Roos save best to very last

Monday, 25th February, 2013

South’s Alex Page took no wickets but hung on grimly as a tail-end batsman to give victory to the Roos. South’s Alex Page took no wickets but hung on grimly as a tail-end batsman to give victory to the Roos.

By Newcomer

It was party time for the South Cricket Club on Saturday night after they finally registered their first win of the season in a thrilling one-wicket victory over North at the Alma Oval.

In a low scoring game, North batted first and could only compile 104 runs from 37 overs. South got the runs in the 23rd over but in doing so lost nine wickets.

An interesting statistic for South was that they used all 11 players at the bowling crease.

North elected to bat first on a perfect deck and struggled from the outset as South continually knocked over the top order in the first 15 overs. At drinks North had crumbled to 5/41 and were looking for a saviour or two.

The call wasn't heard as two more quick wickets fell after the break and at 7/49, North were in tatters and South were eying off their first victory.

A mini revival saw Napier and Rogers combine for a 35-run partnership but with the dismissal of Napier for 23, the tail end was mopped up and North had registered 104 runs.

Before the South innings had even begun the feeling in both camps was that South had regularly struggled to reach 100 runs all year and that North knew that if they got early wickets and applied consistent pressure, then the runs on the board were like diamonds.

South's Harvey and Connelly got away to the perfect start, with a steady 25 run partnership but just as things were looking rosy for the Kangaroos, the game proceeded to take a turn.

Three quick wickets saw the score at 3/43 and once again the nerves had started to reveal themselves in the top order.

Connelly continued to attack, but again with three wickets falling at 6/77 and South's tail end was exposed and the game was still evenly poised.

Napier then rattled the stumps of Squire to have South 7/78 and the writing was on the wall. North had their tails in the air with expectations of ripping through the remaining batsmen.

Tension was high as the runs slowed to a crawl, and with every run sweated upon by South onlookers, the game was drawing to an exciting finish.

Hebbard and Schorn took the score to 94 but another twist came with both batsmen's dismissal.

As Rivett and Page, who were South's number 10 and 11, stood at the crease, they still needed 11 runs for victory while North needed the solitary wicket.

The final stages had everyone on their toes as South's score moved past 100 runs, but North knew also that a wicket could come at any stage.

To the relief of the South squad, the winning runs were hit in the 23rd over to bring jubilation to South who have had a very hard season.

They finished on a winning note and deserve praise for persisting through what has been an indifferent season. As for North, if they turn up with this same format next week against Central, they will be pummelled out at the Alma Oval.