Poised for close finish
THE two-day match between Muddies C Grade and Norths is poised for a close finish as Muddies chase down 157 for victory and finished day 1 at 3/43. Played at what Muddies thought was going to be a belter of a ground due to $100,000 expenditure by CFN at Griffiths 2, the players were highly disappointed to see a crumbling surface, plate movement on sections of the pitch and an outfield still brandishing clumped weeds and bare sections of soil only.
Feeling the best way to take maximum points Muddies chose to bowl first and Shultz took the first scalp bowling Norths’ Skipper with a cutting delivery.
Freyling who was a missed player from early last season also opened the bowling and was hard to get away but it was quick reflexes in his follow through that deflected the ball to affect a run out of the non striker 2/15.
Barnes was given an earlier chance and rewarded with bowled in swinger 3/17 and Freyling (1/31 off 11) in an extended opening spell to dust away some previous night’s drinking efforts opened up the middle order with another bowled to have the home side 4/18 in the 10th over.
Norths new batsmen at the crease certainly lacked any fitness but made up for it with lusty blows often to wayward Muddies bowling as they recovered for 12 overs adding another 49 runs before Barnes (2/34 off 9) created an error for a catch to the skipper. Another partnership ensued to take Norths to 123 at which point Taylor (1/30 off 6) broke through and the keeper held one after a couple of tight chances were missed between keeper and first slip.
Shultz 3/18 off 10 took bowling honours and removed Norths’ top scorer caught by King for 69 - 8/152 and Redfern (1/14 off 4) chimed in to complete North’s innings, one player short for 156.
Darlington and Doble were surprised by the deteriorating pitch which now had high levels of variable pace and bounce as it broke up, the pair managing a partnership of 33 before Doble (11), guilty of a split second of ball watching, was run out completing a Darlington 3rd run.
Darlington (25) followed with a skied catch and King (0) unluckily managed to smash the ball straight into the hands of a short cover fieldsman to leave Muddies 3/43 overnight.