In round 14 of the New South Wales Premier Cricket competition, the TravelSim Waratahs take on St. George in another two-weekender game.
The Tahs first grade side suffered their first lost in four rounds, although coming at a perfect time that has acted as a wake up call for the team.
A close loss saw Manly almost able to take the win last week, after grabbing a few quick wickets in Parramatta’s middle order, but were unable to get the last few to secure a win. Solidly consistent scores from Ahillen Beadle, James Crosthwaite, Jay Lenton, Chris Green and Joel Foster all hit between 60 and 42 runs each. A good total saw Manly declare at 303 runs, but it wasn’t enough against a strong Parramatta side who were able to chase it down. More consistent scores were seen from Manly across their bowling attack with Michael Visser and Ahillen Beadle getting two wickets each, and Joel Foster, Nick McLachlan and Chris Green with one a piece.
It was a true team effort from the Tahs, but still not enough to get a win – a true preview of what this year’s finals series will be like and the importance of never getting too complacent.
Unfortunately due to the highly talented squad that Manly currently have, the risk of losing players to other representative commitments is high. Chris Green joins the Pakistan Super League with the Quetta Gladiators, and as a result will not be able to play for Manly for the next two rounds. Mickey Edwards will also be out of contention due to his own New South Wales commitments, however, St. George will also be without the likes of their own representative players due to this. Michael Visser is also unavailable, and Matt Alexander and Taylor Beatty both remain out for the season.
St. George sit in 12th spot on the ladder currently, however Manly know all too well never to be too content. It’ll be a true tester this round, of the depth of Manly’s bowling attack as they are without so many players who make up the spine of this. However, as Manly sit in second place on the club championship table, it is proof of the ability of this club to have the cattle to step up when need be.
Across all grades, Manly sit in the top six – except for in third grade who are just outside in ninth place. This is a massive feat for the club and has given even greater motivation for all as finals time comes near to keep their spots inside the top six. Whist none of St. George’s teams sit inside the top six, anything can happen and like first grade, these teams must not take any team lightly, and ensure they are in the best position possible when it comes to finals time.
It is shaping up to be yet another challenging week for the Tahs, but it is the perfect practice to get ready for finals time – which looks like to be a busy one this season for the club.