South v Quorn
South have once again proven why they are the ladder leaders after 10 rounds in the A-Grade season. Their five-wicket win over second-placed Quorn puts them in a very good position to finish top and go straight through to the Grand Final.
Quorn were bowled out for 119 and had three players pass 20 but couldn’t go on with it, while Cameron Parkinson’s 36 not-out helped South over the line, despite some nervous moments.
With a few of their big guns out, it was a different-looking Quorn side that took the field. Kade Baker and Tom Finlay opened the batting and got through the first 30 minutes unscathed.
After taking seven wickets in his last outing, Craig Shirley was back into it after the Christmas break with the wicket of Finlay for 22.
Stand-in captain Corey Finlay took his place, but lost his first two partners quickly as Shirley struck two more blows.
Baker and Karl Finlay were the two to fall for 12 and one respectively, before Mark Francis was out to Aaron Vater without getting off the mark.
Paul Finlay saw his side to drinks but needed to carry on in his partnership with his captain. The two Finlays put on 24 before Corey was caught off the bowling of Ben Trewartha for 20.
Bailey Marshall came out and partnered Paul Finlay well but once again, South were able to get a wicket just at the right time.
Greg Shirley took the wicket of Marshall and then the next over, Trewartha got his second when he dismissed Paul Finlay for 28.
The innings was wrapped up quickly from there, as Clayton Parkinson took the final three wickets of the innings and Quorn were bowled out for 119.
Paul Finlay’s 28 was the highest score of the Quorn batsmen, while Craig Shirley was the pick of the bowlers with 3/23.
With only 119 to defend, Quorn needed early wickets and they got just that with Tom Finlay finding the edge of Nick Callary for two and Corey Finlay bowling Corey Cuffe for four.
Coming in at 2/10, there was still plenty of work to do for the league’s leading run scorer, Greg Shirley, but he did little before Karl Finlay knocked him over.
After doing it with the ball, Craig Shirley had to pull his weight with the bat as well and did admirably to get his side back on track alongside Cameron Parkinson. He made 28 before becoming Corey Finlay’s second wicket.
Finlay followed it up with the wicket of Marcus Gill for nine just a few overs later, but the damage was done as South needed just 17 runs to win when number seven batsman Ben Trewartha walked to the middle. He smashed two sixes to make quick work of it and finished 14 not out as he and Parkinson saw South home by five wickets.
Parkinson stood up with the bat, making 36 not-out to guide his side home, as the Bulldogs seemed comfortable for most of the run chase despite some setbacks. They will be hard to stop this season.
Central/Stirling v West
Central/Stirling picked up a crucial win over West to extend their lead over the Hawks in third position on the ladder.
Lucas Hill again proved to be difficult to dismiss, batting for almost the entire 50-over innings and making 62, before Cameron Edson tore the West line-up apart on his way to a six-wicket haul.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Central started slowly and when Dylan Cammarano picked up the first wicket, they stumbled to 1/15 off nine overs.
Roby McDonald joined Hill at the crease for a second-wicket partnership that would end up being the match winner. West struggled to break the stand with both batsmen being very watchful.
At the halfway point of the innings, the Tigers had moved to 51 with only one wicket lost and needed to get a bit of a wriggle on.
The two at the crease began to turn the strike over more frequently, as they brought up the team’s 100 and McDonald passed 50.
However, as he was looking to boost the run rate, he top-edged a ball off Josh Dunstan that was caught by Mark Benbow. This took the Tigers to 2/106 after 38 overs but sparked a flurry of wickets.
Every batsman that strode to the crease from there on looked to score quickly and often fell cheaply. In between the singles and twos, there were a few infrequent boundaries as Tom Baulderstone, Toby Baxter, Brendon Davis and Jeremy Edson all fell to Darcy Irvine within five overs.
Nathan Khan then came in at number nine and looked positive at the crease. He struck the only six of the innings and made 15, before becoming Jason McInerney’s second wicket in the 48th over.
The very next ball Cameron Edson was bowled, then the innings came to a close when Hill was finally run out in the last over for 62. Central lost nine wickets in 12 overs to end up being bowled out for 165.
The Tigers then started their bowling innings sharply. Davis claimed the first wicket in the second over of the innings, thanks to a good catch by Orson Poole to dismiss Darcy Irvine.
West’s Kale Irvine and Toby Blinman negotiated some tight bowling for the next eight overs, but the required rate continued to increase.
Irvine fell to Baulderstone in the 11th over with the score on 18, and after Joel Coulthard and Josh Dunstan were bowled, West were in deep trouble.
McInerney and Mark Benbow came together with their side still needing 123 runs and struck some much-needed boundaries in their time at the crease.
McInerney made 19 before a diving catch from Brendon Davis off a Cameron Edson delivery saw him back in the sheds. Edson went on to take the final four wickets to wrap up a 70-run win.
McInerney was West’s top scorer with 19, while Edson was the star with the ball, claiming figures of 6/38.