Lakers B Grade played host to Milawa at Lakers HQ on Saturday. On the vast expanses of Stan Hargreaves Oval the Lakers won the toss and elected to bat on another perfect day for cricket.
With a number of players unavailable the side had a very different look to previous matches, but to their credit the players gelled together very well and played some great cricket. But the stand out for the day was 16 year old Tom Hicks who held firm and showed composure well beyond his years to anchor the Lakers innings.
Opening the batting with Rod Willett, Hicks and his partner got the Lakers off to a steady start with a 20 run opening stand. There was a mini collapse after the fall of the first wicket, with the Lakers sliding from 1/20 to 5/45. Hicks was outstanding playing great defensive shots and then taking toll of anything loose in a 69 run partnership with his Captain in Justin O’Brien.
The pair got the total past 100 and into a respectable area before Hicks was dismissed for a well-made 42. Hicks’ dismissal brought Ted Graham to the crease with O’Brien and the two veterans took the score into the 140’s before O’Brien was out caught and bowled for an enterprising 52 and Graham dismissed shortly after chasing quick runs for 20. 14 year olds Hudson Gillies and Jyda House then batted out the final couple of overs to get the Lakers to a very defendable 8/147 from their allotted 36 overs.
In the field the Lakers started steadily with Ned Mullins taking the new ball in partnership with Jason Sharp. Mullins was a little rusty and took a little while to get his line and length right but when he did he managed two wickets in his first spell to combine with Sharp’s consistent line and length that worried the opposition bats from ball one.
It was then the two Toms in Hicks and Elliott who really put the brakes on the Milawa batsmen through the middle stages of the innings. Elliott was the strangulation specialist and was unlucky not to pick up any wickets but his bowling partnership with Hicks put extreme pressure on the Milawa bats with Hicks claiming two scalps.
Milawa now 6/76 and starting to look shaky. The end of Hicks’ spell saw young B Grade debutant Jyda House introduced into the attack. House did what he was asked and bowled at the stumps, this can sometimes be painful for the bowlers as but the young man stuck to his guns. After being hit for four the very next delivery House clean bowled the batsmen to send him packing. Meanwhile at the other end veteran Trevor Fischer was spinning his usual web with his leggies.
Bringing the Milawa sides total to 9/94 and the Lakers were looking menacing with some 8 overs still to go! The re-introduction of Mullins was the final straw for Milawa as his pace was too much for the Milawa tail-enders and having knocked over the stumps for the third time in the innings Mullins ended the Milawa innings at 108 with three overs to spare.
A solid 39 run win for the Lakers which will boost the confidence of the young players. Mullins was the leading wicket taker with 3/20 from 6.5 overs. Jyda House 2/10, Jason Sharp 2/21 and man of the match Tom Hicks with 2/23 were the multiple wicket takers for the day.
Next week sees the start of the B Grade’s two day matches, hosting City Colts at Vic Park No. 2.
Rod Willett is clean bowled.
Opener Tom Hicks showed great composure making 42 runs.