R2 v Sutherland match reports
PREMIER GRADE CRICKET
ROUND 2 2020-21 v Sutherland
On a glorious spring day, the Bankstown Sports Bulldogs were involved in a titanic struggle at Memorial Oval last Saturday versus the Sutherland Sharks. The visitors had first use of the beautiful Bankstown batting strip and made the most of it early in the day. Nathan McAndrew unleashed some aggressive bouncers peppering the Sharks openers. He eventually trapped Arnold LBW on his crease with a superb delivery which would have toppled the timbers. Left arm spinner Ben Taylor had the dangerous Doyle well caught at first slip by the ever-alert Daniel Solway. When lunch was taken the visitors were batting soundly with 2-100 and a big score looked imminent. The Bulldog bowlers probed away relentlessly after the interval. The visitors fought hard to get to 158 but lively Ben Le Bas struck to get rid of Biviano with the help of vigilant Jake Cormack and his ultra-safe hands. McAndrew struck again when he got the edge of the bat for acrobatic keeper Matt Simpson to pounce on the chance. At 4-223 the Sharks were circling in quest of a huge score. This got the Bulldogs barking vociferously and wickets started to tumble rapidly. Taylor lured Fallins into a mistake which Liam Marshall gleefully held aloft and the tide was beginning to turn. Le Bas did it all himself with a classic caught and bowled and the home side were back in charge. Speedster Brad Simpson joined in the LBW brigade with a thunderbolt and the Sharks had slumped to 8-236. Le Bas caught the edge and ever alert Simpson snapped up the chance but then a stubborn last wicket stand frustrated the locals. Former Bulldogs paceman Tushaar Garg played a very neat innings to remain 25no and along with Steven Milliken (15no), hit out boldly in a 35 run partnership with the visitors 9-284 at stumps and leaving the match delicately poised. Thunder star McAndrew hurtled down 19 explosive overs and claimed 3-50. Le Bas was most impressive with 3-48 in his marathon 26 over spell. His accuracy sunk the Sharks at a crucial time and his 7 maidens highlighted this. Taylor chimed in with 2 wickets and Matt Simpson kept his fieldsmen firing whilst giving another excellent display behind the stumps.
Congratulations to Zeeshaan Ahmed and Brad Simpson on being named in the under 19 NSW Metropolitan Squad 2020/21. Also, Ben Taylor and Nick Carruthers in the NSW Premier Cricket ‘Team of the Year’. Great to see allrounder Angelina Genford from Bankstown Sports Women’s Cricket and first grade paceman Brad Simpson were awarded Basil Sellars 2020/21 Scholarships. 18 people have gained the Scholarships and progressed to play for Australia and we hope these two will follow.
In seconds at Glenn McGrath Oval the Sharks never really got on top of the Bulldogs bowlers. The Sharks openers started solidly with a 51-run stand before shrewd medium pacer and captain Tony Clark made the initial breakthrough. Matt Bursa ripped through the Sharks top order with some spirited bowling beating the bat repeatedly to get the Bulldogs barking with 3-32 in his lively spell. However, the bowling honours went to young gun Blake Pearson who ensured the Sharks lower order failed to take advantage of the fine start. His figures were stunning with 4-21 off just 6.4 very incisive overs as the home side scored a competitive 225. In reply Bankstown are 3-82 with Justin Felsch again looking good on 20 not out with Ethan Debono unconquered on 12 when stumps were drawn and it will be an intriguing battle when play resumes next Saturday. The irrepressible Tony Clark has been a wonderful mentor to his young charges culminating in the Premiership victory last season. He certainly leads by example with bat and ball and always gets the Bulldogs barking vociferously. He has claimed over 1,000 wickets and is a cricketing legend throughout Sydney grade cricket. Clark took over as skipper several seasons ago and his impact was seen immediately. At one stage he captained a Second’s side which contained eight players between 16 and 20, lifting the young Bulldogs from 15th to a semi-final in his first season and relishing his move from Blacktown. A very shrewd and attacking skipper Tony has had a stellar career and hopefully there is even more to come.