Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Mixed Bag - City v Wests

City served up twenty cents worth of mixed lollies against West in four grades on Saturday. Those odd grades - 1st and 3rd - are well placed after strong team performances but the evens - 2nds and 4th - are in a spot of trouble after digging themselves deeper the longer such a fine, warm Saturday went on. Still, the thought of being a City Man can often make up a lot of difference.

Firsts played a lot of smart cricket and certainly have the upper hand in this match at No.1. Winning the toss, Dan Mitchell was always intent on making sure he took advantage of a Wests line-up short on a couple of the stars from their firmament and he duly asked them to have a bat. Brendon Reynolds struck first but the skipper kept his bowlers rotating about despite the regular fall of wickets. This was exemplified by the first six wickets falling to six different bowlers. Tom Wilson again ended with the bulk of the spoils but all bowled well, including Richie O'Halloran with six overs of spin. The other eye catching performance came from Buddy Harriott behind the sticks, where his skill mounted pressure on the batsman. The willow-men then made the most of things until stumps with Aaron Flaherty again impressive. The lowlight came with the needless runout of Nathan Whale just as the umps were about to pull the timbers.
Wests161 (Tom Wilson 3-26, Nathan Whale 2-22, Brendon Reynolds 2-29). City 2-77 (Aaron Flaherty 41x, Nathan Whale 28).

Seconds bowled well, especially in finishing of the Wests innings, where the last six wickets were taken for 41. Chris Langston, returning from injury, was again a key contributor, even if a little loose as he shakes off pre-season cobwebs. Ben Semmler continues to impress as does his new ball partner Tim Skewes. With the injury to Matt Reynolds, the chance for others to step up was offered and taken by Dougie Cederblad and Jay Sippel. Cederblad, in particular bowled well, snaring a couple of important mid-innings wickets. Unfortunately, the City innings was soon in tatters and stayed there for the hours when the shadows lengthened after tea. A few made starts but it was Xavier Tras who top scored. Still, with 86 required, Ben Semmler looking solid and Anthony Dutton to return next week, we might be wheezing and have wobbly legs but like Monty Python's Black Night, we are not beaten yet.
Wests 170 (Chris Langston 3-29, Dougie Cederblad 2-28, Jay Sippel 2-40) v City 7-85

Thirds have more rabbits and more hats than any other team in the club. Four big contributions saw them post a very healthy first innings. The biggest Jack of them all was Cory Calcott who used the small boundaries at Belmore to his advantage with ten 4's and two 6's in his dig. He should have stayed out there swinging whilst the others had a cool one because he lost it after the break. Ryan Sippel played a nice hand opening and dominated the 61 first wicket stand with Pat Dwyer. Michael Bellamy at three unfortunately played over one when well on top but this was a good hand which set the stage for later batsmen. Pierre Steyn, as he often does, unleashed drives on both sides of the wickets and never stayed on strike for too long. He is a busy batsman. Wests were in trouble early courtesy of Josh Allen and Daniel Lawrence but they rallied only to be thwarted by astute bowling changes from the Skipper, Ryan.
City 241 (Cory Calcott 65, Pierre Steyn 44, Ryan Sippel 40, Michael Bellamy 36) v Wests 5-130 (Josh Allen 2-19)

Fourths have conceded first innings points and the day ended with some leather chasing but as is always the case, there were some nice pointers to future things. Tim Hunt and Simon Bellamy would be two of them. They batted well and combined good defence with selective shot making with a certain sense of maturity that indicates they will spend many more years in higher grades than these fledging performances. The other that caught the eye was Josh Worpel, who has been working hard at training and batted like it was a Test match. It's always encouraging to see young blokes with such determination. There was also a lot of spirit in the sense of team that all of the lads showed, even when defending their smallish total. Kaine Philpott and Dylan Jackson tried hard with the ball and Simon Bellamy bowled a tight line.
City 125 (Tim Hunt 27, Simon Bellamy 25) v Wests 5-179 (Tim Hunt 2-31)

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