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4th Grade vs Sutherland - Round 15 - 2017/18

4th Grade took the lengthy drive out to Whalan reserve confident they could come away with a win and make the finals for the 2nd year in a row. Blacktown were ranked 17th and with an outright win last week, we were confident that 6 points would keep us in 4th place. 

The pitch looked in good condition for batting but with long outfield and huge boundaries a score of 200 or more would be just what the team needed to put pressure on Blacktown.

Captain Bromley won the toss and chose to bat, and Liam Windel and Mitch Kleem looked to keep out the swinging ball. 

However, the pressure of a one-dayer got the better of our top order batsman. Dash Ratnam made 21, but the top order like it has in the last few weeks haven’t been able to post a big score and put the pressure back on the bowlers. 

We fell to 7-57, Nick Andreou and Vikrant Nehru the not out batsman. We were in real strife and the season was slipping away from us as all the team finals talk and finals plans were all blowing up in smoke. 

Luckily, Nick and self-proclaimed now all-rounder Vikrant saved the innings. 

They put on a great partnership of 74 to take it to 7-133 with still 8 overs left. 

Vikrant made some questionable running between wicket choices and a few run outs at the end cost us more runs but 166 in 48 overs was a decent total and one that we knew we could bowl to.

The Vicks Vaporizer takes care of business.
It has to be said that the 4th grade bowling attack and ground fielding have been the saviours and heroes of the team in the last few rounds. 

The start this time however wasn’t as fruitful as the Blacktown openers made it clear they wanted to get the runs well before 50 overs past. They snicked and edged their way to 50 not seeming to hit the ball in front of square. 

Matt Keane got an early breakthrough but 1-66 at drinks was not the start we were hoping for. 

After drinks the plan changed and rather than go searching for the much-needed wickets we bowled stump to stump, set straight fields and bowl maidens. 

The pressure built and there was nothing the below-par Blacktown 4th grade batsman could do. 

Vikrant bowled particularly well to take 4-24 in this period. Liam Windel made vital breakthroughs for his 10 over spell of 2-26. 

By this stage the Stags were on a roll. It was the spinners turn to claim the last few wickets and Jordan Hayes was the man. He bowled perfect lines with a perfect field to the tail enders and wrapped up the innings taking 3-7.

It was a relief that the boys had made it in to 4th position but everyone knew that to be competitive in finals the batting of the team has to step up. All it takes is a couple of good innings from 1 or 2 batsman and the 4th grade side could go all the way. 

Bring on Western Suburbs at Pratten.

Will Calov


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