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South scores first win

Monday, 15th January, 2018

Jordan Vella bowls on Friday night. Vella was terrific with 5-2 off four overs but it wasn’t enough as South won the night T20 by 12 runs. Jordan Vella bowls on Friday night. Vella was terrific with 5-2 off four overs but it wasn’t enough as South won the night T20 by 12 runs.

By Tyler Hannigan

South 9 for 74 (A. Sucking 22, P. Nicholas 17; J. Vella 5-2, T. Davey 2-11) defeated North 62 (A. Suckling 3-15, J. Massaro 2-5, M. Singh 2-6, A. Page 2-13) by 12 runs

South broke through for their first A Grade win in over two seasons with a 12-run win over North on a wet Friday night at the Jubilee Oval.

The match was played under lights with a pink ball and drew a larger crowd than normal despite the persistent rain throughout the evening. The rain made scoring tough and threatened to wash the game out a number of times but the players toughed it out and completed the match.

Earlier in the night, South won the toss and opted to bat first but were in early trouble as three of their top four batsmen fell without scoring and the Roos were wobbling at 4-15 after six overs. 

Paul Nicholas, playing his first A Grade game of the season, gave his team a boost with a quick-fire 17 from 16 balls which included two big sixes towards the old brewery but his dismissal signaled another collapse.

South were wallowing at 8-33 after 11 overs and were in serious danger of not seeing out their 20 overs let alone reaching a competitive score before Andrew Suckling and Mitchell Henderson joined for a crucial 32-run partnership.

Suckling struck two fours and a six in his vital knock of 22 from 21 balls before he was caught behind in the 16th over. James Massaro (2 not out) and Henderson (13 not out) saw out the remaining overs and added another 10 runs as South finished at nine for 74 after their allotted overs. 

Jordan Vella was the main destroyer for North as his fast, flat off-spin was impossible to get away on the low Jubilee pitch. He finished with the brilliant figures of five wickets for just two runs off four overs. Tom Davey bowled well to take two wickets while Luke Hall and Ben Victory chipped in with one each.

With just 74 runs to defend, South needed early wickets and were on track as they dismissed Codie Howard and Tobias Hack for a combined nine runs. 

Opener Matt Letcher and Vella moved the score along to 34 before Vella fell to a superb one-handed catch by Ricky Kumar at mid-wicket.

Even with those wickets, the Bulldogs were still on track at 3-47 after 12 overs with the rain increasing but again it was Suckling who proved to be the difference. He bowled a terrific bouncer to have Letcher caught at short fine leg for 12 off 31 deliveries and followed it up by getting Brendon Martin caught behind for 9 just a few balls later. 

With renewed belief, a procession of wickets followed for the Roos and North collapsed to nine for 53 in the 16th over as the rain finally cleared. 

Tail-enders Davey and Hall tried their best but could add only nine runs before Kumar cleaned up the innings to give South a hard-fought 12-run win.

South’s bowlers and fielders were terrific with a wet ball and in slippery conditions. Spin bowlers Mani Singh and Massaro both took two wickets and made scoring very tough while seamers Suckling and Alex Page took three and two wickets respectively.

The win was South’s first in more than two seasons in the A Grade competition and will hopefully spur them on for the remainder of the 2017/18 season. 

North will be disappointed to have let the game slip given they were in control for the majority of the contest. Having South at 8-32 before allowing 42 runs to come from the last two wickets and then coasting at 3-47 to lose seven wickets for 15 runs.

Next week will be the final round of T20 games for the season with North again playing on Friday night against Central while South will take on West on Saturday.

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