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U13 Walter S Gee Shield Round 6 vs North Shore
Date of Event : Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:23PM

North Shore 9/197 (J. Lawson 3/13, R. Dhillon 2/34, A. McConnell 2/47) defeated by Manly-Warringah 4/199 (J. Hutchings 50, L. Burgess 46, J. Scarf 32, A. Boulton 28, T. Laughton 26 off 13 balls). Full Score Sheet Follows Addendum

The 24th May 1979 saw Worcester take on Somerset in the final group game of their Benson and Hedges cup clash before the finals in the following week. Somerset captain Brian Rose won the toss and elected to bat. The third ball of the day took a thick edge down to third man for a single, at the end of the over, Rose declared at 1/0. Worcester took their time and duly won the game with 2 runs off ten balls. Whilst losing the game, Somerset had managed to protect their strike rate and guarantee their position in the finals.

Thirty nine and a half years later the Gee shield pool of death, consisting of Manly, Hornsby and North Shore went into the final pool round to contemplate a mathematical equation that only Stephen Hawking could understand. Manly, playing North Shore, needed to win by a better net run rate than Hornsby could beat Northern Districts. If Manly and Hornsby lost, then North Shore would go through.

North Shore won the toss, elected to bat and started scoring at a steady 3 runs per over. In the eleventh over, Roop Dhillon (2/34) struck and North Shore were 1 for 27. The score ticked over to 90 runs before Roop found his second and then at 143, Toby Laughton (1/23) took Manly’s third. The North Shore middle order stepped up the aggression and whilst losing wickets steadily, the hallowed run rate started to soar. Josh Lawson bowled tremendously to take 3/13 and with Andrew Boulton (1/28) they put the brakes on the runs and cleaned up the North Shore tail. After 50 overs North Shore were 9 for 197 and sitting in the box seat.

The Manly opening pair, dripping with potential, had failed to get a real start all season. They started tentatively, but by the 11th over they had drawn level with North Shore on comparison. Luke Burgess batted superbly to keep the run rate where it needed to be with a combination of big boundaries and quick singles. When Luke departed for 46, his partner Jake Hutchings took over and together with Jeremy Scarf steered the Manly ship to 135 before Jeremy fell for 32. Jake made a memorable 50 before being caught and Manly were in charge at 3 for 155 off 40 overs.

Andrew Boulton (28) and Toby Laughton (26 not out) put the foot down and in the 46th over, Toby put one over the fence for Manly to take a stunning victory in the most competitive game of the tournament.

A ring of Manly supporters huddled around the MyCricket website and attempted to bring it down with constant page refreshes. Hornsby had won and a flurry of runs in the final overs and looked to have got themselves through by the slimmest of margins.

Manly had completed the season with the most runs for and the least against in their pool. They had taken the most wickets and won all their their 50 over pool games. Unfortunately a T20 double header round caused their undoing. Not being a big hitting side, the format hurt them and they found themselves being beaten for a finals spot on net run rate.

Back to 1979. The Test and County Cricket Board had an emergency meeting. They quickly realised that the strike rate rules they had endorsed were probably not conducive to quality cricket. Whilst the Somerset captain hadn’t technically broken any rules, Somerset were ejected from the competition for bringing the game into disrepute. And hence began the cricketing love hate relationship with run rates, strike rates, averages and quotients.

Last updated: Monday November 26, 2018 4:25PM