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U13 Walter S Gee Shield Round 5 vs Northern District Junior Cricket Association
Date of Event : Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:45AM

Manly 5/160 (A. Boulton 80, R. Dhillon 23, J. Scarf 23) defeated Northern District 10/135 (A. Boulton 3/19, A. McConnell 2/12, A. Chakravarty 2/17, R. Dhillon 2/26). Full score sheet follows report

The conditions were perfect for a must win-game to see if we have the numbers to make it through to the finals. There was much talk from the Coach, the Players, the Parents and of course “The Brains Trust” to work out what would give us the best chance to get our run-rate up. As the calculations are so complicated, we had to enlist reps from KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers to guide us through the murky waters of what was needed to survive. Fortunately, the final answer came from “The Brains Trust” and it was simple – we must beat Northern Districts and then we must go on to beat North Shore. Saying it and doing it are quite different propositions, so we set about working on Plan A – to beat the Northern Districts team and try to beat them well.

Captain Andrew Boulton won the toss and elected to bat.

Our opening pair of Jake Hutchings and Luke Burgess found it tough going out in the middle, but they weathered the storm of thunderbolts sent down by the opening bowlers. Both bowled well with some serious pace and movement and Luke got an absolute jaffer that knocked out his stumps with his score on 3. Jez Scarf strode out to the pitch after being elevated to Number 3 to face the final ball of Sequeira’s first spell – dot ball, Jez was on his way. Unfortunately, at the other end, Jake succumbed to the pressure of Thakur’s tight bowling and chopped on for 2. It was not the start Manly was looking for (2 for 10 after 8 overs), but enter Captain Andrew into the Narrabeen Colosseum, and it was time to again steady the ship to post a hopefully reasonable score. Jez and Andrew batted very thoughtfully, getting used to the conditions and rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking over. It wasn’t until the 30th over with the score on 2/64, that Andrew was able to unleash and put the bowler away for 3 consecutive boundaries to break the shackles of the very tight bowling unit that Norths dished up. These were the first boundaries of the day. Then on the last ball of the 35th over, Norths finally got a breakthrough, with Jez swinging wildly at their leg spinner and was stumped for 23 runs in a partnership of 89, playing strong support to Andrew as he continued to bat long into the innings.

Then came Roop Dhillon, who was in a mood to get on with scoring, and after a measured start, proceeded to hit the ball hard and push the field back. He and Andrew put on 53 runs at a good rate to get the score to 152 before he was caught well for 25. Then big Toby Laughton came in to continue the push and he belted a quick fire 7 not out off 4 balls. Andrew eventually, selflessly gave his wicket away with his score on 80 but was able to get the Manly score to a very reasonable total of 160. This gave the boys at the lunch break a real taste that they could finish this match with a strong win and help get our run rate up to keep us in the hunt.

Then Lunch. Another magnificent smorgasbord from the Manly support staff was enjoyed by all, especially with the return of “Dr Dumpling” and his amazing array of delicious treats followed closely by the Dhillon’s delectable delights. I unfortunately was only given one dumpling to eat, meanwhile I saw more than 6 of the boys doubling, even tripling up. I had to let it go, as I assumed it was a part of the performance enhancing supplements the boys were allowed (and approved by the Association).

Anyway, it was Manly’s turn to have a blast at the Norths Boys. Manly looked determined in the warmups, and all the boys were switched on ready to take 10 wickets. Toby and Gus McConnell got us going and bowled a magnificent opening spell (8 overs 3 maidens, 0/7). Josh Lawson and Roop then came on and continued to keep it very tight and the run rate down. Manly had to wait until the 15th over for their first breakthrough, as Roop kept nagging away at the batsmen, never letting them get on top of him, and bowled a lovely full leggie to have the opener LBW for only 8 runs. Arjun Chakravarty then came on to bowl as the score limped to 35 where their number 3 spooned one to the big “bucket hands” of Toby and they were now 2 down. Arjun was able to grab another wicket, removing the handy opener as he hit one to the ever-safe Luke Burgess. Manly were now on a bit of a roll. Gus came back on in the 24th over and Jake pulled off the run out of the season from gully point, when he dived for the ball and in one motion while still on the ground, threw it at the stumps to find the batsman short of his ground. Then Gus continued and had the batsman flashing outside off stump, where Bizza Kwan was more than happy to accept the caught behind. Gus went on an got another wicket with the score on 57 with Arjun now swallowing a sharp chance in the slips. The Manly boys went berserk with excitement and realised that it may not be long before the rest of the Norths boys capitulate and game over.

Captain Andrew then started his spell in tandem with Josh. It wasn’t enough that Andrew held the batting innings together, now it was time for him to get involved with the ball. Well if Jake’s run out was the best this year, then Andrew’s caught and bowled was the best catch. It was a case of “catch it or wear it” as the ball was hit back as equally as fast as it was bowled to him. Andrew then took another simpler caught and bowled 2 overs later, and the North Boys were on the ropes – or so we thought.

Well cricket is a funny game.

Norths’ number 7 played a magnificent counter attacking innings of his own (53 off 68 balls), as he wanted to win as much as we did. He was supported well by the tail as it wagged, giving Manly the feeling that we may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Thankfully it wasn’t the case as Roop and Andrew finally mopped up the tail to give Manly a well fought victory. Andrew finished with 3 wickets and Roop had 2 and the Coach, the Players, the Parents and of course “The Brains Trust”, never had any doubts about it. It was a great game of cricket and we all really look forward to hopefully giving it to North Shore next week to continue on to the Final.

Since starting this report, we have discovered that we have a superior run rate in our group, but there are no second chances unless we win next week.

Good luck to all, and let’s bring it home! 

Last updated: Tuesday November 20, 2018 9:46AM