Opening the Cricket Australia Under 19 National Championships in Perth against a strong NSW Metro team, the NT just failed to overhaul the required 296 runs for victory – they were bowled out for 264 in 49.5 overs.

After winning the toss, NSW Metro opted to bat at the Abbett Park (East Oval) venue and immediately asserted some authority, racing to 88 without loss after the first 15 overs. NT pace bowlers Rajdeep Singh, Tom Olsen and Sam Bammant and off-spinner, Coby Edmonstone bore the brunt of the explosive batting and their combined 10 wides didn’t help the cause during that initial phase.

NSW openers Jack Attenborough and Yuvraj Sharma posted their 100-run opening stand in the 20th over and took a toll on all bowlers. The introduction of left-arm orthodox pair, Territory skipper, Adi Dave, and Townsville’s Brendan Haylett, finally slowed the run torrent with disciplined bowling. The stand was broken at 117 when Haylett forced the error from Sharma (42) – the catch gleefully accepted by Dave. Then it was Dave who snared Attenborough for a well compiled 77 (nine fours and one six).

The NSW batsmen again knuckled down and built a third wicket partnership. Metro captain, Lachlan Hearne and Zeesham Ahmed pushed the score along to 269 before Dave deceived Hearne and bowled him for an enterprising 79 off 73 balls faced. With wickets in hand, Metro lashed out at the end and totalled 5-296 at the compulsory closure.

Sam Elder and Jet Liebke (Sandgate-Redcliff) opened the batting for the Territory in a controlled manner and reached 62 before Elder was run out for 24. The wicket of the big hitting Liebke (54), with the score at 87, was a blow but the remainder of the NT top six made contributions and at 4-245 the NT was on track to cause a major upset.  Batting at six, Daniel Mylius – 57 off 52 balls - held the innings together and gave the Metro bowlers some anxious moments.

Territory Assistant Coach, Tom Scollay, was delighted with the performance and believes with more disciplined bowling, the NT could easily have won the game.

“We didn’t actually bowl poorly – but our mindset occasionally lapsed and we sent down too many four-balls,” said Scollay.

“After NSW got away early, Adi (Dave) and Brendan Haylett reeled them in and bowled really well in tandem.”

Off-spinner, Hayden Goulstone, bowled at the death and was the pick of the Metro bowlers.

Match Scores: NSW Metro: 5-296 (Lachlan Hearne 79, Jack Attenborough 77; Adi Dave 2-49) d Northern Territory: 10-264 (Dylan Mylius 57, Jet Liebke 54; Hayden Goulstone 4-51).