In the 50 over match played at Harrup Park, Victoria won the toss and elected to bat. Left-arm Territory quick, Tom Grose, was the first to strike with the ball, having opener, Joshua Pegg, caught by ‘keeper Huw Wiltshire with 35 runs on the board. While never in complete command of the Territory bowlers, a succession of steady partnerships followed and the Vic’s ended their inning at a respectable 8-260 after the allotted 50 overs.

Territory spinners Jayllen Naganayagam (2-27) and Sam Elder (2-53) did the majority of damage, with Elder rolling down 13 overs in an impressive performance.

Tom Kelaart proved stubborn batting at the top of the order for the Territory; his 44 off 89 deliveries was the basis for a competitive score, but unfortunately, little support in the form of partnerships could be formed in the remainder of the batting.  Sam Elder (26), Huw Wiltshire (23) and skipper, Banjo Waring (20), all got starts, but could not manage to make great inroads into the Vic Country total. The Territory was bowled out for 185 – falling 75 runs short. Spinner, Reiley Mark (4-18) was outstanding with the ball for the Vic’s.

Territory coach, Adrian Gallagher, was relatively happy with the improvement but identified a lack of smart batting as a major cause of concern.

“We batted without a plan in Round 1 and although it was better today, there is still room for improvement.  The frustration was that our batters got set then played a rash shot and got out”, said Gallagher.

“I was pretty happy with the bowlers. We set a target of around 200-210 for them and looked on track - they only got away in the last four or five overs.”

Next for the NT is ACT/NSW country on Friday.