Premier Grade Cricket
Round 14 v Northern District - week 1
It was a bad toss for Michael Stretton to lose on Saturday against Northern District as batting conditions were idyllic at Memorial Oval. The visitors took full advantage and the Bankstown Sports Bulldogs chased leather all day in the Round 13 fixture. The bowlers maintained a tidy line and length and made ND’s fight hard for every run. It is a vital game for Bankstown as they have slipped to seventh and need to maintain momentum to secure a qualifying finals spot after Round 15. At 4-202 Northern District were cruising but the home side pulled them back with some spirited bowling and restricted the run spree. Ben Taylor has bowled beautifully all season and Saturday was no exception. He was accuracy personified and his marathon 34 overs spell returned him the excellent figures of 4-85. Taylor sent down 10 maidens and dried up the ND’s runs at a crucial time. Promising paceman Rhys Williams continues to improve and he also showed unerring accuracy with 2-32 from 18 pacy overs which stunned the visitors. Matthew Waite chimed in with 2-30 and claimed the valuable wicket of century maker Lowery. The visitors fought hard to reach 8-260 and the Bulldogs will be looking to wrap up the innings when play resumes next Saturday at 10.30
The seconds played solidly under the astute leadership of 1,000 wicket taker Tony Clark at Mark Taylor Oval. Early in their innings the home side was all at sea against a fired up Bankstown attack. Chris Stefanish was the catalyst for a collapse when in a wonderful spell he was ND’s nemesis. Tearaway Brad Simpson, who is enjoying the expert mentoring of Brett Lee, crashed through with some hostile bowling creating havoc amongst the top order. His 4-44 was a glowing tribute to his undoubted potential. Consistent Daniel Slane with his unerring accuracy took 2 wickets as did the incisive Stefanish. The home side finished with 9-271.
Mansuhk Singh got the Bulldogs off to a steady start at Jensen last Saturday. He held the top order together with 49 showing his full array of elegant stroke play. Singh fought defiantly with five classy boundaries and received solid support from Matt Dedes with a handy 26. A lower order revival got the Bulldogs barking with a defiant partnership between off spinner Matt Smith and prolific run getter Niran Wijewardene. Their crucial 131 run stand enabled the Bulldogs to post a very competitive total. Multi-talented Smith was in ominous form and plundered 62 in classical style. There was no stopping the very talented Wijewardene who got stuck into the ND’s with a memorable 100 not out. His majestic strokeplay enabled Bankstown to reach 7/286 as he peppered the boundary with superb drives and cuts showcasing his very fine talent.
The Jehan Bilimoria-led Bulldogs dismissed Northern District for 174 at Asquith Oval. Koby Layton ripped through the home side’s middle order with some incisive bowling which enabled the Bulldogs to take command. He was always threatening and beat the bat repeatedly claiming 4-40 from 22.2 immaculate overs. Mohammad Hossain made sure there was no ND’s revival and completed the rout with 4-42 off 22 impressive overs working tremendously in tandem with Layton. In reply, the Bulldogs were 1-21 at stumps.
ND's battled hard to get to 9-172 at Grahame Thomas. Umair Khan was the spearhead for the Bulldogs and gave the visitors no peace in his spell of 25 well flighted overs. He worried all batsmen and lifted the team with 4 handy wickets. Bryan Handunnethithi crashed through the middle order with some great bowling and claimed three wickets in rapid succession which turned the game around after experienced campaigner Mat Kelly restricted the opposition returning the miserly figures of 1/8 off 14 overs with 10 maidens.
Bankstown fought gallantly in the PG semi-final but were just edged out by Blacktown. The Bulldogs notched 138 but it was just not enough as the Warriors cobbled together 8-139. The Bankstown batting was a disappointment with Niran Wijewardene adding a fighting 28 and Daniel Hayes a defiant 27. The multi-talented Wijewardene then took 3-22 to complete a wonderful weekend whilst Ben Le Bas and Brad Simpson claimed two wickets apiece.