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2nd Grade vs St George - Round 9 - 2015/16

The first round of the New Year saw the Gordon Stags Second Grade facing off against St George at Chatswood Oval in a one day match for what was sure to be a great game of cricket befitting of these two great clubs.

Chris Bateup pushes hard against the Saints 

The Stags day began with the usual inspection of the pitch. At first glance it was clear that this green top was going to be a wicket on which scoring would be difficult early, but once the batsmen got themselves in runs would be able to flow. 

With that said it was the overall opinion that whoever won the toss would opt to bowl first.

After a quick session of covers the Gordon's boys got into their warm up where shortly after commencement they received word from captain Adam Cubbage that he had actually won a toss and had sent St George in for a bat.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, the Stags looked to opening bowlers Chad 'instagram upload' Soper and Jack 'school bag' Skilbeck to get them off to a good start and get St George on the back foot. The innings began well with Chad starting off the Gordon boys with a maiden.

The economic bowling seen in the first over was short lived with the strict enforcement of leg side wides soon showing some impact on the bowlers economy with St George on 20 off 4 overs. 

However it did not take long for the Stags bowlers to strike back with Jack Skilbeck taking the first scalp of the day in the 6th over making the total 1 for 27 off 6.

With a new batsman at the crease the Gordon bowlers began to tighten their grip on the St George run rate. With the help of Reagan Klemt and Chris Bateup Gordon were able to keep St George to 1-48 off 15 going into drinks.

After drinks it was clear that a change of pace was needed in order to get a break through for the Stags, this saw Anand Verma come to the crease. The combinations of Anand, Chris and Reagan saw the stags hold on the St George run rate tighten and eventually this pressure resulted in a wicket for Anand who at this point had bowled 7 overs 1 for 21.

With the total at 2 for 89 and a second drinks fast approaching the Stags knew that a wicket before the break would hold them in a good position going into the final session of the St George innings. 

In order to get the break through the Stags turned to their captain Adam Cubbage to break through for them. Well, the skipper turned to himself actually. But Cubby's impact was felt immediately as he claimed the wicket of the St George captain and saw the visitors go into drinks 3 for 108 after 32.

The final session of the St George innings saw both highs and lows for the Gordon Stags. First over back after drinks saw captain Cubbage strike again for his team and left the total at 4 for 116 after 33. Morals were high in the field for Gordon, and this saw the persistence of Chris Bateup eventually pay off with a wicket to him in the 38th. 

With the total at 5 for 135 after 38, the Stags were looking to keep the pressure on their opponents and hold them to a low score. However patches of loose bowling and some good batting from St George saw the run rate begin to increase. Even with wickets falling as a result of some great bowling from Skilbeck and Soper, St George entered into their change rooms at 8 for 214 after 50.

After a tidy bowling performance, on a wicket that did far less then what was expected of it the Gordon batsmen headed out after lunch. Focused and confident that they would be able chase down the total set by their opponents the Stags set to work building their innings and after a few tidy overs by the St George bowlers, Gordon were 0 for 16 off 10 with Liam McElduff and Cameron New at the crease.

The disciplined bowling from the St George opening bowlers eventually took its toll and this saw the dismissal of Liam, caught in the slips attempting to cut for 8 with the score at 1-16. Liam would shortly be joined in the sheds by 1st drop Axel Cahlin who was unfortunately caught attempting to cover drive just a ball after Liam was dismissed, this left the score at 2 for 16 after 11.

The fall of Axel saw notorious boundary hitter Chris Spratt come to the crease to help steady the ship, however a gem of a ball from one of St Georges' opening bowlers saw Chris dismissed LBW for 1. With the total at 3 for 18 after 12 things were not looking good for Gordon.

Inform batsman and keeper Max Papworth then took to the crease to help build a resistance for Gordon, things began to steady for Gordon as Max took the total from 18 to 34 in 4 overs. 

The resistance was quickly dismantled by the St George bowlers however as we saw the fall of Cameron for 10 in the 16th and then shortly after the fall of Reagan Klemt in the 17th, this left the total at 5 for 39 as we entered into the 18th over.

As Chad Soper came to the crease moral was low in the Gordon change room, however together the combination of Max and Chad gave the Gordon boys something to cheers about as they began to build a partnership. Together from the 18th to the 28th Max and Chad took the total from 39 to 100 setting an example for the rest of the team and showing that if you apply yourself and occupy the crease there were runs to be had. 

However the 29th over and confusion between the two saw the dismissal of Soper, who was run out for 23 leaving the score at 6 for 104.

Unfortunately the dismissal of Chad saw the fall of the Gordon innings, with Chris Bateup falling for 6 and Max following shortly after for a well ground out 45, leaving the total at 8-115. 

Defeat was imminent at this point and both Anand and Cubby fell leaving Jack Skilbeck at the crease and the total for Gordon 10 for 115 after 36.

Overall it is clear that it is the batsmen in 2nd Grade that must step up and support their bowlers if the side is going to succeed in the future.

However moving into the second week at Chatswood again Sydney University the side feels confident that they will be able to chase down the total set.

Liam McElduff


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