Premier Grade Cricket
Round 6 17th November 2018
In the first grade Belvidere Cup fixture at Pratten Park last Saturday Wests were in trouble against the Bankstown Sports Bulldogs. The Magpies started disastrously losing 1-0 and then 3-37. All wickets involved tall and strongly built paceman Rhys Williams who was right on song from the outset. His first two victims were brilliantly caught by the ever-alert Peter Dignam and the third was very well run out by Williams. This was a real bonus but then the Magpies staged a recovery. Ben Taylor has been a wonderful wicket taker all season and he continued this on Saturday with a crucial double blow. The left arm spinner used all his flight and guile to dismiss Abraham and Isherwood who both scored 46. They fell just 3 runs apart and Wests never really recovered. Paceman Liam Marshall claimed a handy wicket and enthusiastic Matt Waite took 2-37 from 11.2 overs. However, it was Taylor who took the bowling honours with an excellent 4-57 from 17 incisive overs. Williams deserved his 2-19 as he troubled all batsmen. The fieldsman helped support the bowlers with ‘keeper Michael Stretton taking two catches and Peter Dignam also took two. Kyle Brockley held onto a handy one and Chris Ridley claimed a useful one as did Liam Marshall. The Magpies took flight for a meagre 171 and Skipper Stretton was pleased at the wholehearted effort. At stumps the Bulldogs were barking loud and clear with 2-73. Brendan Smith looked good with 20 but fell L.B.W. Prolific runs corer Daniel Solway seems to be on his way again and cruised to 22 not out. Nick Carruthers was unconquered on 21 and the pair have already added 35.
The seconds also played strongly and are in a good position at Bankstown Memorial. Tony Clark is a wonderful captain and certainly led by example against West’s. He removed both opening batsmen and then got the crucial wicket of top scorer Burke for 55. Clark claimed 3-38 from his most economical 13 overs spell. He has now achieved the unique number of a thousand wickets and is very well known throughout Sydney grade cricket circles. A wonderful mentor to all the promising Bulldog quicks. Bradley Simpson a young tearaway very much appreciates the skipper and his most valued advice. Simpson captured 3-46 from his hostile 13 overs and Clark was extremely impressed with his enthusiastic and robust display. Dayne Heward gave nothing away in his most accurate 17 overs spell and took 2-40. The Magpies took flight and totalled just 200. In reply, the Bulldogs are 4-144 following a fine opening stand of 101. Zeeshaan Ahmed was first to go after compiling a defiant 29. Ethan Leten carried on the good work with a typically aggressive 71 in just 85 minutes. Leten plundered 14 sparkling boundaries and hammered the Magpies relentlessly which kept the Dion Bourne scoreboard ticking over.
After a disastrous start with 2-7 and 3-30 the Bulldogs recovered to post 218 at Blick Oval. Iain Ridley, the skipper won the batting honours with a punishing 62 which included 8 boundaries and a stunning six. Ridley is a shrewd skipper and a great help to the many youngsters. The defiant Daniel Hayes helped Ridley with a 94-run stand which got the Bulldogs barking. Hayes was all class and his 50 a valuable innings. All-rounder Matt Smith chimed in with a useful 22 and as usual gave 100%.
An extraordinary 115 from Niran Wijewardene enabled Bankstown to compile 273 on Saturday. He peppered Jensen Oval with his vast array of strokes and hit 22 sparkling boundaries. He is a very popular team man and all were delighted with his resounding success and bevy of boundaries. All-rounder Jehan Bilimoria thumped 6 fours in his 28 which kept the scoreboard ticking along. Hayden Barrett hung on defiantly for his very handy 28 whilst Brendan Clark was just slipping into top gear before he was stumped for 23.
In a wonderful day for captains Alex Kouventaris hammered 41 as the Bulldogs scored 143 at Punchbowl Oval. Nathan Setter chimed in with a fighting 27 whilst Manoj Weerasingham put together a handy 20. Wicketkeeper Jack Slane showed he can wield the willow as well with 25. In reply West’s are 3-44.
Bankstown scored a stirring victory in the Under 21 P-G game against Randwick-Petersham at Petersham Oval on Sunday. The young Bulldogs amassed 249 in the 50th over and contained the ‘Wicks to 235. Cameron Middleton hammered a glorious 83 in an exciting 93 minutes at the crease. The adventurous stroke maker ripped into the bowling with much enthusiasm and plundered 9 boundaries and 3 stunning sixes. The technically correct Peter Dignam was again among the runs with a classy 56. He is a determined opener and cheered on by former Bulldog Dad Steve Dignam and grandparents Margaret and Eris Dignam. Daniel Hayes was again among the runs with a stylish 32 and had a fine weekend. When Randwick batted they started well with a quick-fire 65 runs opening stand before Ben Le Bas took a spectacular catch at mid-off from the bowling of Brad Simpson to get the Bulldogs barking. Niran Wijewardene supported Simpson to the hilt with three valuable scalps. Once again Niran proved what a wonderful all-rounder he is. A century on Saturday and three wickets on Sunday makes for a wonderful weekend. Dayne Heward made sure there was not much lower order resistance and claimed 3-49. Simpson returned figures of 2-47; his early wickets leading the Bulldog revival following a spectacular start to the home sides innings.