Skipper’s spin tests students
Rockingham-Mandurah took the honours on day one of their match against University after a disciplined bowling performance at Lark Hill.
Skipper Craig Simmons led the way with four wickets and added another milestone to a fine career by claiming his 200th first-grade wicket for the Mariners.
After Simmons won the toss and elected to field, opening bowlers Leon Coombs (2-50) and Jordan Clark (2-31) got to work immediately and set Uni back at 3-13.
Change bowler Eric Botha (1-34) and Aaron Burrage stuck to their tasks and ensured no let-up on the students to allow their experienced captain to wheel away with his left- arm spinners. Burrage, in particular, bowled well in partnerships with 12 maidens from his 17-over return of 1-15.
Just the second man in the 200 club for Rockingham-Mandurah in its 18th year of top-grade cricket, Simmons bowled 24 overs just a week after returning from a fractured digit, to claim 4-43 with University dismissed for 192.
At stumps, Rockingham-Mandurah are 1-26 and require another 167 runs to take the points and move within reach of Uni in the top six with just three rounds to come after this Saturday’s completion.
A similar narrative was taken up by the second grade, which knocked over the students at James Oval for 191 and will resume
on day two at 1-45. Left-arm spinner Ryan Done did the lion’s share of the work, ploughing through 27 overs for the reward of 4-85.
Tyler Robertson chimed in late with 3-12, helped by Callum Austen (2-37) and Ronan Hogarth (1-22) to keep the home side off kilter throughout their 70-over stay.
Robertson (26no) and Kai Harrison (16no) can build a big partnership and help their team to a big day out with a solid first hour.
University are favourites in third and fourth grades after bowling Rockingham-Mandurah out before eating into their victory targets.
Third grade were bundled out for 106 and Uni are sitting comfortable at 4-83, while fourth grade’s Mohit Raman struck 56 in the Mariners’ 146 as Uni cruised to 2-90 by close of day one.
Rockingham-Mandurah’s ladies suffered a close T20 loss in the match against Subiaco-Floreat at Floreat Oval.
The visitors scrapped hard for 9-68 and made the Lions fight all the way before eventually taking the win with seven balls left at 5-69.
The junior males will need to chase down more than 200 to win their matches against Joondalupbased Centurions.
The under-17s bowled at Lark Hill and after having the visitors at 3-9, will need to track down 6-219, as Jye Clark claimed 2-28.
The under-15s found Centurions a tricky proposition at Belridge after they piled on 9-236 in 60 overs.
Two wickets each to Jye Donald, Kaelan Skoda and Aled Phillips Johns helped the Mariners stay in the battle.