Under 15s Presidents Cup
Manly-Warringah v Penrith
Venue: Mike Pawley Oval
Manly-Warringah: 7 for 176
Tom Wunsch 64
Riley Kennedy 36
Dom Murphy 30
Penrith: All Out: 144
Patrick Campbell 5/20 off 6.5 overs
Liam Chang 2/9 off 6 overs
Noah Kasmar 2/32 off 6 overs
Man Of The Match: Highly debated, please read report.
Forget protocol, and the niceties of the cricket, let’s rip in and talk about “the elephant in room”. Who the hell was the man of the match for the Manly Preso All Stars on Sunday?
It’s a heated debate, which has the cricket public divided after an emphatic if not, at times tense victory over Penrith in Round Three.
The contenders are……and for differing reasons, Tom Wunsch with bat, Patrick Campbell with ball, Liam Chang, for arguably the over of the season and Henry Thomas for his unlikely acrobatic display leading to an amazing catch.
But there’s “a smokey” an effort from left of field, in fact from off the field which has steamed into contention, I’m talking about the Christmas lunch, the brain child of manager Deb Kasmar and her band of helpers.
Now here’s the difficulty, how do you line up all these five outstanding efforts?
Maybe Deb with her social media skills could run an online poll. The major issue with a poll would be if it was open to her new best friends from Penrith, lunch would be a winner and daylight second.
Let’s deal with each contender separately.
Tom Wunsch, never complains about opening the batting, facing the new ball and the quickest bowlers. Tom along with Dom Murphy did exactly that, removing the shine, frustrating the bowlers and guiding Manly to the first drinks break with the order in-tact. Coach Ross Trewartha demanded the run rate lift and Wunsch and Murphy accelerated.
Murphy falling to a controversial caught behind call for a season high 30, Manly 1 for 98 after 26 overs.
Wunsch then took it upon himself to make the most of his good start and he did exactly that. Despite numerous loose shoe laces, cramps, thirst and mid-pitch tactical talks, Tom struck out for a terrific 64 seeing Manly through to the 34th over with the score now 3 for 117.
With the pitch playing well but keeping slightly low, the All Stars realised a big total was needed, Riley Kennedy chimed in for a rapid fire 36, while Cormac O’Donnell playing up a year and helping out for the absent Bortolussi was undefeated on 6, along with Pat Campbell 7 not out.
Manly finishing with a competitive 7 for 176.
It was obvious Penrith were in for the fight. And this is where the Man of the Match battle hots up.
Patrick Campbell came on first change and picked up a wicket in his first and another in his second over to inspire Manly, but after 20 overs, the run rates were equal. Pat’s second spell was brilliant, he bowled straight and fast, bagging another three wickets to finish with a game best 5 for 20 which has him in line and heavily favoured for the MOM Award.
Compare that to Liam Chang’s effort. He finished with the simply superb figures of 2 for 3. But pure numbers don’t tell the tale. His first spell was good, his second mesmerising. With Penrith still in the game, Changa cleaned bowled another dangerous batsman, then had two massive lbw shouts turned down, it possibly could have been a hat-trick. Next over he rattled the furniture again with the Preso All Stars now breathing more freely.
Don’t discount the effort of Henry Thomas in a crowd-pleasing bid for top Gong. Penrith’s number 4, had amassed 40 runs and was starting to look like a match winner, when from no-where, Henry lit up the outfield with one of the most spectacular catches ever seen in the mid-on position. In an aerial display worthy of a circus acrobat, Thomas at full stretch, diving forward, flung out the left paw to grab the most athletic (yes I said athletic) of out-field catches. It was hard to know who was most surprised, Henry himself, the Manly supporters or the Penrith batsman who simply had to depart. It was a momentum changer, that’s why Henry is in contention for MOM Honours.