Stags Stumped as Bulldogs Bowlers Bark
The stellar season enjoyed by the Bankstown Sports Bulldogs continued last Saturday at Chatswood. Bankstown totalled a mere 218 but it proved more than enough as the Stags tumbled to 185. Gordon had started the run chase well however Matt Bursa clean bowled two of the top order Stags and lively Tushaar Garg captured a wicket with the help of reliable keeper Cameron Middleton to get the Bulldogs barking with 3-71. When play resumed this Saturday Representative player Nathan McAndrew ripped the heart out of the Stags batting as they stumbled towards defeat. The classy allrounder uprooted the stumps of Crawford then added two more victims. The home side was in dire straits with 6-115 but then their woes were exacerbated when incisive Jarred Lysaught captured a handy double. This left the Stags struggling at 8-120 and they looked history. Ben Le Bas took a wicket as the Bulldogs closed in for the kill but the Stags were not finished yet. The last Gordon batting pair of Charlie Stobo (35) and Ashwin Premkumar (34 not out) defied all attempts to remove them and batted very sensibly. They threatened danger and the Bulldogs bark was starting to sound more like a whimper. A 65-run partnership was a source of frustration as the pair strutted their stuff. To the rescue came the ever-vigilant Mark Stoneman and Cameron Middleton who combined for an invaluable run out which ended the stubborn resistance. The Bulldogs breathed a collective sigh of relief as they collected the six points which kept them in touch with the other leaders. McAndrew grabbed the bowling honours with 3-48 from 16 excellent overs and can always be relied to give 100% with bat and ball. He is a vital cog in the Bulldogs machinery and a very talented player. Bursa claimed 2-31 and the wickets were crucial.
Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup
The Bulldogs scored a most comprehensive semi-final win over Northern Districts at Memorial on Sunday. Bankstown held the visitors to a modest 134 with some steady bowling and fine fielding. Aaron Bird took a superb one-handed diving catch in the deep which brought the crowd to its feet. Skipper Nathan McAndrew, Aaron Bird and Ben Le Bas all claimed two wickets as the Rangers failed to fire. Carruthers, with the appropriate surname of legendary boxer Jimmy Carruthers, quickly delivered the knockout blow with some stunning stroke play. It was a master class as the Bulldogs cruised into the preliminary final. Carruthers plundered 9 boundaries plus six maximums and the Rangers were reeling. Two of the sixes came in successive deliveries and one massive hit landed on the roof of the Steve and Mark Waugh Pavilion. When he was finally dismissed for 92 the home side had raced to 2-114. Mitch Brown finished with 26 not out and the Bulldogs cruised to 2-136 from an astounding 12 overs. The preliminary final will be on the 22nd of December vs Hawkesbury at Bankstown for a 2.30pm start.
The all-conquering Tony Clark’s seconds continued on their winning way with a comprehensive victory over the Stags at Memorial. A magnificent 87 from the rampaging Mitchell Hinds set up victory for the high-flying Bulldogs and his progress will be monitored closely. It was a top-class innings which entertained the crowd with 13 bulletlike boundaries and a glorious six. He defied the Stags for 6 hours and ensured the Bulldogs were victorious. Ryan Clark and Tom Sowden the spin twins kept the Dion Bourne scoreboard ticking over. Clark snuffed out any chance of a Stags revival with a delightful 53 containing 7 sweetly hit boundaries. Tom Sowden could play an integral part in the side’s premiership aspirations with his versatility and his 44 came in an entertaining hour at the crease.
The thirds were in fine form at Grahame Thomas last Saturday Blake Pearson used his pace to unsettle the Stags who wilted under his persistent pressure. There were plenty of fireworks in his 14 aggressive overs and he bowled superbly for his 5/63. Ever reliable Koby Layton made Gordon fight for every run and he claimed 3-35 from his 20 fine overs. Jehan Bilimoria was on target as usual and claimed 2-40 in his tidy spell. In reply Matt Dedes was at his punishing best with a magnificent 104. He stunned the Stags unleashing his vast array of strokes and was untroubled in a masterly knock. Well-deserved triple figures from a polished cricketer. An undoubted talent full of promise. Brendan Clark makes the bowlers work hard for his wicket and the classy stroke maker proved immovable as he powered his way to 56 not out. Cameron Cotter chimed in with his usual 100% effort and added to the run spree with 34. Jeswanth Acharya rounded off a fine team effort with 25 not out.
Bankstown lost at Kelso in a low scoring match. Gordon’s 115 was too many for the Bulldogs who capitulated for 103. Spirited resistance was provided by Anthony Melnyk who played a very much lone hand innings with a fighting 35 not out. It was a very determined effort and he showed great fighting qualities whilst others floundered.
The Bulldogs gave the Stags no respite at Beauchamp Oval. They batted with assuredness to chalk up 228. Prasanthan Sivapragasam top scored with a glorious 50 not out. The quality of his knock belied his position at number 10. He batted with impressive authority and ensured the Bulldogs were barking vociferously. James Cheetham added a useful 28 whilst Arnav Raina also notched a stylish 28. The Stags innings was over before it began as they could cobble together just 90. Just 3 batsmen got to double figures as Liam Hewitt had a field day ripping through the Stags top order as they struggled to lay bat on ball. Hewitt’s magnificent figures of 5-15 laid the foundation for the big win. Bryan Handunneththi claimed 3-26 in an extremely accurate 16.5 overs spell.