reen Shield continued their perfect start to the season as they defeated Bankstown in a nail-biter at Grahame Thomas Oval. The home side won the toss which saw our boys bat first for just the second time this season.
After losing two early wickets, in-form batsmen Joel Davies (48) and Sam Jones (23) led the fight back as they put on 45 for the 3rd wicket. Jones fell softly just as the two were starting to look threatening. Melville (14) joined Davies at the crease and continued to lay a platform as the pair put on a further 49 runs for the 4th wicket. Unfortunately, the next three wickets fell within a matter of overs with Davies, Melville and Lucius all being dismissed in quick succession. With the score at 6-102 our boys were in trouble. Thanks to a classy innings from Finlay Thornton (67) and the support from fellow Toronto all-rounder Matthew Sommerville (25), we recovered well and posted 224 as we were bowled out in the 50th over. This later proved to be a match winning partnership of 64.
With a strong total on the board, the boys were fired up and ready to keep our perfect record intact. Bankstown got off to a strong start as they put on 43 for the first wicket. A sharp caught and bowled from Sam Jones saw one of Bankstown’s danger men dismissed. The home side continued to lay a platform for the back end of their innings as they put on a patient 80 for the second wicket. Tight bowling from our skipper Joel Davies led to the very timely 2nd wicket. Some excellent fielding from the boys saw a number of runouts feature throughout the rest of the match.
At the final drinks break, the game remained in the balance as Bankstown required 93 from the final 11 overs with 7 wickets in hand. The final 11 overs saw some fantastic cricket on display with both sides fighting hard throughout the remainder of the match. The match came down to the final over with Matthew Sommerville the man with the ball. 16 runs needed. Bankstown only managed singles off the first 3 balls of the over as Matty executed his fuller deliveries superbly. Matty just missed his yorker on the next delivery resulting in a low full toss which was cleanly struck over the fence. 7 required from the final 2 deliveries.
Second last ball of the match was struck firmly which saw the set batsmen pick up two to retain the strike for the final ball of the match. Matty held his nerves and executed a very full delivery in which the batsman was unable to manage more than a single. An outstanding game of cricket from two quality sides.
A big thank you to Bankstown for their hospitality and the Manly families for their endless support of the players and coaching staff.
Manly remain in equal 1st position with two matches remaining. A big week ahead as we take on Sydney Uni (Tuesday @ Manly) and Penrith (Thursday @ Howell).