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Catches win matches

Monday, 13th January, 2020

High fives for Magpie quick Michael Maalste (right) after removing Robin first drop Lachlan Kaye (left). PICTURE: Michael Murphy High fives for Magpie quick Michael Maalste (right) after removing Robin first drop Lachlan Kaye (left). PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

Outstanding catches punctuated the Barrier District Cricket League’s T20 double-header at the Alma Oval on Saturday.

The Bulldogs won the first match against the Kangaroos, after posting a more-than-respectable total of 104 runs, a tidy effort considering star batsmen ter Braak, Hack and Savage were all unavailable to play.

Matt Letcher (31) and Brendon Martin (23) opened the batting for North, posting a handy 44 runs in nine overs before Martin lost his wicket to a fine Laurence Hebbard catch off the bowling off Sheldon Hall.

Bulldog heavy hitter Codie Howard came the crease, but departed for a duck a few balls later, Reavill accepting the catch, giving Hall his second wicket for the day.

The Dogs never hit their straps after losing Howard, except for a strong stand at the crease by Jordan Vella, who punched out 20 runs off 24 balls and remained not out. North made 104.

Hall was the pick of the South bowlers, finishing with 4/16 off four overs.

The Dogs came out to field and they looked tight, relentless at the ball, diving and sliding on the carpet to stop boundaries when the ball did penetrate the field.

South batters, when they connected, hit the ball hard, but didn’t score with most shots as they kept picking out fielders.

South’s Sheldon Hall was in that bunch, giving the leather the treatment but not getting the reward on the scoreboard. He eventually cracked one high to deep mid-on and Luke Hall found some fast yards to take an absolute specky. Hall departed for seven runs off 27 balls.

South’s Nathan Gageler was another South batsmen who lost his wicket to some freaky fielding. Gageler wound up and lofted one to mid-off and Nash Mitchell pulled off a screamer, not unlike Luke Hall’s earlier effort.

Another top piece of fielding came from behind the stumps. Earlier in the innings, Anthony Tidball didn’t miss a beat when he stumped the dangerous Matt Reavill (13) off the bowling of Austin Wilson.

Reavill was the top scorer for South, who were all out in the last over for 72 runs, falling 32 runs short of their target.

The Bulldog bowlers shared the wickets, with Tom Davey the best with 3/11 off four overs.

In the second game, Central managed to polish off West for just 77 runs thanks largely to a great spell of bowling by speedster Michael Maalste.

Maalste opened the bowling for the Magpies from the airport end, and quickly made his presence known with some quality thunderbolts.

Jordan Meehan (0), who opened the batting for West, lost his stumps to Maalste’s third delivery of the day.

Lachlan Kaye (0), also bowled, was the right-arm quick’s next victim, in his second over, and Jake Tregove scored just three runs before feathering one to keeper O’Meara off the bowling of Maalste.

Maalste finished his four-over spell with 3/3, including two maidens.

Robin power-hitter Mackenzie Attard came in after the fall of the second wicket, and was cautious against Maalste, content with racking up the dot balls and waiting for the first-change bowlers to come on.

When they did, he struck a boundary off Tristen Smith, and there was some anticipation that the youngster was going to let loose.

But Magpies Jared Paull ended that dream.

Paull was hovering in a deep mid-on position when Attard absolutely pounded one off the bowling of Manni Singh. He hit the ball hard and flat, more like a missile than a lofted shot. Paull came screaming in to meet the ball, running toward it and then sliding on his knees, he sprung up one arm in a reflex action.

The ball smacked his big mit like a meat mallett hitting a rib eye.

It was a great catch, and tipped the match into the Magpies’ favour.

The Robins were now 5/22 at the halfway point.

West managed to clock just over 50 runs in the last ten overs. Harry Clout stuck around at the crease and made a good contribution.

Apart from Maalste, O’Mally was the next best bowler for Central, finishing with 3/14 off four overs.

It wasn’t entirely smooth sailing for the Magpies when they batted. Maalste was in the thick of it again, top scoring for the Pies with a solid 21 off 23 balls, and Jared Paull also made a respectable 17.

The Pies lost seven wickets chasing the total, and hit the winning runs in the last over. The wickets were spread around the Robins bowling attack.

It was great cricket to watch on Saturday. 

Next week is another T20 double-header at the Alma Oval. West take on South in the first game, while the Magpies square off against North in the late match.

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