Under 16s Presidents Cup
Manly-Warringah v NWS Hurricanes
Manly-Warringah: 3 for 110 (Liam Chang 57no, Kennedy 18, Tom Wunsch 15)
NWS Hurricanes: ALL OUT: 108 (Matt Kuchel 3/9, Liam Chang 3/19, Noah Moss 1/10)
New season, new start but this time with a difference. Not since the introduction of World Series Cricket when the game was first played under lights had there been such a build-up to the start of the Presidents Cup season. That’s right, our humble Manly Presidents Cup team would put their reputations on the line under lights at Kanebridge Oval somewhere just west of Kellyville. With the price of power these days, somehow the North West Sydney Hurricanes had kindly dug deep to switch the lights on for a round one challenge.
The Under 16s Presidents Cup had a nice mix of the old familiar faces, if not taller individuals, well most anyway, along with two excitable newcomers lining up for what will no doubt be a challenging 2018/19 season……aren’t they all. Instead of two trial matches, there was just the one, an emphatic win against the all-powerful Sutherland team.
Typically, Sydney’s cold snap broke just in time for the start of the season. Officially the temperature was 35 degrees, luckily with the 30 knots Westerly it felt more like 34.5. Obviously with batting under lights being the great unknown, all the talk pre-toss was about batting first. Now that was a waste of breath the coin not favouring skipper Noah Kasmar and Manly would be batting second under lights. Just another challenge.
Back from a secret assignment from some exotic location Josh Bortolussi was fresh and given the new ball along with newcomer Declan McLerie. To be fair the Hurricane openers did a pretty good job against the new bright pink ball. Seeing off Bortolussi, with first change Noah Moss having immediate impact, snaring a sharp caught and bowled chance and the home side had lost their first wicket in the 8th, 1 for 21.
The very next over, with the breeze at his back McLerie produced a “peach” to clean-up the Hurricanes number 3, Declan’s first wicket for his new brothers in the 8th over. Welcome to the team Declan.
From a lack lustre start, the Preso All Stars were now starting to find their mojo. Enter Liam Chang from the Northern End, as per normal he was spot on target from the word go, picking up two vital wickets in successive overs and by the end of his spell, had picked up another to rip through middle order.
The Hurricanes opener Gupta was continuing to frustrate, that was before Pat Campbell entered the attack. Patty finishing his spell in spectacular fashion destroying the furniture of Gupta to finish with a wicket maiden and 1 for 12 from his 4 overs.
Kasmar’s use of the bowlers was impeccable, while the word immaculate is the word to always describe the glove-work of Dom Murphy, along with the words of encouragement he constantly supplies.
Matt Kuchel was introduced into the breeze with immediate effect. The left-arm round the wicket demon was “on-song”, but grabbing the first of his three victims thanks to a sharp catch from the second of our new chargers Angus Beaumont…welcome to the team Angus. Kuchel still sporting a London tan, refused to go away. His nagging line and length bamboozling the Hurricane batters, to register 3 for 9 off his six overs.
Henry Thomas had it swinging in the breeze, that’s the pink ball, tying up one end, while Kasmar (1/14) also used the conditions well. There was some late innings resistance but Liam Hart (1/3) ended the Hurricanes innings for 108 inside 38 overs.
Simple scenarios aren’t always that simply, the mission for Manly to chase down a modest 109 to win. But they would have to do it as day turned to night, through dusk and then under lights for the first time.
We were officially entering the “Twilight Zone”.
The Kanebridge Ground is an impeccable venue with a massive illuminated scoreboard complete with surnames blazing from the background. Tom Wunsch, or as the scoreboard called him “Wunish”. Maybe it was a good omen for Manly because Tom along with his opening partner Chang proved a “punish” for the Hurricanes. The pair looked untroubled until Wunsch (15) was maybe unlucky to be given out on a waist-high full toss, Manly 1 for 26.
With the natural light fading, the floodlights were now at full brightness, unfortunately Kuchel never really got going and the visitors slumped to 2 for 33. Remember what I said about small targets. A partnership was needed and Riley Kennedy was extremely cautious getting to the first drinks along with Chang with no further damage done.
While Kennedy was finding it hard to find the gaps, Changa was making the most of his fast hands using the pace of the ball beautifully to keep that scoreboard ticking in Manly’s favour. Chang’s major mission was to pass his younger brother Rohan’s score of 37 for the Under 11s earlier in the day. He achieved that with an excitable fist pump. With that monkey off his back, Chang was happy to let loose posting his first half-century for Manly.
12 runs short of the target, Riley held out to deep midwicket, allowing Angus to have some time under the bright lights. Angus and Chang finished the job, with Manly posting a calculated and impressive first round win with 20 overs. After such a comfortable victory coach, Ross Trewartha was able to cancel his weekly psychologist appointment.
Thanks also to manager Deb Kasmar, our trusty scorers and enthusiastic supporters.