The opening round of the two-day, red ball competition in men's First Grade delivered some thrilling matches and some terrific individual performances while there was more tense T20 action in the Katherine Raymont Shield. CAM VELLACOTT runs his eye over the action from the latest round of KFC Queensland Premier Cricket.
Premier Efforts On Show
The first round of the red ball season saw some thrilling matches played and some terrific individual performances. Games flowed in a variety of ways as individual and team strategies readjusted post limited overs cricket.
At Baxter Oval in Ipswich, Redlands resumed at 6/127 needing a further 30 runs for victory. It was the perfect start for the home side, fast bowler Adam Smith (2/5) catching the edge of Bailey Stewart with the first ball of the day. Smith struck again five overs later, removing the most likely batter to drag Redlands to victory, skipper Leigh Drennan (42 off 58).
Jem Ryan then took his sixth wicket of the innings to have Redlands nine down and all out, their last batter not able to take the crease. Dan Wilson (104 off 141) notched his first century of the season, while Harry Wood (82* off 94) found some form to see Ipswich declare 5/272. Redlands finished the remaining 21 overs 4/47.
Chasing Wests big total of 329, Norths were in early trouble at 4/71. Further to their troubles, Josh Brown had scored 59 of those 71 and had just been dismissed.
Rav Srivastava (71 off 95) steadied the ship, however the home side Norths still had a long way to go at 7/183.
Full of confidence after their impressive run chase against Wests the week before in the One Day Semi Final, Noah McFadyen (53 off 107) and Sam Neale (52 off 84) grafted towards the total. McFadyen’s dismissal brought Connor Sully to the crease, Norths 8/264. In a highlight reel innings, Sully (47 off 21) hit seven maximums and one boundary, catapulting Norths back in the frame of victory.
Blake Edwards (5/82) forced Sully to finally send one skyward, leaving Norths 9/316. Sam Neale and number 11 Ryan Walker managed to survive and get the scores level on 329. Then, Walker pushed a ball to backward point and called a yes/no, leaving Neale scampering to get back in his ground. Point fielder, and former Norths player, Tom Campbell took the ball cleanly and threw down the stumps.
Norths 329, Wests 329 – match tied. While many games of cricket are even affairs, not many are this even! Wests finished a second innings flurry at 4/152.
Valley followed up their strong first week against Sandgate-Redcliffe with a dominant outright win. Bowling the Gators out for 112 then declaring 3/141, Valley fast bowler Benji Floros (5/70) (pictured above) ripped through the Sandgate top order with another 5 wickets.
The former Queensland quick Floros finished with an impressive 10 wickets for the match. Zanden Jeh also impressed with an economical 2/14 off 9.1. Sandgate captain Adrian Lascu (68 off 80) managed to dig in and set a lead of 146, however valley were able to account for it 3 down. Josh Neill top scored with 52*.
The Gold Coast started their campaign in strong fashion, defending their huge total of 7/393 against Toombul. Losing two wickets late last week, it was always going to take an extraordinary effort from the away side to chase the runs.
Their chase was never able to gain real momentum, Gold Coast continuing to take wickets when needed. Preston White (74 off 131) impressed at number 5, as did keeper Jack Webster (69 off 75).
However, six single figure scores makes a tough run chase even tougher. Jackson Smith (3/76) led the bowling attack with 22 overs, ably supported by Connor Brown (2/48) and Bailey Kenzie (3/41). The Dolphins unit showed why they have had so much white ball success and continued to be at the pointy end of the season in this win.
A young Wynnum-Manly side dug in against the home side University, looking to hang on for points against last year’s grand finalists.
Opener Dakota Rodgers (48 off 145) and number 3 Sukhveer Singh (30 off 123) saw through the new ball, before Callum Henderson (4/75) and Matt Willans (3/49) struck.
Henderson and Willans then quickly removed Burger for a second ball duck, captain Jed Wilson (2 off 12) and Tim Hale (2 off 8).
However, the Sea Eagles tail enders Ali Zaidi (47* off 171), Brad Radford (21 off 59), Harmon Sandhu (22 off 38) and Josh Fraser (11* off 50) scrapped their way towards a draw. At the end of play, Wynnum-Manly saw off 105 overs and finished 8/218.
South Brisbane notched their first win of the season in a rain affected match at the Sunshine Coast. Souths resumed day 2 needing inside 20 runs to win with 6 wickets remaining, and achieved that unscathed. Matt Love (63* off 161) and new recruit Chathura Kaluthanthri (52* off 84) saw their side home and batted on. Souths finished play 4/246.
In the Katherine Raymont Shield, with another round of T20 cricket underway, University of Queensland bowlers Charlotte Atkinson (4-13) and the ever-reliable Charni Bloxsom helped the Students to a solid win over the Gold Coast, dismissing the Dolphins for 96 after UQ made 126 with the bat, led by Anlo van Deventer (44).
Valley won a tight contest against Ipswich, with Queensland Fire and Brisbane Heat batter Mikayla Hinkley contributing solidly with bat and ball. Hinkley hit a quick-fire 71 from 39 balls and took two wickets as Valley (6-163) held off the Hornets (6-152). For Ipswich, Jessica McFadyen continued her fine run of form with 75 off 52 while allrounder Felicity Koch took 4-31 including the big wickets of Hinkley and Sianna Ginger (31 off 15).
Wests won a tight encounter with Wynnum-Manly, with strong efforts from both teams as Wests total of 7-133 proved enough to hold off Wynnum (7-124). Wests wicket-keeper Ryleigh Wotherspoon top-scored with 71 from 59 balls while for the Sea Eagles, Holly Barr top-scored with 45 and took 2-24.
Sunshine Coast won a shoot-out with Sandgate-Redcliffe, as the Scorchers finished with 4-140 as they chased down the Gators' total of 2-136. A composed half century from Mikayla Wrigley proved the difference for the Sunshine Coast after Tess Cooper (59) and Meagan Dixon (44) had laid down their batting marker.
The KFC Queensland Premier Cricket Team of the The Week is:
- Jessica McFayden 75 (52) & 85* (59) Ipswich
- Dan Wilson 104 (141) Ipswich
- Mikayla Hinkley 71 (49) Valley
- Sianna Ginger 60 (47) Valley
- Preston White 74 (131) Toombul
- Matthew Love 63* (161) South Brisbane
- Ryleigh Wotherspoon 71 (59) Western Suburbs
- Charlotte Atkinson 4/13 (4) University of Queensland
- Blake Edwards 5/83 (19) Western Suburbs
- Benji Floros 5/70 (21) Valley
- Felicity Koch 4/31 (4) Ipswich
Each week The Courier-Mail covers the Premier Cricket round with 3-2-1 points from matches. Their latest reports are available here (note subscription required):