REVIEW – ROUND 13 (Day 1)
CASHING in on his luck drove Tyler Clark to a maiden West Gippsland century and with it, saved Officer’s slim finals hopes.
DEVON MEADOWS v OFFICER
Anchoring the side’s fight-back, 17-year-old Clark was crucial to Officer’s (229) rebuilt innings against Devon Meadows.
After losing the top order for 18 runs, the revival was led against the odds with Clark’s stunning maiden-century, smashing 104 to guide the side to a fairly daunting target.
Clark shouldered the batting burden after starting the revival with Peter Quinn (27).
The duo hit the bad ball – in particular Quinn who smashed Sam Van Der Zalm (0/18) about – but there would be another round of set-backs in the tale of the Ant-Men.
Panthers’ Matt Hutchinson (5/36) and Mick Floyd (2/69) found a second wind to knock over the middle order.
But Clark was the common denominator in Officer’s innings and wiith help down the order – coming from Shane White (12), Brayden McHugh (15) and an important 50-run stand with Lachie Porter (24no) – Clark carried on.
He flayed 20 boundaries around Glover Reserve and with a straight drive down the ground – ending a very nervous stint in the 90s – Clark reached his first ton.
“Yeah I was obviously pretty happy with it being my first ton,” Clark said.
“It was a quick outfield and probably got a bit lucky here and there and was very happy with it.
“I was in the 90s for a long time and the opposition knew it as well so they were talking about it so I was pretty nervous and to just get that shot I was very relieved.”
His century only came undone at the death – falling captive to Jamie Glen (1/20), but by then his work was done in a resounding fight-back.
From 2/14 when he arrived to 8/212 once he departed, it was an exceptional day for Clark and he hopes the side’s bowling attack can also ride the luck.
“Just the position we were in and just needed some runs on the board,” Clark said.
“Especially coming into the end of the season and to get some runs and help the team out was great.
“We’ve got to win it next week, hopefully we can defend that and give ourselves every chance – you’ve got to get a bit lucky with those other results as well, but we’ll give it a crack.”
Hutchinson’s milestone might come next week as the Panthers’ spearhead is one wicket off joining the 40-wicket club, in what has become his best tally from a single season already.
The 229 is a chase Devon Meadows can very well hunt down with its long batting attack. Also even if Officer scrapes past the Panthers, a Yabbies’ win over the Marygoons would force some very unlikely scenarios to happen, just to guide them into the finals. But nonetheless it will make for an entertaining last round-and-a-half of District cricket.
CARLISLE PARK v CLYDE
A little from a lot pushed Carlisle Park (222) into a dominant position over Clyde. Bits and pieces from the middle order bandied around after Ammar Bajwa (56) and Heath Straughair (62) made an impact.
For a man who retires more often than John Farnham, Straughair has been very handy in the Vikings’ middle order, hitting 209 runs and adding 16 wickets to the cause – including a five-for last round.
Straughair’s work through the guts pushed past the Cougars’ best as he and Bajwa added 91 for the fourth stand.
Rolling his arm over all day, John Simpson (4/55) was Herculean in his efforts to halt the Vikings. His 35 overs – practically the whole day from one end – went at point-six each over as well as collecting scalps all along the way.
Diligent work from Simpson was supplemented by Dean Williams (3/48) and Kyle Brooke (2/41) – who has bowled probably every day this month of February due to Country Week duties – as wickets started to fall.
Bajwa and Straughair fell in a heap together, departing at 4/164 then 5/169, leaving a lot of time in the day for the middle-to-lower order to stand tall.
The remainder scraped together another 50 – with cameos off Lesley Howell (11), Aaron Straughair (10) and Steven Henry (10) – to cause more headaches for the visitors on their “long-voyage” across town.
Will be a stiff chase for the Cougars, but a win pushes them into second at least for the time-being. Plenty to play for with these sides potentially on course for another bout in the semi-finals.
PAKENHAM UPPER/TOOMUC v NAR NAR GOON/MARYKNOLL
In the battle of the long-named sides, Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll (174) showed it’s not a spent force in the battle against Pakenham Upper/Toomuc (1/44). Once again the heavy lifting fell upon the skipper’s shoulders as Adam Ciavarella (56) made his way past 300 runs this season – putting on 38 with David Macdermid (23) at the top. Ciavarella carried on once Luke Gunton (3/56) trapped Macdermid, but was caught out after reaching his second half-ton of the season. Jack Salan (33) and Kevin Wheeler (24no) also chipped in to push the Marygoons towards the double-ton.
The job was finished by Scott Clark (4/31) – who is within striking distance of the 400 runs/40 wicket double – and Ben Jarred (2/16).
The Marygoons claimed one just before stumps as Ben Spicer (29no) and Ian Mortimer (0no) saw out the day’s play.
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