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4th Grade vs St George - Round 9 - 2015/16

After a disappointing run of loses before Christmas and a week of rain, the stags turned up at Killara keen and confident they could start 2016 with a good performance. The addition of Nick McMurray and Lachie Stewart strengthened our batting line-up and fielding set up to try and topple the 2nd place St George side. 

Andrew Crosland was one of only a couple to contribute with the bat 

Skipper Benny Leighton decided to bowl on an uncharacteristically soft Killara pitch. Sam Watts and Vikrant Nehru opened well, but couldn’t quite get the breakthrough as chances went begging in the field. It was the introduction of Andrew Crosland that snared the wicket with a much-needed LBW.

However, as the now distinguishing wides crept into the Gordon bowling line-up a change of tactic was needed as drinks arrived with St George 1-65. 

Enter Ben Leighton and Lachie Stewart. Our two spinners bowled with exceptional line and consistency as the pressure started to mount on the now settled St George batsmen. By simply bowling to a field the boundaries dried up and kept the run rate below 4 an over. 

'Lez' Leighton was first to strike as they raced through their overs to try and rush St George into their mistakes. The plan worked as Lachie picked up three wickets of his own including a brilliant catch by Oli Zannino behind the stumps to remove their captain. Bowling on a slow pitch Lachie was able to change his pace and build the pressure finishing with 3-32 of his 10 over spell while also bowling himself into PG’s selection the next day. 

After the second drinks break Gordon were working hard to keep the runs down, but with wickets hard to come by and the pitch flattening out, the St George batsmen began to accelerate with ease and they raced to 5-171 off 41. A few tight overs from our fast bowlers restricted the scoring but without a wicket the Batsmen were able to soar in the last three overs grabbing 40 runs propelling their score to 250. It was a disappointing end to an overall good bowling performance. 

With a good in-form batting line-up and a score of 270 in our last run chase, there was confidence around the group during the lunch break. Despite the pitch becoming much flatter in the afternoon, the outfield was still extremely slow as boundaries were hard to come by the whole innings unless risky aerial shots were taken, leading to poor decision-making.

Two early wickets and the costly run out of Mitch Kleem saw Gordon struggling at 3-31 and 250 looking much further adrift. Crosland (23) with some support by Lachie and Nick tried to rebuild but once again the disciplined bowling attack and good fielding and catching by a obviously well drilled St George meant the scoreboard pressure of 8 an over become too much as the wickets started to fall. The last wickets fell with little resistance and determination as we crumbled to all out for 101, 150 runs short of the target.

A disappointing batting performance including 2 run outs and an inconsistent bowling performance including 23 wides showed the fragility of the side and the lessons that need to be taken into the coming rounds. Let’s get out to training and show the potential that we have next week in the 2-dayer against top of table Sydney Uni.

Will Calov 


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