Despite oppressive heatwave conditions the Bankstown Sports Bulldogs performed valiantly to dismiss Sutherland for 281 at Memorial. It was a diabolical toss for skipper Michael Stretton to lose but his lionhearted bowlers stuck to their task with dogged determination. At 2-163 the Sharks looked invulnerable but the Bulldog bowlers were relentless in a very brave effort. Tall paceman Rhys Williams led the attack and claimed 3-37 in his immaculate 16 overs spell. His aggressive bowling had the Sharks backpedalling all day. Williams has been talked of as a great talent but now he has shaken off injury problems it has all come to fruition. Canberra based spinner Ben Taylor continues to impress and certainly looks destined for higher honours. Taylor also claimed 3 wickets with his flight variations and guile. Thunder paceman Nathan McAndrew also snared 3 wickets and was at his explosive best. The skipper pulled off a master stroke when he threw the ball to Chris Ridley. The consistent run getter is a stranger to the bowling crease but he rewarded the captain’s adventurous leadership with a crucial wicket. Bankstown were very chirpy to dismiss the Sharks for 281 but did not relish losing an early wicket to finish the day with 1-6.
The seconds have a big first innings lead over the Sharks at Glenn McGrath Oval. The Bulldogs bundled the home side out for just 207 and at stumps were 2-226 in reply. Tushaar Garg ripped through the Sutherland middle order and finished with 3-13 in his amazing 8 over spell. Matt Smith was at his penetrative best with plenty of flight and guile to snare 3-37. Lively Wallace Marshall took a wicket early to get the Bulldogs barking and finished with 2-31. Nivethan Radhakrishnan completed a fine Bankstown bowling effort with 2-34 from 9 probing overs. Matt Dedes continued his sparkling form with the willow and scored 52 classy runs. Cameron Middleton was in dynamic form and plundered 89 not out which included 12 forcefully struck boundaries. Joel Brockley was also in sparkling form and his partnership with Middleton is already worth 133. No Sharks bowler seriously troubled the rampaging Middleton who is an obvious talent. Joel Brockley raced to 70 not out from just 54 balls and completed the devastation with his entertaining knock.
Ever reliable Alex Schipp claimed 3 of the top line Sharks to get the Bulldogs barking. As usual he clean bowled two of his hapless victims and trapped the other LBW. His ability to bend the ball around makes him a batsman’s nemesis and he beat the bat repeatedly. His 3-29 was just the start Bankstown needed. Daniel Slane put Sutherland out of their misery and claimed 4-42 with some inspired bowling. He plays with plenty of enthusiasm and is always a danger. The Bankstown opening batsmen got the side off to great start with a 65-run stand. Peter Dignam once again struck the ball with plenty of confidence in his stylish 33. Connor Wilkinson quickly gained the ascendancy and unleashed his vast array of strokes to compile 41. Jakob Malcolm cruised to 28 not out in his enterprising innings. Skipper Iain Ridley once again led by example with a hard hitting 34 unconquered.
Bankstown’s Chris Stefanish ripped through the Sharks top order last Saturday. It was another inspirational effort from the talented speedster. He clean bowled two of his victims and trapped two LBW with sheer pace. The enthusiastic quick took 5-43 and gave the Dogs just the start they were looking for as the Sharks succumbed for just 189. Accurate Mohammad Hossain was the perfect foil for the rampaging Stefanish and claimed 3-43 in a tidy spell. In reply Bankstown has cruised to 2-86. Forceful Ryan Malcolm plundered 6 delightful boundaries in his valuable 38. Skipper Mat Kelly was once again in top touch with a stylish 37 not out.
Skipper Alex Kouventaris once again led by example with 4-20 which destroyed the Sharks. At Grahame Thomas wickets fell at a rapid rate as Sutherland crashed for just 72. Ever reliable Blake Pearson was right on target with 2-18 whilst Sanjiv Weerasingham claimed 2-18 to round out a fine Bulldogs bowling effort. In the quest for outright points Bankstown scored 133. Brendan Clark provided the Bulldog batting heroics with a majestic 56. He held the brittle Bulldog batting together as wickets tumbled all around him. The Sharks were 1-20 at stumps with Rhys Ward the successful Bulldogs bowler. He toppled the timbers of the Sharks opener with a ripper.
Bankstown capitulated for just 172 and Gordon raced to victory. Matt Simpson was the pick of the Bankstown batting with a classic 66. The attacking stroke maker held the Bulldogs batting together as wickets fell at a rapid rate. Ryan Malcolm was unfortunately run out for 36 just when he looked in complete control. Connor Wilkinson battled valiantly for 27 but the rest of the batting was poor.
AW Green Shield
Bankstown’s valiant effort was not enough in the Qualifying Final vs Manly. The Waratahs batted first and scored a reasonable 8-203. Brad Simpson bowled a lively spell and was rewarded with 2-13 whilst Nivethan Radhakrishnan was on target with 2-37. In reply the Bulldogs scored just 156 - Zeeshaan Ahmed once again was at the top of his game with a fighting 69. The youngster is having a wonderful season and looks a very good prospect indeed. Sanjiv Weerasingham put together a fighting 28 but others offered little resistance.