Under 12 Alfred James Cup, round 7 (final, 5th vs 6th place) – Sunday 18th of February 2018 at Coronation Oval, Maitland
Maitland won the toss and decided to bat.
Maitland 3/227 (50) def Manly Warringah 9/216 (50)
443 runs scored in 100 overs of cricket in 35 degrees heat!!!!
Joshua Wilkinson 6-1-1-18
George Saunders 6-2-1-35
Gus Anderson 7-0-0-17
Vehaan Akbarrally 6-1-0-13
Joshua Lawson 6-0-0-42
Dylan Vlatko 6-0-0-44
Seth Thompson 4-0-0-13
Jack Beverley 4-0-0-15
Vehaan Akbarrally (58)
Patrick Day (39)
Gus Anderson (35*)
Archie Hodgson (29)
We arrived at Coronation Oval, Maitland, where the locals were chomping at the bit to host a game on turf and put on a quality spread in the innings break after the mix up in round 1 where no lunch was served. The Mercury was predicted to hit the mid 30's by 3pm (the hottest time of the day in Maitland) and they reckon this ground is in the hottest location in Maitland (in between the graveyard and the train line). Welcome to the furnice! Add to that they haven't had a drop of rain since Christmas Day so the outfield was fast and big scores were predicted. On queue, the Maitland skipper who is an aggressive opening bat decided to bat first and set a big total. The locals back their top order to score big totals every time as they have a mix of power and technique that on its day is special to watch.
Josh Wilkinson had other ideas for the Maitland skipper trapping him in front LBW when the score was on 5 as he swung across the line attempting to whack Wilko onto the coal train tracks or even better into the Maitland show ground. He missed and the umpire fired him. After the destruction the skipper caused in round 1 in the first 3 overs of their innings where he smoked 33 runs, we were very happy to see him walking back to the gazebos dragging his bat.
Josh Lawson and Wilko bowled well in tandem as they have all rep season restricting Maitland to 1/26 off the first 9 overs in the heat.
Dylan Vlatko and George Saunders replaced our opening bowlers and George struck immediately knocking over the other opener with a brute of a delivery. Both boys bowled with their own version of heat and the new batsmen at the crease (Maitland's version of the Waugh twins) played every ball on its merit. Not a false shot was played to quality fast bowling from Dylan and George. Dylan’s pace in the heat was very impressive and intimidating at times!
Jack Beverley was thrown the ball next and he continued the fast bowling barrage, bowling tight and with more heat. Jack restricted the Walker twins with good line and length bowling.
Maitland 2/74 off 20 overs
At the drinks break it was clear to see that the heat was taking its toll on our quicks so it was time to introduce spin. Seth Thompson replaced George and started the spin domination for us with 4 accurate overs applying the breaks with good leg spin variety.
Vehaan then bowled well flighted off spinners tempting the Walker twins to hit out and hopefully cause a miss hit. Vehaan did a great job but the twins were in the zone. They were content picking up 1's and 2's each over playing with a straight bat and getting forward on this turf wicket taking LBW out of the equation.
Gus Anderson joined Vehaan and these 2 put the breaks on in the middle of the innings where a mammoth total was possible as there were plenty of wickets in hand and a very fast outfield, especially on the grand stand side of the oval. Maybe the Walker twins had their own grand stand finish in mind as they patiently took the singles as if they were in the back yard at home wearing out the local kids bowling to them. Vehaan bowled 6 tight overs and Gus 7 tight ones.
Maitland 2/102 off 30 overs.
The Manly crowd (who says Sea Eagles fans don’t travel) were very happy with the run rate gradually reducing even though wickets weren’t falling.
Archie Hodgson, our hero from last week bowled well again with good flight and variation for 3 overs with figures of 0-7. Hayden McFarlane who can rip a leggie bowled 2 overs in tandem with Archie. Hayden produced his own chances as his flight invites and then deceives batsmen in the blink of an eye.
Our 5 spinners bowled a total of 25 overs, only going for 63 runs! Impressive figures but not surprising at all to us. Our spinners have been unbelievable for us all year, putting the breaks on quality batting lineups each week with the variety of spin bowling they consistently deliver. Well done to Seth, Gus, Archie, Vehaan and Hayden for your contributions this season. We say it each week but our spinners were the difference between chasing modest totals instead of big totals. Well done boys!
Maitland 2/129 off 40 overs
Just over 3 runs an over on this quick out field after 40 overs to arguably 2 of the most talented young batsmen in Maitland (and the competition overall) tells you how good our boys bowled. The wicket had flattened out as predicted and the outfield quickly turned into concrete.
I won't bore you with too many superlatives for what happened in the final 10 overs of the Maitland innings, but I will say that the 98 runs they scored including a partnership of 159 chance-less runs was some of the most patient, cleanest hitting we will ever see in this age group. One of the twins scored 109* with his 2nd fifty coming off about 20 balls. It didn't matter where our boys bowled this kid whacked them into the gap for a boundary as if he was playing a game of backyard cricket. All we could do was watch and applaud as the twins put on a show for the crowd.
Maitland 3/227 off 50 overs.
The innings break included a country feast that was made for a King and queen. We were really treated to a great spread that was equal or even better than the quality batting
partnership produced by the Maitland twins. Like the twins batting it was top quality, tasty and colourful at the end (top shelf desserts).
This week Hayden McFarlane was joined at the top of our order by Patrick Day who didn't bowl today due to a side strain. Patty had missed the previous game due to a foot injury so he was keen to take this opportunity presented to him by our coaches. The Maitland opening bowlers were impressive bowling a really good line and length. Hayden was unlucky getting a ball on his stumps that didn't bounce and basically rolled along the pitch after landing and either hit a crack or crater in the pitch before crashing into his stumps.
Patty Day took his opportunity with the bat. He batted patiently defending the good balls and pouncing on any balls with any width. He hit 6 impressive boundaries in his classy innings of 39 before getting C&B by the Maitland skipper trying to continue the quick scoring. Pat and Vehaan put on 41 runs in the next 10 overs with Vehaan consistently hitting the gaps with classic cover drives that raced across the firm outfield and into the oppositions gazebos.
Patty and Vehaan Akbarrally put on a partnership of 92 for the 2nd wicket and gave us a real chance at knocking over this run chase inside 50 overs.
After 25 overs Maitland and Manly's scores were the same at 2/98.
Archie Hodgson joined Vehaan in good form coming off a 46 & 64 in his last 2 innings. Archie batted sensibly and pushed smart singles to continue the scoreboard ticking over.
Vehaan departed in confident fashion with the score on 139 after pumping 6 x 4's himself and making a classic 58 runs at No.3. All season we have been waiting for this positive innings from Vehaan and it was fitting to see him raise his bat and show his class.
George Saunders was elevated up the order today and was looking solid before he was run out going for a quick single.
Gussy Anderson came in at No.6 and with quick runs the order of the day he was scoring at a run a ball heaping the pressure on the fielders with smart running between the wickets. Gus has been a rock for us this season batting at No.4 and quickly adapted to batting in the middle order.
Manly 4/153 off 40 overs.
We were 20 runs ahead of Maitland at the same stage of the game with wickets in hand however we knew that we still need 74 runs off the last 10 overs to win this one.
Unfortunately Archie got another ball that kept low and knocked over his stumps. Our boys were never going to be prepared for the inconsistent bounce of turf wickets and the Maitland boys knew this by attacking the stumps at every opportunity.
We lost our next 6 wickets for only 15 runs as a result of the boys looking for quick singles and either getting run out or clean bowled or LBW against quality bowling from the locals who know what pressure visiting teams face when chasing quick runs to chase down a decent total on turf. All of our boys put the team ahead of their own individual scores in their short innings looking for quick runs.
With 5 overs to go, Manly required 52 runs with 2 wickets in hand. Gus and our skipper Joshua Lawson put on 40 runs with some lusty hitting and running regular 2's, however we fell 12 runs short of victory.
This was another impressive effort from our boys as today yielded 443 runs and went the full 100 overs in searing heat! We didn't win this one but we never gave up. The Manly fighting spirit again shone through and we could not be prouder of this playing group.
Man of the match for his tight bowling and classy 58 was Vehaan Akbarrally. Thank you Guzman Gomez for sponsoring this award all season.
A huge thanks to John Jackson and Mick Day for coaching this side and ensuring that all our boys loved this rep cricket experience and all improved their own games along the way.
Thank you to our scorers (Nick Beverley & Jerome Akbarrally), square leg umpires (Steve Thompson and Steve Day), loyal supporters (parents, grand parents and siblings), Manly cricket community and sponsors (special mention to David Ryals from Red property, Manly for supplying another brand new ball for this game at short notice).
We have had a blast this season travelling everywhere from Penrith (twice) to Maitland (twice) watching our boys show maturity well beyond their years and playing quality cricket each week.
Lessons learned by us this year – the art of spin bowling is a very valuable weapon in reducing run rates and taking wickets. Also, a bowling line up with plenty of variety is also a valuable commodity.