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5th Grade Report vs Penrith - Round 6

Another victory is left behind

With Killara out of action, the 5th Grade Stags made the journey to Rance Oval to play our 'home' game against Penrith.

Kris Colley lets one go through to the keeper

The removal of the covers revealed a large wet patch, just outside the off stump of the left-handers and meant that play would not start on time. The intervening hours between arriving at the ground and the start of play were spent making fun of 'Grandpa' Millar who made his way to the ground with the aid of a walking stick and Will 'Cougar' McKeith who enlisted the help of his girlfriend for support to get to the ground. His late arrival at the ground was greeted with an entertaining story about how he was forced to stop off at McDonald's for a happy meal in order to get this week's toy and then stop at the local newsagency to find coloured pencils and a colouring book!

At tea time both captains agreed to start play and try and salvage what was left of the day. Fortunately 'Grandpa' managed to win the toss and sent Penrith in on a green top. A fiery opening spell from James 'Billy' Kidd and Pat 'Twinkle Toes' Effeney deserved more reward for their toil. Each managed to get through the defences of the Penrith openers and put Penrith on the back foot right from the start. When the umpires called for the cordial Penrith were 2/38.

The second session saw a change of tactic from 'Grandpa' Millar yielding to the immense expectation and pressure from the crowd, bringing Justin 'I would have taken 20 wickets in Nagpur' Avandano at one end and 'Cougar' McKeith at the other. This was a great little session where we fielded with enthusiasm and built up lots of pressure with consistent dot balls. Both bowlers troubled the batsmen and were unlucky to not pick up more cheeky player points each. However 'Cougar' McKeith did pick up a kiss and a hug for his efforts from his number 1 fan.

As the light faded and the threat of poor light beckoned the end of the day, Avandano and Sajdeh took up the attack in tandem until the batsmen cut the afternoon short, calling for bad light at 5/108. A disappointing end to a good day of cricket, with the opportunity to get more overs at the batsmen it was conceivable that Penrith could have been really looking down the barrel.

Avendano on his way to a good couple of poles

A good start on day 2, with some early scalps, was imperative to give our batsmen a good chance to knock over the runs. The day started off well with 'Twinkle Toes' Effeney and 'Billy' Kidd troubling the batsmen right from the first ball. Special note must go to 'Twinkle Toes' who ran into the roaring gale force wind all morning. With the addition of only fifty more runs for the last 5 wickets, we were set a very reasonable target of 156 in 57 overs.

Both Sajdeh and Kennar knew that a good confident start was necessary, with both having to last the one-hour session prior to tea. A good couple of overs from the Penrith quick's kept both openers in check, both patiently waiting for the bad ball to put away.  We had two crucial LBW decisions early in the piece, which put us on the back foot and in a precarious position at 2/20, a position made worse by the loss of a third wicket in the over prior to tea.

The second session started off much like the first with the loss of wickets in a quick succession. A 5th wicket partnership between Mark 'Pup' Fonsaka and Cam 'Gilly' Brown, which included great running and lusty hitting, stole all the momentum from the Penrith bowlers. This partnership looked like it would take us to a well-deserved victory. Unfortunately the cricketing gods had other ideas and we lost another bundle of wickets in quick succession before succumbing to defeat 15 runs short of the target.

(James Kidd lets one go) 

A good effort with the ball, especially the quick's, they did a great job to restrict Penrith to 160 but a very poor effort with the bat with the exception of Brown who provided a backbone to our innings. An all too familiar sight this season has been the lack of partnerships right throughout the innings; something that I am certain will be fixed this week on the long road trip to Benson's Lane this coming week.

Sunil Sajdeh


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