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2nd Grade Report vs Easts - Round 5 - Day 1

campbellCampbell takes 7, before batsmen falter at the close

Round 5 of the Sydney grade cricket competition pitted two posh rivals against each other. Eastern Suburbs with its trendy bars, architectural sights and harbour views against Gordon's leafy surroundings and suburban living, at Chatswood Oval - the epicentre of multiculturalism this side of the bridge. And Chatswood was its usual hive of activity with a procession of bottles smashing, sirens singing to the sound of emergencies and tires screeching in perfect harmony with honking horns. This, coupled with misled youths experimenting with all forms of life, makes Chatswood oval a wonderful place to play cricket.

The only man to stand up, James 'JC' Campbell takes seven

Mother nature played her part too, treating both sides to a fine Sydney summers day in September. Easts' captain Kirk won the toss and elected to have first use of what looked to be a green Chatswood wicket. His decision proved a poor one for himself personally as he was dismissed by a rank half tracker that seamed significantly back at him from Sweeney and only managed to play on. Sweeney himself having attempted to tackle a fence the over before was heard to say "oh no!" as he released the ball. The first wicket epitomised how the mornings session was to play out, as Gordon continued to pick up easy wickets thanks to some hapless batting from the dolphins top order.

James Campbell was his ever steady self from the Trumper Pavillion end. His consistent display of left-arm-finger-spin-off-the-long-run was rewarded by some poor shot selection and exceptional fielding. His first wicket of Schutz was brilliantly taken down the leg side by Evans standing up to the stumps. The best, or more accurately, fortuitous moment of catching saw the dismissal of the ever dangerous Warner whose run scoring prowess is well respected amongst grade cricketers across the city.

After a out witting the talented opener Robson leg before, Warner came to the wicket in his ever confident stride. Campbell pitched a half volley on leg stump which Warner happily clipped of his legs for what would have been a certain boundary had it not been for Higgins standing at bat-pad who managed to stop the ball mid flight with a combination of groin, forearm and a prayer. His arrogant celebration of a shrug of the shoulders and a flick to square leg either suggested that this occurrence was a regularity or that he had no idea what had happened. I'm rather inclined to lean towards the latter. A better bloke would have apologised to Steve, but having copped the rath of some more than accurate sledging in the past, perhaps this was a square up.

When Rob Edwards claimed an athletic caught and bowled on the stroke of the subway interval, Gordon stood at a false position of having Easts at 5-70. Edwards claimed to have injured his abdominal region, however upon further inspection, Missy could only see the workings of a perfectly formed abdomen that Jay Cutler would be proud of. There's no way Edwards could ever be injured, it would be like Jesus crying - it just wouldn't happen.

After the lunch break, Easts' Dai Williams looked to grab back the ascendancy with a succession of dominant front foot play. Williams was brilliant. Technically sound, although never properly tested on the back foot, his prowess through predominately cover, point and square leg both reflected a man in good form and plenty of ability with shots around the wagon wheel and some wayward bowling which was deservedly punished. Gordon did give him a life however when on 80 off the bowling of Campbell. Evans, again standing up to the stumps, shelled a difficult chance as Williams looked to push off the back foot through cover. His hundred came up a few overs later as he superbly stroked Archer through cover for his 16th four of a near flawless innings.

carmichaelWilliams bonded fruitful partnerships with wicket keeper Mitchell - who batted for more than hour for his 20 -and David Richards who made an aggressive 60 batting at 9, notably hitting two large sixes over long-on off Archer who unfortunately never got into his rhythm.

Henry Carmichael pushes through the slippery conditions

Richards should have been run out just after tea, but Gordon's inability to seize key moments again cost them and the partnership between he and Williams continued to flourish on its way to 129 before Campbell returned to the fray and claimed the wicket of the hard hitting Richards. Captain Livermore was hard pressed to find a bowler to support Campbell, whose 25.2 overs not only yielded 7 deserved wickets, but only conceded 69 runs. The four other bowlers used were rotated, but neither could find a consistent rhythm and regularly bowlers slipped at the crease at the moment of delivery. Sweeney at one point asking for sawdust to lay in the crease.

The last 3 wickets fell in the space of 10 minutes, leaving Gordon a tricky last hour to negotiate before the close of day 1. Lindsey was the first to fall for 2, unluckily given out caught behind. Gordon 1-13. Night watchman Archer could only survive 12 minutes and 6 balls before a clever bit of bowling from Bernhard Ballin saw him caught at bat pad, his first of 3 evening wickets. Gordon 2-18. Eccles looked in decent touch, driving well down the ground and swiftly avoiding short balls before he was adjudicated leg before from that man David Richards. Eccles appeared displeased with the decision, but he had to go and Gordon teetered at 3-19.

When Livermore was caught between leaving a ball and playing, he could only manage to chop onto his stumps and Gordon crashed to a woeful 4-21. Evans played out the last over with 3 confident boundaries, whilst Higgins happily watched at the non-strikers end on 0*. Gordon 4-33. 

Eastern Suburbs stand in a more than dominant position and will be entertaining thoughts of an outright victory during the working week, whilst Gordon will look to consolidate and try to get into a position where they can once more win the game. A tense first session is set to ensue at Chatswood on day 2.



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