Reds Home in Stunning Last Ball Thriller
Teamwork, determination and courage displayed by each Gordon Red player insured the thrilling victory in the last over of play on a warm Sunday morning.
Playing with nine players was never going to be easy, yet as we arrived to the ground the atmosphere was full of enthusiasm and determination. Lacing up our spikes, slapping on sunscreen and inspecting the pitch, we were eager to take advantage of the green wicket which made the coin toss crucial.
Captain Ben Greaves took to the centre of the ground where he nervously called heads as the coin was tossed. As the coin landed, Greaves instantaneously chose to bowl after his successful call. It was time to shine.
Nathan James was up first hoping to receive an early wicket with his lightning pace and reliable line and length. Angus Levy continued the quick pace at the other end and was the first to strike the Roseville batting lineup. Levy’s line and lengthen was too good for the Roseville opener when he attempted to flick the ball to the leg side, however an edge was found as it safely landed into the hands of Tom Pitts behind the wicket.
Luke Carah was first change along with Callum O’Brien whose left arm outswing almost claimed a wicket. With the two Roseville batsmen creating a decent partnership, Matthew Pereira’s exceptional throw from fine leg into Tom Pitts was too quick for the other Roseville opener.
With the square leg umpire putting his finger up, the Reds were in a good position. A few overs had past and the Roseville batsmen were on a roll.
Captain Greaves was up next with his slow and deadly off spin claiming a wicket in the first ball of his spell. A brilliant catch by Luke next to his ankles sent the batsman to the shed off of captain’s bowling. At the other end Matthew Pereira claimed his first wicket in Gordon colours after a badly timed shot was played into the safe hands of Greaves.
Moments later, Greaves struck again after the ball went sky high into the hands of Levy.
With the Roseville batsmen creating a good, solid partnership, it was time for fill in Jacob Digby to shine. His line and length was exceptional and left the Roseville batsmen clueless. Into his second over, Digby’s line and length was frustrating the batsmen which resulted in an attempted lofted drive. However, the ball landed into Digby’s hands as he claimed his first wicket of the day.
With Ben’s back in pain, the captain called for Angus Levy to lead with his mysterious left arm spin. Immediately, Levy struck Roseville’s batting lineup within an over. A beautiful spin ball had pierced through the batsmen knocking over middle stump.
Next ball was even better, Levy put some of his lightning quick pace onto the ball which sent the bailes flying to claim his third wicket of the day.
But he wasn’t done there, Levy like before placed the ball right onto the toes of the batsmen to claim a brilliant LBW. With the finger going up, Angus now had claimed his 4th wicket, Gordon needed one more to finish off Roseville. Levy running in on his 8th over, tempted the batsmen into playing a lofted drive. However, Jacob Digby was waiting at the other end of the ball with safe, relaxed hands. Roseville bowled out for 142, Angus claiming 5 wickets and keeping the match ball.
With the temperature rising, Ben Greaves and Nathan James began the run chase. However, a sore upper back injury which occurred while fielding took its toll on captain Greaves as he was unfortunately bowled out within the first over.
Pitts was up next hoping to face off the opening bowlers by playing slow and steady along with Nathan.
Hoping to increase the run rate, Pitts was eager to cut a short ball through the covers, unfortunately Pitts had found point putting the Reds at 2 for 36.
Stepping forward to the crease next was Callum O'Brien who batted with discipline and style. His late cuts and aggressive play along with Nathan’s smart shot selection created hope for the Reds.
Having survived drinks, O’Brien again tried to continue his dominant play, yet waiting for him was a Roseville fielder in between gully and point who ended his innings. O’Brien with a well deserved 19.
With Matt Pereira stepping up to the crease, it was time for Nathan James to move into top gear. Nathan's explosive play silenced the field, yet electrified the crowd as he smashed numerous fours and a massive six above his Gordon teammates. James was looking good.
Matt P was also playing with confidence and composure after hitting an exceptional four which put the Reds into a great position. However, Matty P was unfortunately bowled out putting the reds at 4 for 105.
Levy was next up hoping to have as much success with the bat as he did with the ball. Nathan was playing with excellence and aggression throughout the Gordon innings which brought up his well deserved half century, yet the job was not done.
After two fours Angus was unfortunately bowled and two wickets shortly fell within a matter of overs.
Nathan James ended his innings on a well deserved high score of 61, his best batting performance to date. Luke Carah and Matt Balkus were the Red’s last chance. The pair needed to score a combination of 20 runs within three overs in order to win the game. Luke was working the singles well while Matt had no choice but to block out the good balls.
With the game slipping out of reach, Matt mesmerised the crowd, his teammates and the opposition after walking across his stumps (exposing all three of them) and smashing the ball into the grandstands. We were back on track.
A four and a few singles took both batsmen to the last ball of the innings. Reds needing a single to win the game. Nerves showed around the ground, yet Matt was calm and relaxed as he skillfully middled a beautiful shot to the boundary winning the game for the mighty reds. Balkus finished on an exceptional 20 not out.
Special thanks to Roseville Rattlesnakes for such a superb game, Jacob Digby who filled in for us, Steve Bibb for spending his own time helping us out, Alison for scoring, Lyndon for umpiring and Marg for managing.
Next week the Reds will be taking on North Sydney at Tunks.