Nine enough for Roos
Thursday, 14th February, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
South picked up a hard-fought 12-run win over North in Saturday’s B Grade clash despite having just nine players, while the Warriors cemented top spot with victory against the Magpies.
South batted first at the Zinc Oval and made a fantastic start with openers RV Kumar and Binu Sebastian adding 49 for the first wicket until Sebastian was caught for 18 off 24 balls.
Co-captains Mason Squire (7) and Danny Gray (2) came and went quickly before Mitch Henderson (10) was also dismissed to leave South in trouble at 4-87 and with only nine available batsmen.
Luke Lines, a former South junior making his first senior appearance in some time, then joined Kumar for what would prove to be a match-defining partnership.
Lines made 26 off 21 deliveries and his 33-run stand with Kumar moved South to 120 and into the range of a competitive score.
Kumar was the second last man out for a fantastic 42 which included three boundaries on a Zinc Oval that isn’t always conducive to easy batting. Kumar is in a nice run of form that’s seen scores of 37, 34 and 42 from his last five B Grade knocks.
The Roos were bowled out in the 28th over for a very competitive 135. Ashley Richards (3-24) was the pick of North’s bowlers while Scott Rogers also chipped in with two wickets.
North’s chase didn’t get off to a great start as veteran Shayne Staker (1) was bowled by Squire. Bailey Shepherd (1) followed soon after and while Richards and Bulldogs’ skipper Ben Victory added 25 for the third wicket, a fantastic piece of fielding by Lines had Victory run out for 12 and started a mini-collapse.
The wickets of Richards (15), Quinton Beavan (0) and Rogers (10) left North struggling at 6-66 and despite some nice batting by Katie Letcher (14) and a few lusty blows by Dunstal Hibberd (23 not out), North couldn’t keep up the required run rate and finished on eight for 123 after their 30 overs.
South’s bowlers did their best to help North in their chase, bowling a whopping 31 wides. Gray claimed 3-26 while Squire and Henderson picked up a wicket each and Kumar took two.
The win moves the Roos into second spot with 37 points but they’ll need to beat the ladder-leading Warriors on Saturday to have a real hope of playing finals.
Central and West have two games remaining plus a catch up game against each other while South have a bye in the final round. North sit fourth on 32 points with just one game to play.
Across town it was a see-sawing affair between the Warriors and Central.
Chasing a modest 121 for victory, the Warriors were in all sorts having been reduced to 6-64 until Shane Dalby and Shaun Kemp rescued the innings.
Dalby crashed six fours in his unbeaten knock of 38 while Kemp was even more brutal with 32 of his 36 runs coming in boundaries. He struck five fours and two sixes to finish on 36 not out and guided the Warriors home with four wickets and 25 balls to spare.
Juniors Jaxon Cain and Nick Devoy each claimed two wickets for the Magpies.
Earlier in the day, Central recovered from a disastrous 3-8 which included Josh Joliffe, who scored an unbeaten hundred the week before, being dismissed for a golden duck.
Opener Jason Maalste and Aaron Williams then combined for a 90-run partnership until Williams was bowled one run short of a half-century. Maalste carried his bat for a patient 38 and Devoy chipped in with 10 not out as Central posted 120 from their allotted 30 overs.
Eric Underwood was the chief destroyer for the Warriors, taking 3-23 from six overs.
With the result, the Warriors have all but secured top spot and yet another grand final berth while Central remain in a good position to return to the finals with two rounds, plus a catch up game, to play. Central will play West in round 14 while the Warriors will take on South.