The Bankstown Sports Club First Grade Bulldogs fought back valiantly against the Campbelltown Ghosts last Saturday at Raby. It was not a good start for Bankstown as the top order collapsed disastrously. At 6-92 Bankstown looked in serious strife but they fought back doggedly to compile 233. Earlier Sydney Thunder paceman and Bulldogs all-rounder Nathan McAndrew batted with great spirit against the Ghosts to score a fighting 37. He was promoted to open the batting and he looked quite at home in this unfamiliar role. McAndrew is a very talented cricketer and this was evident last Saturday with four boundaries and a stunning six.
Chris Ridley is never far from the action and once again started confidently. The compact stroke maker hit 5 boundaries in his handy knock of 36. Ethan Leten is normally a dashing batsman but he played a much more subdued role in his attempt to get the Bulldogs barking. It was great to see him knuckle down to the task with such determination and score a handy and defiant 31 off 123 deliveries.
However, the day belonged to outstanding all-rounder Kyle Brockley who loves a challenge and responded brilliantly. Batting at number 8 in the order his 73 from 143 balls comprised seven sparkling boundaries and two stunning sixes. He believed attack was his best form of defence and the Ghosts became dispirited by his savage stroke play. He guided the Dogs to a very competitive 233 which has given the Bankstown bowlers a chance for victory. Ben Taylor chimed in with a defiant 26 and his formidable partnership with Brockley produced 65 valuable runs. It was great to see the fighting spirit of the lower order but the bowlers will need to be at their best when play resumes next Saturday.
The Bulldogs are in a commanding position against Campbelltown at Memorial on Saturday. The Ghosts never came to terms with the feisty Bankstown attack and could cobble together just 194. Tushaar Garg was at his fiery best and unsettled the visitors with some unnerving bouncers. Garg had the Ghosts backpedalling in an aggressive 12 over spell and thoroughly deserved his 4-38. Ben Le Bas was perfect in his support and claimed 3-44 from 17 overs with his crafty flight and guile. He also showed what a great pair of hands he has with three smart catches. Liam Marshall cleaned up Charlie Dummer with a wonderful swinging yorker which crashed into the stumps. Le Bas produced a fine delivery to capture the wicket of Ashley Paddison who top scored with 75. Marshall took 2-43 in his lively spell. In reply Bankstown has cruised to 3-123 with Matt Simpson in superb touch scoring a majestic 52 not out. He plundered 8 sizzling boundaries and a glorious six in his excellent knock. Debutant Peter Dignam is certainly making the most of his opportunity and his superb 40 not out augurs well for the future. The talented opener is the son of Steve Dignam who amassed over 5000 runs for the Doggies. Le Bas added 19 to complete a very good day.
The thirds are also looking good with 5-274 at Raby 2. In reply, the Ghosts are in trouble with 2-15. Andrew Deitz top scored for the Bulldogs with a most impressive 88. The classy stroke maker haunted the Ghosts with 7 sparkling boundaries as he put the Bulldogs in charge. Popular and highly regarded clubman Luke Reece was even more aggressive and his brilliant 87 featured 10 forceful boundaries and a stunning six. The rampaging run getter delighted the crowd with his runs coming off just 114 deliveries. Dane Heward ripped into the Ghosts batting capturing 2-4 in fine style and his efforts have put the doggies in a terrific position Doggies to push for the points next week.
After a solid start the Ghosts capitulated rather meekly and were bowled out for 197. Chris Stefanish ripped through the dispirited Ghosts and claimed 5-55 in a superb 21 overs spell. Stefanish troubled all batsmen and continues to enjoy a great season. Koby Layton added further to the Ghosts woes and claimed 3-49 in his incisive spell. Mohammed Hossain claimed 2-34 and was reliable as ever. The Bulldogs are looking shaky at 3-47 but Mat Kelly batted well for his defiant 34.
Sanjiv Weerasingham tried desperately to hold the brittle Bulldog batting together and his 62 was a gem. Blake Pearson deserves special mention for his defiant 16 not out but Bankstown struggled to just 147. The Ghosts have replied with 1-94 and are certainly in a commanding position.