BULLS STOP, DROP, WIN
A spectacular hard-hitting century from acting Collingwood Park captain Nathan Dovey was not enough as Mt Barker clinched their maiden win in the Merrifield Real Estate Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition with a thrilling final-over victory on Saturday at Sounness Park.
Despite Dovey’s 135 which included nine sixes, the Bulls chased down the target of 225 in controversial circumstances after scorebook confusion.
Bulls batsman Luke Hammond crunched nine runs from the first four balls of the final over off spinner Matt Heberle including a six over long-off which was dropped over the boundary to what appeared to give his side victory.
But after the scorebooks were checked the match was tied with two balls remaining.
After close to a 20-minute delay once the players had left the field, the stumps were put back in the ground and both teams returned to the field with the Bulls needing one run off the final two balls.
With Hammond off strike, No.9 Craige Anning was dropped at mid wicket off the fifth ball and the Bulls scrambled home to win the match in bizarre fashion with a ball to spare.
Hammond’s impressive knock of 56 not out proved decisive after captain Jeremy Wood was run out with a direct hit for 47 with 52 runs still required for victory.
Park paceman Ben Grey then claimed the next four wickets for only 24 runs after Wood and Hammond had added 62 for the third wicket.
Grey claimed Lee Douglas, Graeme Wright, Dean Couper and Steven Scott in quick succession with nine runs still required for victory before Hammond’s heroics.
After winning the toss and bat- ting first, Dovey got to work, hitting four boundaries in his half-century before accelerating in the final overs of his captain’s knock.
Dovey crunched four sixes after reaching his century with his final 52 runs including six sixes.
He received valuable support from Leroy van den Dool (34 not out) in a 111-run partnership for the third wicket before Dovey
departed in the 44th over as Park finished on 3-224.
Bulls openers Nathan Crosby (58) and Alex Fergie (36) started well in reply and moved the score to 83 before both were removed by Andrew Brosnan (2-36). Bulls captain Jeremy Wood said his side was elated with their first win in the competition after the controversial circumstances.
He paid credit to the innings of Dovey along with the vital contribution with the bat by wicketkeep- er Hammond in the run chase.
“The first few weeks have been tough and, with the no result last week, the boys were itching to get a win and get the monkey off our backs so to speak,” he said.
“It was an all-round team performance, everyone contributed and that is what we are looking for.”
Dovey said his side had their chances to win their first match of the season.
“It was an awesome game of cricket and unfortunately someone had to lose and it was us,” he said.