Manly continue their strong run of form with five excellent displays over the weekend, all grades being in strong positions against the strong Sutherland club. Barring a 4th grade style collapse, 1st grade look good things at 0/107 chasing 163, 2nds amassed some huge runs on the back of centurions, Merchant and Walter. 3rds showed why they are always strong with just about everybody making runs in a very defendable 298, 4th grade totally outplayed Sutherland for 85% of the game but the last hour Sutherland stormed home to make a game of it whilst 5th grade scored a solid 222 but then have Sutherland at an incredible 5/4, with Ben Falconer virtually unplayable collecting 4/3.
In the T20s out at Penrith we had mixed success with 1st grade picking up the points but PGs going down in a close one.
4 Pines Player of the week – Cameron Merchant 132no
Cameron’s 9th century for the club was all class. Coming in on the back of a great opening stand Napper made it clear he wanted to make amends for his first baller last week and he was never going to get out in his boundary laden display. Napper gets the award by a nose from his partner Jarrod Walter who continued his great run of form with a superb 116. Also fighting it out was 5th grader Ben Falconer who claimed an amazing 4/3 but you have to bowl more than 4 overs to get the award. Finish them off next week Ben and you’ll be a good thing. But for this week no one will argue with Napper’s fine innings, well done mate!
First grade had another solid day on Saturday against the strong Sutherland side. After losing the toss on what was a flat wicket, we bowled with great discipline to restrict the Sharks to 3-96 shortly after lunch. As was the way the previous week, our hard work in the first session payed off in the middle session with the Sharks losing 4 for 2 at one point to be eventually dismissed for 163. The wickets were again shared with McLachlan and Babula picking up 3 each, debutant Buck 2 and Beadle and Edwards 1 a piece.
We were left with 32 overs to bat at the end of the day to make some inroads into the Sutherland target. The openers did this well with Edgell in particular grabbing his chance at the top of the order with an uneaten 55 at stumps. We finished the day at 0-107.
1st Grade T20 – Manly 8/130 (A.Beadle 32, C. Merchant 28) beat Penrith 112 (A.Beadle 3/10, D. Babula 3/27, N.McLachlan 2/14)
First grade were definitely below their best on Sunday in the T20 encounter with Penrith, however still managed to sneak away with a victory. After winning the toss and batting, quite a few of the top order got starts but no one went on to post a half century. Wickets fell at regular intervals just as guys were set, however we kept the score board ticking over to post 130 off our 20. This was slightly short of what we were hoping for, however we thought it would be enough if we bowled and fielded to our potential. The main contributors with the bat were Beadle (32), Merchant (28) and Crosthwaite (24).
Penrith got away to an absolute flyer in their innings, going at nearly 10 an over for the first 5 overs. The introduction of Beadle and McLachlan swung the momentum around however and slowly we pegged our way back. Babula took a few crucial wickets in the middle period to be on a hat rick at one point and we eventually bowled the Panthers out for 112 in the 20th over. The wickets were shared with Babula and Beadle picking up 3 each, McLachlan 2 while Buck and Ritchie picked up 1 each.
All in all we were pleased to get a win in our first T20 match for the season and we will be better for the run next Sunday against Randy Petes at home.
2nd Grade –Manly 4/355 (C Merchant 132no, J. Walter 116, J. Rawlings 49, B.Qureshi 34no) v Sutherland The day got under way with a contentious game of touch where the bottom 5 were robbed of a well deserved win with a horrible call. The day got better with Sammy Webber winning his 2nd straight toss and electing to bat.
The RedRod opening partnership got off to a great start, Rawlings taking advantage of some early luck and Jarrod ‘the mayor of Manly’ Walter looking solid at the other end. The openers got us to 0-90 at lunch and set us up perfectly for a big day.
Rawlings was fired to a 50/50 LBW call, judging the bruise on his thigh it was probably a little high. This brought the dream to the crease and he looked too good for the other team from ball one. He and Walter took to the Sutherland bowlers with some very intelligent cricket. Both players are very good off the back foot and were very happy to accept hours of short bowling from the opposition.
During this great partnership Luke Grant moved on from his previous comments to put his case forward to abolish the front foot no ball from the game. He later conceded that he probably didn’t think he comments through.
3 balls before tea Jarrod hit a boundary to bring up a well-deserved century, he has been the form batsman for us to start the year and has been working hard to achieve three figures. His patience was rewarded on Saturday and it was great to see how much his teammates enjoyed watching him succeed.
At tea we were 1-220, after tea Walter and Nappa settled back in and looked to continue the punishment until Walter (116) got a ball that stayed low and finally ended a great innings and partnership. Unfortunately Smitta bra, who was waiting all day to get his chance got the same ball as Walter and was bowled first ball. Nappa continued to smoke the ball after tea and brought up his ton with a great sweep shot off their opening bowler. Nappa was a class above all day and showed how good he can be by delivering a chanceless hundred in style.
Jordan was looking solid until he had a brain explosion and was run out for 16, Bill then joined Nappa and the two played some entertaining cricket towards the end of the day. There was talk of having a bowl late in the day, when Ralfy got word of this he made the decision to tactically vomit 12 times behind the change rooms and then fall asleep on the grass. This convinced shwebs to bat out the day, nappa (132*) and Bill (34*) finished the day with class and leaving Manly 4-355.Go Manly!
Viss3rd Grade – Manly 298 (A. Gummer 66, A. Virdi 54, R. Farrell 47, M. Burgess 30, C.Little25, J.Boyer 25 ) v Sutherland With Craig Little winning the toss and electing to bat the Manly boys had it all in front of them on a typical Grahams decks. After the loss of Cole, Gummer and Farrell combined well with an entertaining and controlled 100 odd partnership which saw Gummer fall two balls before tea for an excellent 66. Farrell fell just after tea, for a well compiled 47, but unfortunately starts were the story of the day with Burgess (30), Little (25) and Boyer (25) all making starts. With some clean and positive stroke play from Virdi (54) at the end saw the boys end up with 298. Even though no one made a big score this round it was pleasing to see, the Manly boys post a close to 300 score, which is more than defendable.
With high energy and standards in the field next week, as well as disciplined bowling the boys will give themselves every chance of a win next week.
4th Grade – Sutherland 119 (N.Toomey 4/35, D.Reynolds 3/14, A.Baker 2/30) v Manly 7/89 (R. Trewartha 55), C. Boss 21)
Sutherland won the toss and with some hestitation had a bat. The wicket had a fair covering of grass but looked a little bit underprepared. Nick (4/35) got as off to a strong start with an edge to Lindsay in the slips 4th ball. Danny (3/14) backed him up with a couple of early ones as well and with good slips catching we had them 4/25 after 10 overs. Sutherland never really looked comfortable against any of our bowlers and scrapped away. The pitch was playing OK, a bit up & down but nothing unplayable. Our solid bowling and fielding continued throughout the innings and we wrapped them up for 119 with 28 overs left in the day. Nick bowled excellently again to just miss out on a 3rd consecutive 5fa. Aidan Baker (2/30) bowled some wily medium pace to collect 2 wickets and Evans (1/7) snared a sharp C&B to get an important mid innings wicket.
Ross (55) and Bill (9) opened up and looked comfortable. In fact at 0/42 we were all feeling comfortable before Bill played across a straight one. Aidan can consider himself unlucky to be given out LBW for 2 and when Sam Hole dangled his bat for a tickle we were suddenly a bit tense at 3/55. Ross and Jacob then attempted to restore order with Ross continuing to play all the shots straight from the middle of his bat to bring up a quick, hard hitting, chanceless 50. Soon after though Ross tried to sweep a straight one and was given out LBW. Jacob missed a flatter, faster one from the offie and was bowled, Pete had a rush of blood with 3 overs to go and slapped one straight to cover and Evans was adjudged LBW despite snicking it (had to chuck that in). The scorers were not bothered much by these blokes and at 7/89 we have some work to do. Petersen and Reynolds are in and Reid and Toomey to come. That means plenty of batting! Sutherland have a lot of work to do to get through those blokes and I reckon we can rack up a decent first innings lead.
5th Grade – Manly 222(T.Kelly 84, M.Alexander 46) v Sutherland 5/4 (B. Falconer 4/3)
A flat deck & fast outfield once again greeted 5th grade at MPO. A 3rd straight toss was won and we of course had a bat.
We lost Nick & Jake Carden (on debut) pretty quickly & Toby not long afterwards. TK and Matto’s got together for a good stand to steady the ship. Matto’s made a very good 45 before going to their spinner. The wicket was starting to turn with runs pretty hard to get. But despite a really big opportunity for the middle/lower order to get some time in the middle, no one really put their hand up with a few teens & 20’s only.
TK was the difference for us, continuing his great early season form, with a polished 85. 3 figures will surely be his soon. All out for 222 was probably 50 short of what we wanted, but it left an uncomfortable little 8 over spell for the disinterested Shire boys to face.
Enter Gus Gilmore (aka Ben Falconer) from the Northern end. What followed was 4 for 3 off 4 overs for Ben and 1 for 1 for Zac, also off 4 overs. Sutherland at the close, 5 for 4. Hard to believe really, but the tighter the field moved in, the tighter the batsmen got and the better the openers bowled. Jake Carden took one of the best catches you will see at short mid on to really press home our dominance.
Not over yet but the boys will have their tails up heading into Day 2.
PG’s – Manly 9/113 (M.Pugh 33, T Beatty 23) lost to Penrith 4/114
With 113 on the scoreboard it may have been a little less than what we were expecting but it was certainly a denfendable total, especially in PG’s. The boys realised that it would require some tight and accurate bowling to defend the total that we had posted. However it was not to be, apart from Mickey Edwards who bowled with great shape and pace our bowling performance was certainly not up to standards. Conceeding way too many no-balls/free-hits and inconsistantly producing dot-balls, allowed Penrith to chase down the total reasonably comfortably, only 4 down in the last over. The only positive to come from our fielding performance was that we held onto every catch of the day, even off free-hits and kept up the energy in the field right till the end.
Looking back on the days performance, with the bat we lacked application to find singles early on before power-hitting our way to a big total oppossed to hitting out to early on in our innings. With our bowling, cutting down on no-balls/wides is critical in Twenty20’s, we need to look to bowl tighter lines and build pressure with consistent back to the basic type bowling. All in all a large learning experience for the majority of the team, adjusting to T20 cricket is never easy and it will take hard work at training by all to get us into a winning shape for our next match.