Wilson clips Pies early
Monday, 20th January, 2020
By Michael Murphy
North bowler Austin Wilson struck a devastating blow to the Magpie battling line-up, ripping the heart out of their top-order early in the T20 Barrier District grand final at the Alma Oval on Saturday.
The Bulldogs won their second T20 flag in a row, easily overtaking the Magpie total of 78 with five overs to spare.
Vella and Davey opened the bowling for North, and the Magpie openers of Kumar and Smith looked comfortable at the crease. Smith was hitting the ball in the middle and Kumar was keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
After two Vella overs, Austin Wilson was ushered into the attack. Kumar decided to take his helmet off to face the youngster, but next ball he lost his stumps.
Two Wilson balls later, Jared Paull snicked one behind and keeper Hack accepted the catch.
Two balls later, Magpie Justin Heath was sent packing after he lost his stumps to Wilson, ending an unforgettable over for the paceman, one he’ll likely never forget.
The North crew are normally upbeat in the field, but this spell elevated them to another level, they could smell victory.
It was going to be tough for the Magpies to recover and post a decent total after losing three quality bats in quick succession, but heavy hitter Tristen Smith remained out there, and there was a flicker of hope for the Pies.
North’s Codie Howard then delivered the knockout punch. Magpie Pettitt tickled one to keeper Hack and was back in the sheds after making eight, then Wilson returned to the highlight reel after Maalste skied one to him at mid-on. Howard had picked up two quick wickets and the Pies were in serious trouble at 5/46.
Savage replaced Wilson to bowl at the city end, and pulled off a spectacular caught-and-bowled after Neal hit one hard and low.
Not to be outdone, Howard then pulled of an even better catch off his own bowling to remove the dangerous Smith, who top scored for the Pies with 28.
The Bulldogs must have been licking their chops when they finished their 20 overs, all they had to do now was score just under four runs an over to take out the flag.
Magpie spearhead Maalste opened the bowling, and trapped Martin in front for a second-ball duck, and it was clear the Pies weren’t going down without swinging.
But ter Braak, Hack, Howard and Savage all made double figures, and the Bulldogs were never troubled.
A highlight for the Pies was that young Nick Devoy picked up two late wickets.
North captain Tobias Hack made some decisions that paid off for the Bulldogs, particularly bringing Wilson and Hack into the attack for immediate results.
“Obviously our bowlers set the win up today, they bowled magnificently,” Hack said after the match.
“Austin Wilson’s three-wicket maiden really took the game away from Central. Codie Howard’s three for six as well ... you can’t do much better than that.
“Everyone gels well, we have got seven or eight that can bowl,” he said, adding that it gives him plenty of options.
Hack pulled his team aside after the win, and told them the 2019/2020 flag is in reach.
“It’s is a bit of a stepping stone, we have got four games left for the year, we are half a game behind Central, hopefully we can finish on top and get through to the grand final.”
In the first game of the day, West signalled their intentions for the rest of the year, by putting away South in a thriller.
With Gepp back in the side, and Reavill on fire, the Roos posted 123 runs against West.
But the Robins reeled them in, thanks to a strong top-order showing by Paul Attard, Meehan, Mackenzie Attard and Kaye. Carroll hit the winning runs on the last ball of the innings.