Heat takes toll on cricketers
Saturday off but T20 finals played Sunday
SATURDAY cricket - cancelled due to extreme heat.
Sunday cricket - just as hot for the Division A and B Twenty20 finals, but they went ahead anyway.
Delatite has swept all before it to become the toast of Twenty20 cricket in the Benalla and District Cricket Association, steamrolling to finals victories in both Division A and B on Sunday.
Having practised assiduously in testing heat conditions during the week, Delatite players were well accustomed to the trying temperatures that nature threw at them on competition day and as a result persevered more successfully than their opposition.
Despite that, several batsmen were severely affected by the blistering sun.
First onto the park at the Benalla Gardens Oval were the Division B teams of Delatite and Merton.
The toss was called correctly by Merton captain Rohan Berriman who sent Delatite in to bat.
Rohan West was the springboard that got Delatite off to a flyer with 29 scored at a run a ball.
Captain Aaron Madsen rattled up 13 at number three while one further down the list Colin Godber put in a herculean effort to reach 30.
Dan Allan was terrific with 18 not out.
After 10 overs Delatite was on 2/64 but to Merton’s credit it reduced the run rate in the remaining overs so that the final tally became 6/115.
Matt Storer was far and away Merton’s best bowler with a telling 2/14 from his four overs.
Ken Murray took 1/19 with the other three wickets coming from run outs, a consequence of the batsmen’s desperation and exhaustion.
Delatite’s bowling attack has been by far the most economical of any side this season and this day proved to be no exception.
Merton came up against a well honed plan that made run accumulation a real challenge.
The openers were soon sent on their way, bringing Ken Murray and Matt Storer to the crease.
Their partnership of 61 was certainly valuable but the run rate remained a problem.
After 10 overs Merton was 24 runs in arrears of Delatite at the same period.
In the 17th over the pressure built to a crescendo and both batsmen succumbed in quick succession for well battled knocks of 35.
With 32 runs to make in three overs it was all too much for the remaining combatants and Merton’s innings terminated at 5/104.
No bowler stood out as far as wicket taking was concerned but Aaron Madsen’s 1/5 and Patrick Marks’ 1/14 represented outstanding control.
David Foster 1/17 and Tylar Smith 1/22 also successfully visited the bowling crease.
Patrick Marks could do no wrong in the field with two catches and a run out while Dan Allan and Ed Breadon also showed safe pairs of hands.
Perhaps inspired by the Division B team’s example, the Delatite Division A lads proceeded to completely outplay a lacklustre Violet Town which did not live up to its top of the ladder placing.
At the apex of the order Jack Egan spread the field with a characteristically hard hitting 21.
The real stars of the show were captain Andrew Startin and Mitch Purcell.
Coming together at 2/31 the pair clicked for a devastating 105 run partnership which effectively put the outcome beyond the reach of Violet Town.
The batsmen’s opposition was as much the heat as it was Violet Town so it was not such a surprise when Startin was eventually forced to retire for a magnificent 65.
Purcell remained undefeated at the close with a fabulous 33.
With 3/147 on the board Delatite was definitely in the box seat.
Glenn Parmansche led the way for Violet Town with 2/28 followed by Ryan Arians 1/21.
The bowlers’ work was undone by a profligate 17 wides.
Violet Town was never in the run hunt.
Just as in the earlier match, Delatite’s bowlers gave little away and in fact allowed only three boundaries during the whole innings, due also in no little measure to superlative fielding.
Robert Saker 12 and Troy Jones 12 made some impression although it was Ben Janissen who put up the best resistance with 31.
At the end of 20 overs all Violet Town could muster was 7/86, giving victory to Delatite by a comprehensive 61 runs.
Dan Walker was irrepressible for Delatite as he carved up his opponents for a wonderful 4/9 from four overs.
Ken Cousins 1/9, Matt Stevenson 1/13 and Peter Scales 1/18 also made life uncomfortable for the batsmen.
Jack Egan was sharp as always behind the stumps with two catches and Luke Burton, Rumesh Ranasinghe and Peter Scales also put on catching clinics with a catch each.
Association president Trevor Saker awarded the Division A player of the day to Andrew Startin and Division B to Aaron Madsen.
How appropriate that it was each Delatite team’s skipper who took out the award.
Credit was given to the umpires who coped with the baking heat for 80 overs altogether and to Benalla Cricket Club and the association for preparing an excellent wicket.
After fifteen seasons in the Benalla association, Delatite was well overdue to earn some silverware so it was with great satisfaction that this mini tsunami of Twenty20 championship victories went some way to rectifying the situation.
It will certainly give the club fresh impetus as it approaches the end of season finals in four weeks.
In the meantime, Delatite players need to focus their thoughts on this Saturday as Division A takes on Warrenbayne at the Racecourse Reserve in Benalla and Division B hosts Warrenbayne at the Lords Reserve.
BEST ON FIELD: Delatite B grade captain Aaron Madsen took 1/5 off 4 overs and scored 13 runs to be adjudged man of the match in the Twenty20 final.