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Nick carves them up

Wednesday, 9th November, 2011

SMILING ASSASSIN: West captain and Top End Meats employee Nick Christos has been in menacing form with the ball in the first four rounds of BH cricket. SMILING ASSASSIN: West captain and Top End Meats employee Nick Christos has been in menacing form with the ball in the first four rounds of BH cricket.

By John Casey

The West Cricket Club’s much vaunted bowling attack continues to dominate the early stages of the 2011-12 season with the Robins waltzing to a nine-wicket victory over Central in round four.

Led by captain Nick Christos, West’s bowlers controlled the 20/20 clash at Jubilee Oval, routing the Magpies for just 75.

At one stage the economical Christos had the figures of 1-1 from 2.1 overs before finishing his four-over spell with 1 for 8. The previous week Christos ripped apart the South line-up capturing 5 for 10 from five overs.

“I just try and concentrate on bowling a good line and length,” 24-year-old Christos explained during a break from his job at Top End Meats in Argent Street.

“I’ve been working on a few variations like a slower ball and have been happy with the way I have bowled so far this season.

“I think the key is bowling to the strengths of your team and putting pressure on the batsmen by making it hard for them to score,” Christos added.

West produced a good all-round performance in the field while defeating Central with five of their seven bowlers taking wickets including Rhys Harding who had a game best 3/20.

Harding then teamed with fellow opening batsman Andrew Henry to compile a 61-run stand which effectively took Central out of the equation.

The Magpies’ Adam Armstrong came in for plenty of punishment with 16 runs coming off his second over as the Robins smashed him out of the attack.

West reached the required target in just the 13th over, continuing there enterprising start to the new season as they look to make amends for missing last year’s Grand Final.

In his first full season as captain after taking over the reins from Pat Attard, Christos said his team had high hopes in 2011-12.

Given he is still recovering from a shoulder injury suffered while playing for West A Grade during the football season, Christos has every reason to believe he can improve on last year’s haul of 26 wickets which led the competition.

“I’m only bowling within myself at the moment and the shoulder does get pretty sore after each game,” Christos explained.

“I’m really enjoying the added responsibility of being captain ... it has been a good challenge for me.

“I’ve been with the club since Under-14s and have worked my way through the ranks,” he added.

Surprisingly, Christos prefers bowling at Alma Oval rather than the Jubilee pitch, describing the south ground as providing a better atmosphere even though it is regarded as a paradise for batsmen.

He also feels more at home with the longer version of the game (45 overs) believing the crash and bash style of 20/20 is “tougher on batsmen than bowlers”.

“The batsmen have to make more adjustments in the 20/20 format than the bowlers do - we just need to keep the batsmen under pressure by restricting their options,” Christos said.

Saturday’s early match between North and South was also a lop-sided affair thanks to a whirlwind batting performance from opener Tobias Hack.

The Bulldogs cruised to a 10-wicket victory after Hack smashed an unbeaten half century which included 11 boundaries.

After winning the toss and electing to bat South made a solid start and appeared to be in good shape as they reached 3/82 off just nine overs - largely thanks to a quick fire 33 from Liam Connolly from just 20 balls.

But Rod Jones then proceeded to dismantle the Roos’ middle order, capturing 4/10 in an inspired spell. Jones put the writing on the wall with a wicket with just his second delivery.

From a strong position South were reduced to a total of 97 - a tally that was quickly reeled in thanks to a barnstorming knock from Hack.

Three of his first four scoring shots were boundaries and Hack finished the match in style as well, peeling off three consecutive boundaries to notch his 50 and reach the required target.

The Bulldogs’ hopes of claiming back to back 20/20 crowns appear to be right on target.

South 97 (16 overs) Liam Connolly 33 including five fours and one six, S Robins 16 including two fours and one six, Cody Schorn 15. Rod Jones 4/10, Jake Napier 2/9.
North 0/98 (11 overs) Tobias Hack 58 not out including 10 fours and one six, Scott Rogers 24 not out including three fours.
Central 75 (20 overs) Jared Paull 18 with three fours, Brett Hannon 12 with one six. Rhys Harding 3/20, Scott Withers 2/6, Liam King 2/14.
West 1/76 (13 overs) Rhys Harding 31 including three fours and one six, Andrew Henry 30 including one four and two sixes. Jared Paull 1/4.
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