THE C-Grade Muddies battled hard but in the end proved no match for a red hot Mareeba outfit at the Port Douglas Sports Complex on Sunday.
Chasing Mareeba’s first innings score of 8-315, Muddies openers Ryan Thwaite and Steve Doble set solid foundations in steamy conditions with great shot selection and leaving the right balls in a disciplined display to their team mates.
At 0-60 in 58 minutes off 16 overs Doble (26) again played the shot that saw his dismissal in the first fixture and was caught behind.
Drinks were taken and Simon Cody assisting as a sub player strolled out to follow up on his 44 in B-grade round 1, but after getting his eye in (seven off 36 balls) a swinging delivery removed his leg stump.
Eager to begin his season following a work-related injury, Matt Coombe replaced Cody only to be sent back LBW to a delivery which appeared to be drifting down leg side.
The hoodoo score of 87 had claimed two scalps and Darlington, who has looked all the part of an aggressive strokemaker, entered to a feisty spell from Mareeba’s century maker Stallen (6-16 off 10) scoring a boundary off his head evading a short delivery before being sent back bowled off a well concealed slower ball.
The Muddies’ tail lasted longer than game one, but did not wag long enough to offer deserving support to the in-form Thwaite who continued to his personal best for the Muddies over several years with 63 runs, yet he was the last wicket to fall at 9-131, one player short due to illness and leaving a keen debutant Maclaren stranded 0 not out off 0 balls.
Mareeba chose to partially reverse their batting order and the unorthodox swatting shots of their tail took Muddies bowlers to the boundary numerous times, with Hilditch and Darlington creating gallant attempts at tough catches.
It was a tough game with three players only available in week 1, then two players ill week two, although Jack Goodall still attended and gave his best.
Mareeba’s team contained three ex A-Grade players and this was obvious with 750 runs including two back-toback century makers from their two games to date.
When asked why they did not play at a higher level, Doble stated they replied with “they were too old”.
“We will regroup, train harder, work on our mental preparation and look to deliver a better form of game with a more balanced side from here on, after all next week we will all be older too if that is the secret,” Doble said.
C-Grade play at home against United who have had very low scoring matches to date this Sunday at 8.30am, followed by B-Grade coming off a bye at 1pm against Norths who have won one game and lost one.