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Saints win but T20 Dogs home by 1 run in thriller

Premier Grade Cricket Publicity Report Round Two Week 2 12-13th October 2019 Season 2019/20 In a rain affected match the Bankstown Sports Bulldogs put a tough fight but fell just short losing on the first innings to St George at Memorial Oval on Saturday. Rain again delayed play slightly with the Dogs’ resuming at 7/77 and apart from some stoic resistance from Ben Le Bas (13no) the tail succumbed without much fanfare. When Tushaar Garg was out for 2, the home side was left with just 98 runs in the bank. Defending such a small total was never going to be easy but pacemen Brad Simpson and Nathan McAndrew helped the Bulldogs back into the match as St George slumped to 6/84. However, a seventh wicket partnership of 45 between Adam Whatley and Jon Rose saw the visitors past the required total. 17-year-old Simpson, a member of the NSW Under 19 elite squad, continues to impress good judges and his figures of 3/33 off 7 overs shows he’s not overawed playing in the top grade. McAndrew (2/46 off 12 overs) provided good support for Simpson while Ben Le Bas continued his terrific early season form, cleaning up the tail end with 2/0 off just four balls as St George was all out for 137. T20 Double Header Sunday 13th October 2019 The Bankstown 1st Grade and Poidevin Gray Shield Under 21 sides headed to Howell Oval for a T20 Double Header on Sunday. In the 1st Grade match the Bulldogs batted first and after losing opener Nick Carruthers for five it was the redoubtable Mitch Brown who put the visitors on the front foot with a scintillating innings of 76 off 39 balls with a strike rate of 194. Brown received great support from Daniel Solway with 47 off 46 balls as the Dogs’ posted 9/164. The defending Premiers responded in style and at 3/118 looked to be in the box seat to take the points. However, 21-year-old spin twins Ben Taylor (3/36) and Ben Le Bas (3/20) had other ideas and showed they will be a force to reckon with in all formats of the game this season as Penrith fell just short with 8/161.

POIDEVIN-GRAY The Peter Dignam led PG side recorded a comprehensive victory in its T20 match. The home side returned a solid 4/155 with speedster Brad Simpson again in fine form for the Bulldogs taking 2/17 from his four overs. The T20 format is relentless in its intensity and after losing Mansukh Singh for just four runs the Bulldogs couldn’t afford any further slip ups. Skipper Dignam and Zeeshaan Ahmed proved equal to the challenge with Dignam scoring 64 (40 balls, S/R 160.00) and Ahmed 60 not out (48 balls, S/R 125.00). Cam Middleton produced a cameo innings of 20 not out (16 balls) as the Bulldogs took the points with 2/160 off 18 overs. Second Grade In a disappointing finish to skipper Tony Clark’s 650th Premier Grade match, the 2nds lost outright after winning on the first innings last week. After overhauling St George’s 115 with 6/118 declared the home side resumed at 0-6 and batted very well to post a challenging 141 on a sporting wicket. Matt Bursa was the pick of the Bankstown bowlers with 2/25 off 9.3 overs while the irrepressible Clark is rarely out of the action snaring 3/40 off 14 overs. In what can only be described as a disappointing performance the Bulldogs were bundled out for 66 in their second innings with only Daniel Nicotra (20) and Joel Brockley (11) reaching double figures. The Bulldogs forfeit two competition points as a result of the 2nd innings loss with St George banking 6 points for the match and Bankstown 4. Third Grade Skipper Matthew Dedes declared the Bulldogs inning at the overnight score of 9/264 and with St George struggling at 2/33 it appeared that the home side was in control of proceedings. But this was anything but a run of the mill match, as the momentum swung between the visitors and the home side with each wicket before one final dramatic twist. Partnerships of 64, 43 and 45 for the 5th, 6th and 7th wickets respectively saw St George looking home and hosed at 7/255. A gutsy call by skipper Dedes to throw the ball to spinner Tommie Sowden with St George needing just nine runs proved to be a masterstroke as Sowden (4/47) grabbed three of the last four wickets, aided by medium pacer Jehan Bilimoria (2/34) snaring top scorer Ben Panayotopoulos (86) to deliver the Bulldogs a remarkable victory. St George was all out 258, having lost their last four wickets for three runs. Basit Ali was also in good form with the ball taking 2/34 off 10 overs. Fourth Grade Resuming at 8-194 Bankstown was dismissed for 217 at Harold Fraser Reserve. After looking to be in control with St George struggling at 5/90 the home side fought back solidly to post 8/220 and take the first innings points. The Bulldog bowlers tried hard with James Cheetham (2/34 off 10) Anthony Meknyk (3/26 off 12) and Koby Layton (2/54 off 17) all solid but it proved to be a in vain as the Dragons held on in a tightly fought match leaving Alex Kouventaris and his side wondering just what might have been. Fifth grade St George resumed at 3-30 chasing Bankstown modest 122 at Grahame Thomas Oval. At 2/22 and with some experienced players still in the shed, the visitors looked in good shape but skipper Rob Lenard and his young charges had other ideas. Solid bowing efforts from Lenard (2/23 off 15), Prashanthan Sivapragasam (1/32 off 14) and Liam Hewitt (1/9 off 8) helped steady the good ship Bankstown and laid the platform for 16-year-old off-spinner Max Clissold to light up the match capturing 4/13 off 10.5 overs as St George was all out for 87. A student of St Gregory’s College, Clissold is in his first year of Premier Grade cricket and he is already impressing the Bulldogs coaching team with his willingness to listen and work hard at training.

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