3rd Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3
A lucky escape as the Sharks circled in for the kill
Round 3 saw the 3rds make the journey to the Shire for what would be a tough game against a fairly quality opposition. Matt Todd came back into the line up after sustaining a side injury while trying to make his ground in Round 1.
Ledgerwood (Senior) makes a typically strong start at the top of the innings
Howitt won the toss and elected to bowl on what was an interesting deck, which looked to have felt some effects of the rain in the days preceding. The Sutherland opening pair started cautiously and this coupled with some good ground fielding early on from the Stags, mounted pressure on the scoreboard. At the first drinks break Sutherland were 2/50, which was not a bad spot to be in, all things considered, and we knew we had some wickets to take to ensure a gettable total.
The introduction of spin from both ends caused havoc for the batsmen with Toddy (3 for 29) and Justin (2 for 24) bowling very well and providing ample opportunities for the fieldsman. However it wasn't our day on the catching front. A total of 9 catches went down throughout the innings and inevitably let Sutherland make a fairly respectable total. Ground fielding was good, however there is plenty to work on at training throughout the week to ensure that we don't drop as many catches in future rounds. Sutherland's innings was finished off by James Kidd (3 for 19) with good death bowling, restricting the total to 140.
We felt confident about chasing the total down, knowing that one or two good partnerships would more than likely steer us home. Jordy Liddle and Ledgerwood (J), opened up the innings both keen for runs, however Jordy got another peach of a delivery and Brett followed him back to the sheds the very next ball and we found ourselves 2 down with only a few on the board. The ever reliable Dowsley and Ledge (35) set about steadying the ship and both batted very well to reach a total of 2 for 70. From then on we lost wickets in clumps as the Shire's spinners bowled very consistently.
The rain then started to come down the score was 7/100 and we found ourselves behind the run-rate, but eager to get back on to chase the total. Eventually the square was covered and the track protected from the elements. We were still in with a chance if the weather spared us for just a while.
Turner surrounded by Ledgerwoods as the (now less) nervous author comes off with the victory
As the rain eased Harry Turner and James 'Billy' Kidd resumed the innings and looked very solid and moved the total to 125 until Billy was run out and the game was in the balance. The score kept ticking over until Toddy was castled and with 12 to get an extremely nervous number 11 went in... Harry (33 not out) remained extremely solid and ultimately guided the Stags home in the final over of the day.
In a game where neither side was really on top at any stage, we were extremely happy to come away with the 6 points and content knowing that we didn't travel all the way to the Shire for nothing. Hopefully some solid practice during the week should lead to a good performance against Sydney in Round 4.