Nail biter for the B grade

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

AF­TER the weekend’s games, it is fair to say that cricket is, with­out doubt, the best sport in the world!

The B Grade Mud­dies played in an ab­so­lute nail biter of a game against the ma­genta-coloured In­n­is­fail team at the Mud Pit on Sun­day.

Even be­fore play had started, it was ob­vi­ous it was go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing day, with the Dou­glas cap­tain hav­ing to toss the coin three times to get it to land prop­erly in the jun­gle of an out­field. Los­ing the toss, the Mud­dies were put in to bat against a strong bowl­ing out­fit.

The Mud­dies open­ing pair looked con­fi­dent early on un­til Simeon Migliorenza tried to hit the over off the ball, only to lose his cas­tle in­stead. This shot seemed to do some­thing to the Mud­dies head space, which re­sulted in a suc­ces­sion of quick wick­ets. The Mud­dies col­lapsed from 1 for 3 off 3 overs, to go to 2 for 4, 3 for 5, 4 for 5, 5 for 6 and then 6 for 10 off 8 overs.

Taig, Gaske, Darlington, Pos­tons and D’Ad­dona were all out, leav­ing the bowl­ing at­tack to at­tempt to make some sort of a score. Adam Lu­cas and Benny Vik set about restor­ing some pride, show­ing pa­tience and sen­si­bil­ity. Luco looked to change the momen- tum, hit­ting a six clean over mid­wicket. This changed the tone, al­low­ing runs to be scored more freely, un­til Luco fell to a skyed ball deep in the out­field, leav­ing Mud­dies 7 / 34 off 16 overs. Kaiden Sorensen joined Ben at the crease, and set about build­ing a part­ner­ship. They com­fort­ably worked the ball around, but hard to run hard for their 1’s and 2’s as the grass pre­vented any bound­aries from be­ing scored.

With 7 overs left, Ben looked to in­crease the scor­ing rate to try and get to 100, but he missed the ball and was bowled for 20, leav­ing Mud­dies 8 / 67. Un­for­tu­nately, Kaiden soon fol­lowed suit, and Deep was run out far­ci­cally; Mud­dies all out for 69.

Know­ing that the In­n­is­fail team was full of bowlers, and the Mud­dies’ last two wins were with sim­i­larly low scores, they took the field with con­fi­dence. When Hay­den D’Ad­dona ran out Jesse Witt in the first over, the Mud­dies were beam­ing, and ready to take charge. Luco then found the edge, only to see it slip from Pos­tons’ hands to the ground. Dave John­son then found an edge that flew be­tween 1st and 2nd slip. Luco again found the edge which pounded into Gaske’s chest, but not his gloves. Dave fi­nally got a faint edge that was caught by the keeper, only to have the um­pire call not out as he just didn’t hear any­thing. Feel­ing as though they were a pack of dung bee­tles push­ing dung up a hill, the Mud­dies still fought gal­lantly, restrict­ing In­n­is­fail’s scor­ing so that they were only 1 for 36 off 21 overs.

Know­ing that In­n­is­fail were start­ing to push for runs, but were ham­pered with the length of the grass, the at­mos­phere on the field be­gan to in­ten­sify. Deep then showed his worth, run­ning out In­n­is­fail’s top scorer, tak­ing them to 2 for 42.

Ben Vik then charged in to take 2 wick­ets in 2 balls; In­n­is­fail now 4 / 42.

Feel­ing the mo­men­tum shift the Mud­dies way, and the at­mos­phere in­creas­ing on and off the field with the jeer­ing and sup­port of the Mud­dies C graders, the Mud­dies went for the kill. In­n­is­fail im­me­di­ately felt it and looked to take on the field, but Benny Vik forced the third runout of In­n­is­fail’s in­nings, tak­ing them to 5 / 46. A cou­ple more quick would give the Mud­dies the edge they needed to win. Dave and Kaiden then re­turned to the at­tack, with in im­me­di­ate suc­cess. DJ grabbed two wick­ets in one over to have the score now at 7 / 48. In­n­is­fail then con­sol­i­dated, but were un­able to score freely. Kaiden couldn’t get a wicket, but was tight as ever, only go­ing for 8 runs off 6 overs. Deep Singh took over from Kaiden, and reaped suc­cess, draw­ing a false shot from In­n­is­fail’s last recog­nised bat­ter, leav­ing them at 8 / 65.

The game was now at break­ing point.

The Mud­dies sup­port was scream­ing to them; the team were buzzing on the field; In­n­is­fail were freak­ing out; there was elec­tric­ity in the air. Need­ing two wick­ets to win, and bowl­ing his last over, Adam Lu­cas set about fin­ish­ing the task. Luco bowls his first ball; dot ball. Luco bowls his sec­ond ball; it crashes into the stumps and bowls him out. In­n­is­fail 9 / 65 and the Mud­dies come scut­tling in, pump­ing each other up to get this last wicket. Luco comes in and bowls his third ball: out! Luco takes 2 wick­ets in 2 balls to fin­ish the off In­n­is­fail.

The Mud­dies erupt in cel­e­bra­tion with a mas­sive team hug, high fives, bum slaps and in­ces­sant whoop­ing, for a four-run vic­tory.The Mud­dies walked off the field to joy­ous ap­plause and con­grat­u­la­tions by the su­perb C Grade team. The Mud­dies now have the next three Sun­days at home, and will play a 1 day grand fi­nal in Ma­reeba on March 1.

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