Blues aim for double up
MUDDIES Blue are on track for the C-grade double after battling to a five wicket win over their Green counterparts in an epic two-day battle at the Port Douglas Sports Complex over the weekend.
The match could not be tighter coming after the first day with the Greens needing one wicket and the Blues needing four runs to secure vital first innings points and although the Greens came back on Sunday to take first innings points it was the Blues who ultimately prevailed in an topsy-turvy clash.
Greens skipper Steve Doble won the toss and chose to bat on a good pitch but predictably slow outfield.
The Greens were on the back foot early when Hayden D’Adonna shouldered arms to the fourth ball of the innings and was clean bowled.
Damien Darlington and skipper Doble set about building a platform and slowly but surely negotiated their way through to 34 before Doble was out, unluckily, LBW for 18. This set about a chain reaction with five wickets falling for just eight runs.
Julian Harrold set about resurrecting the innings for the Greens and two good overs in a row and some handy lower order partnerships saw the Greens make it through to 89 before Harrold holed out going for one hit too many.
He was one of the few batsmen to play with intent in the innings and easily top scored with 34. Both Dave Johnson and Sam Hodgson finished with four wickets for the Blues with Hodgson returning the impressive figures of 4-7 off 13 overs.
This should have been a warning for the Blues batsmen but they were also unable to make much headway against the tight Greens bowling, led by their two miserly juniors Kayden Sorensen and Hayden D’Addona.
Wickets fell at regular intervals and of the recognised batsmen only Logan Marsh was able to make it to double figures, battling hard for 26.
As the day wore on and the wickets kept falling it looked more and more like being a very even contest.
And so it proved as the day ended almost with the teams on almost level pegging.
Coming back on day two the Blues needed four more runs to secure the vital first innings points, especially given the Greens only needed first innings point to progress to the final.
It was not to be however, as Jordan Butterss stepped up to dismiss Adam Lucas with the Greens in front by one run.
For the Greens Kayden Sorenson was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-17 off 15 overs.
Knowing that a draw was all they now needed the Greens set about occupying the crease for as long as possible at the expense of collecting runs.
It was not until the run rate crept above one an over.
The defensive approach had not prevented wickets falling at reasonably regular intervals however and when again the Greens had their middle order ripped out the need to score runs became apparent.
Troy Sheppard tried with some success to lift the run rate before he was trapped in front by Johnson for 24.
Another clump of wickets then followed before youngsters Sorenson and Ethan McCullough combined for a frustrating 15-run partnership before Sorensen was caught off the bowling of Hodgson.
This left the Greens all out for 66 leaving the Blues 68 for victory.
Vic Chandra had the impressive figures of the innings taking 4-12 off his 14 overs while Dave Johnson picked up three wickets to take his match total to seven.
Gary Postans bowled tightly as did Adam Lucas who also bowled without luck.
With 68 the target the mantra going into the fourth innings was to bat with intent and Sam Hodgson certainly did.
He attacked the bowling, trying to disrupt both line and length, doing both on his way to 41 and effectively sealing victory for the Blues.
There was still time for a little bit of a wobble after his departure with the Blues getting over the line with five wickets to spare.
Captain Simon Cody and Gary Postans were at the crease at the end when the winning runs were scored.
There were a number of candidates for the Man of the Match award with some hugely impressive performances over the two days, especially from the bowlers.
Both teams had players who took wickets and were miserly in their run rates but none more so than Sam Hodgson whose match figures read 23.4 overs, 15 maidens, 5-9. Added to this he was the highest scorer in the match and while it was not single handedly, it certainly went a huge way to securing the victory for the Blues. The Blues’ opponents in the Grand Final will be the Mulgrave Punjabs and the game will once again be played at the Port Douglas Sporting Complex. Play will begin at 10am on both days so get down and cheer on the boys and hopefully watch them bring home the two-day trophy to add to the one-day trophy already in the cabinet.
Logan Marsh calls it
HOWZAT: Doug Barnes calls to the umpire
GOOD BALL: Jordan Butterss bowls another fine one