4th Grade vs Randwick-Petersham - Round 4 - 2015/16
Having completed a convincing win against North Sydney the previous round, the 4’s were keen to continue their good form at home this time to Randwick Petersham.
3 changes were made, with run scorers Lachie Stewart and Saahil Turki coming into the top 6 while Nick Prell strengthened the bowling attack.
Ben Leighton spins his side back into contention
More importantly however, the teams for the Top 5 v Bottom 6 soccer warm up were altered. Lachie Stewart showed his enthusiasm for the round ball game by taking a commanding role in midfield on week 1, however the top 5 were unable to control possession and succumbed to the bowlers for the second game in a row.
I am confident the top 5 will hit back this week with evidence of some exciting partnerships and clinical finishing starting to show in the final third, however it is always going to be a challenge to score goals when Vikrant Nehru decides to park himself between the posts.
Now on to the cricket, unfortunately the partnerships the top 5 are creating in the round ball warm up did not materialize once being sent in by Randy Petes. Whilst the previous week Killara was paradise for batsman, this round was a very different story.
Roberts, tidy behind the stumps, watches one roll back onto the wickets
It should be noted that on Friday morning we received word from Corbin that it was highly unlikely any play would occur on Day 1 due to a drenched field, so to get started on time was a minor miracle and we must give credit to the grounds men at Killara for their work.
Stan was dismissed early on, bringing Dom and Mitch together, with Mitch continuing on his merry way with consistent run scoring, taking the attack to RP’s as he always does. Dom also looked in great touch despite the ball doing a fair bit through the air. This partnership reached 50 before Mitch was caught out, and from here wickets fell at regular intervals of 20 runs, with the innings never really gaining any momentum.
Corbin, 28, and Saahil, 24, both contributed to the total in the middle order, as did Nick Prell (26) with some clean hitting down the order. Overall though the absence of a large score from one of the batsman was telling and the innings was closed at 172 after 50 overs.
With RP’s facing the same conditions as us we were confident we had a shot at defending 172, but a good start at Killara would be vital.
Whilst a wicket did not come immediately, Nick Prell and Sam Watts gradually built up the pressure and with the score at 23 both struck in consecutive overs. For the rest of the afternoon we were treated to some excellent leg spin bowling from Ben Leighton.
Nick Prell nails one down the ground with the spin
‘Lez’, much to the delight of Tids watching on, bowled with fantastic control and swung the day back in our favour, taking 3 wickets for next to no runs. Credit should be given to Vikrant, who bowled very well at the other end to keep the pressure on the batsman that eventually fell to Lez.
Coming into Day 2, with a much more batsman friendly pitch on offer, we knew another good start was essential if we were to have any shot at a victory.
Unfortunately it was tough going early on, and the RP captain batted very sensibly around many of his younger teammates and gradually chipped away at the total.
Benny 'Lez' Leighton and Nick Prell in action at Killara
Despite a wicket to Lachie Stewart (neat work behind the stumps as well from Roberts), the 7th wicket was not taken until it was too late and RP passed the total prior to tea. Whilst there were a few chances dropped, plain and simply not enough runs were scored by the bats on Day 1.
If we can get back to how we batted against North Sydney we will give our bowlers much more freedom to attack the batsman and get the team in a better position to win some tough games coming up before Christmas.
It was good however to see everyone stick around for a drink and a chat afterwards despite the loss, some of us even were treated to the story of Corbin’s love life, but more on that later.