On a bright, hot, Saturday, Sutherland started their innings 33 runs ahead, a result of low scoring first innings from both sides. Their openers saw off the new ball cashing in on loose deliveries. Prashant Seneviratne noticeably beat the bat on a few occasions, some balls rising steeply off a length on a two faced pitch.
Dhillon Amjad came on second change and immediately tightened the screws, eventually catching Sutherland’s opener LBW on an accurate yorker. Captain Aaron Croft brought himself on at the other end and played foil to Amjad, building pressure. Amjad dismissed the new man, brilliantly caught at second slip playing away from his body by Sammy Watts. Soon after, Amjad knocked back the off stump of the other opener, and we had new bats at the crease. Dhillon Amjad ended with excellent figures of 3 for 7 with 4 maidens in his 8 overs. He returned match figures of 7 for 26, a notable performance.
The offspin of Shiv Rana and some sharp pace from Sam Watts followed after. Sam particularly bowled with intensity, rocking the batsmen with some well targeted short bowling and eventually ended up with a wicket for his efforts.
Shiv in action!
Shiv would have to wait for his haul. Sutherland were clearly not batting to make a match out of it, and their slow progress saw captain croft use 8 bowlers on the day trying to get some breakthroughs. It did not help that Gordon’s fielding was less than par, seeing no less than 3 dropped catches on the day.
Rahul Krishna bowled his seven overs of leg spin in an attempt to pry some wickets and also got a wicket, a well taken catch by Fraser Wilson. Shiv Rana in his second spell knocked the stumps of two Sutherland batters in a period of play that saw as many as 6 fielders surrounding the batters. But Sutherland was disinterested by the ploys and meandered along well past Tea. Eventually, they declared at 165 for 8 off close to 60 overs, leaving Gordon a massive run chase of 199 to win off 20 overs.
A strategic ploy saw Dhillon Amjad open the batting, in an attempt to chase the target down quickly and saw him play and miss on a few hoicks. However, a swinging ball eventually led to Amjad’s dismissal, pegging back his stumps. Fraser Wilson and Michael Fletcher steaded the innings and built a partnership on aggressive batting.
Fletch whacking em.
Sutherland set very defensive fields, having as many as 6 boundary riders. This did not deter Wilson on Fletcher, who sent some massive sixes over long off and extra cover, playing some exquisite shots along the way. Eventually, Michael was dismissed on 42, stumped as he came down the track to Sutherland off-spinner Whittingham, who would further trouble the Gordon batters on his way to 4 wickets on the day.
As the required rate climbed to over 10, it saw a tumble of wickets as Gordon batters tried to make a match out of it. Hugh Sherwood fell LBW walking across his wickets to Whittingham, and Rahul Krishna was caught at short mid on a mistimed chip. Aaron Croft then joined forces with Fraser who continued battling away at the other and, and put on a partnership. However, he too fell to Whittingham, caught at long on, and they exchanged pleasantries on the send off.
Brad Morrison somehow pulled a long hop straight back to the bowler, and the run rate climbed past 12. Having lost 7 wickets, Gordon decided to play it safe, and the match ended drably. Fraser was able to carry his bat on his way to 61, but a sub par first innings batting performance eventually made the difference in the loss.
Gordon now slides to second, and this loss will be sure to fire up the players to come out strong as the business end of the season approaches.