Strong innings from Nicholas secures win
Monday, 10th February, 2020
By Callum Marshall
In a great back-and-forth contest at the Alma Oval on Saturday, South managed to beat West in the final over with the Roos’ Paul Nicholas scoring a vital 63 runs to help his side to victory.
In the early innings, Robins players Peter Lewis and Jordan Meehan rode some early bowling pressure to make it to 29 not out - a solid start.
A great bowling partnership between Nathan Waterhouse and Laurence Hebbard made scoring tricky for the two batsmen, with the pair facing some probing, testing deliveries from both bowlers.
Lewis and Meehan negotiated the early period well however, particularly Lewis who found the boundary line several times.
The partnership came to an end though when Meehan (5) was caught by Matt Lihou off a Sheldon Hall delivery.
Lewis kept the scoreboard ticking for the Robins but was finally out for 28 when Cody Schorn took him lbw.
Harry Clout (4) was out soon after, with Hall nabbing his second wicket and Lihou his second catch.
With their side on 3/52, new batsmen Mackenzie Attard and Max Everuss came in and started racking up the runs.
In a blistering 24 off 24 balls, Attard cracked two fours and two sixes while Everuss made 20 off 27 balls which included three fours.
The scoreboard kept ticking along nicely for West following their wickets, with Lachlan Kaye (34 n/o) and Paul Attard (22) adding vital runs for their side.
Attard’s 22 came off a quick-fire 22 deliveries while Kaye played an assured middle-order knock with some nice boundaries and solid defence.
South’s bowling unit were playing well though, collecting wickets at crucial times.
Alex Page dismissed the dangerous duo of M Attard and Everuss while Waterhouse sent P Attard and Matt Handberg (0) walking.
In the end, the Robins finished on 7/171 - an overall solid knock, with valuable contributions from a number of batsmen.
In response, South came out all guns blazing with Page (13) and Nicholas hitting freely and collecting early fours and sixes.
Nicholas looked in particularly good touch as he cracked anything slightly short or wide for quick-fire boundaries, including two early sixes.
At the pace the two batsmen were going, it was looking like it might be a straightforward Roos victory but Casey Ferguson soon managed to get Page out, caught well by Everuss, and bringing to an end an opening partnership of 43.
Nicholas kept piling on the runs though, with South still in a good position when Sheldon Hall (13) got out lbw to P Attard. At this stage, the side were 2/82 with plenty of overs to spare.
Lihou, like Hall, also got a start but was soon out for 10 when he was bowled by Aaron Carroll.
Carroll also managed to get the dangerous Nicholas out, who was caught by Colby Stenhouse.
In the end, the Roos’ top order batsman finished on 63 runs off 64 balls - a fantastic knock which included eight fours and two sixes and ended up being vital for his side.
At that stage though, the Roos had gone from looking comfortable to a little vulnerable on 4/103.
With Handberg bowling out Waterhouse for 8 soon after, the game was suddenly becoming a lot tighter.
Not long after, Shorn (1) was bowled by Everuss with the Roos at 6/128 and getting close to the end of their innings.
Matt Reavill (27) was having a good knock for his side though, keeping the scoreboard ticking along with a couple of nice sixes as they approached the Robins total.
However, P Attard soon had him out with Meehan bagging the catch.
Hebbard soon followed as well, bowled for 2 off a Carroll delivery - the Robin bowlers’ third wicket of the day.
Although South only needed 13 runs for victory they had but two wickets left and the Robins were bowling well, keeping things tight and making it a nervy finish for the Roos.
Zac McQuillan, in at number 8 for his side, played a great lower order innings for his side.
His 27 not out, which included two fours, was a crucial late-game knock that saw his side bag victory in the last over with three balls to spare.