Manly-Warringah v NWS Hurricanes
Venue: Terrey Hills
Manly-Warringah 4/173 (Kennedy 87 not out, Liam Chang 24,Tom Wunsch 19, Noah Moss 18, Liam Hart 13no)
NWS Hurricanes 4/170 (Noah Kasmar 2/20, Noah Moss 1/10, Matt Kuchel 1/9)
Man Of Match: Riley Kennedy
The excitement and the challenge of the great unknown, the Under 15s Presidents Cup had a nice mix of the old familiar faces along with seven excitable newcomers lining up for what will no doubt be a challenging 2017/18 season……aren’t they all. The two trial matches were split with a loss to North Shore and an empathic victory over Penrith on a dubious pitch at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
Just like last season, we started with a first-round clash against North West Sydney Hurricanes, this time on an artificial pitch at Terrey Hills. Obviously, the captaincy wasn’t judged on height, Noah Kasmar taking over the skipper duties and after winning the toss, made the bold decision to send-in the opposition.
An old stager but a newcomer to the Preso All Stars, Noah Moss was thrown the new ball and he delivered in spades. Second ball of the innings, forcing the error and the rapid-fire reflexes of Liam Chang at cover had the Hurricanes reeling at 1 for none.
From the other end our very own Mitch Starc clone, Josh Bortolussi was desperately unlucky in his opening spell having at least three massive shouts turned down……we all wish Ash Kuchel was the umpire.
To their credit, the Hurricanes added another 57 before the pair of Noah’s combined. The deceptive Kasmar being backed up in the field by Moss and it was 2 for 61 after 28 overs.
Liam Chang is in for a big workload this season, with bat and ball. Changa attacked the stumps finishing with 0/21 from eight impressive overs. Henry Thomas again was probing with his inswingers (0/23). Pat Campbell showed just how dangerous he’ll be with a measly (0/8) from five overs.
Kasmar rotated his bowlers well, Zac Thomas 0/23, Riley Kennedy 0/4 and Liam Hart will all prove vital at stages this season. Zac Thomas bowls the fastest spinners in the history of cricket, and we can’t wait to see him fully over his injuries and charging in off his long run.
It was pretty to watch Dom Murphy behind the stumps, his skill with the gloves picking up a beautiful stumping off the skipper, now that always keeps you in the good books.
Sporting a tan or a lack of one, you can only acquire from living in England, Matt Kuchel announced himself back on Australian soil by grabbing the 4th wicket and it was 4 for 108 after 40 overs.
To be honest, the final 10 overs belonged to the Hurricanes they piled on 7 runs per over, to set Manly the more than formidable target of 171 for victory.
It’s always a massive challenge opening the innings and that job was handed to Dom Murphy and another of our new faces in Tom Wunsch. Dom simply got a good ball in the third over and Manly were 1 for 1.
It wasn’t easy for Wunsch and Chang, to pierce a tight inner circle and some good fielding. The pair warmed to the task. Chang found the fence three times, compiling 24 runs before losing his off stump, 2 for 32 after 12 overs.
Wunsch was desperately unlucky when on 19, a full bloodied on drive was brilliantly taken at short mid-wicket.
Manly now 3 for 61 after 21 overs and while slightly ahead on run rate were two wickets worse off when comparisons where made.
The key as always, and you’ll read this a lot, is forming partnerships, not losing wickets in clumps. Riley Kennedy and Noah Moss went about building such a partnership with a good mix of boundaries and vital quick singles.
Moss’s stabilising innings ended on 19, bringing Liam Hart to the crease, who along with Kennedy started to put more pressure on the field.
With the game in the balance, tension building on the sideline, and way more verbal than needed on a cricket field. Riley decided it was time to lift the scoring rate and took the bowlers and the field head-on. He rode his luck to post a half-century, but the game was a long way from being won.
All of a sudden there was less verbal from the Hurricanes and more chasing of the red pill.
With the 48th over a maiden, Kennedy belted a boundary off the first ball of the 49th over to seal the win. He finished with 87 runs off 112 delivers. Hart wonderfully effective with an unbeaten 13.
In the end a great win for the self-proclaimed, Preso All Stars, with everyone contributing to a confidence team building victory.