On Saturday, under dark skies and in wet, windy and cold conditions, the 2005/06 ACT cricket season got underway.
Over at Majura, Norths and ANU battled it out with Norths being knocked over for a paltry 92 with Emmett Bronca taking 3/18 and Nathan Madsen 3/19. Only Middle order bat Alistair Freeth made any impression in scoring 20. In reply ANU are 1/8 and should be looking at wrapping this game up quickly next Saturday.
Tuggeranong and Eastlake, two of the heavyweights in the competition met at Chisolm Oval with Tuggeranong piling on a very respectable 7/298 at stumps. Leading the way wit the bat was veteran Comets batsman Dave Jeffrey who fell two short of a century and young gun Adam Blacka who slapped an impressive 82. Also in the runs was Matt Armstrong who remained 51 not out at the days end. Mark Divin was the best of the bowlers picking up 3/58 and Eastlake will hope to knock over the Tuggeranong tail quickly if they are to have any hope of winning this one.
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Weston Creek and Wests/ UC found Stirling Oval in surprisingly good condition with Weston Creek taking the honours for the day scoring 271. Comets batsman Cade Brown showed why he is rated one of the best in Canberra with 108 ably supported along the way by Sean Maxwell with 24, Wade Irvine with 20, and Christian Hanna with 38. Former Comets quick Andrew Jones held the attack together to pick up 5/68 while mark Hatton gabbed 3/40. Wests/ UC will be hoping for fine weather next Saturday if they are to chase this tally down although the fast Stirling outfield should help them in this respect.
Meanwhile, at Freebody Oval, Ginninderra and Queanbeyan met with Queanbeya managing to drag themselves out of the mire to post a competitive score against a young new look Tigers outfit. After slumping to 7/78 due to some good quick bowling from Josh Kentwell who took 4/42, and Andrew Kiley, who took 2/30, Queanbeyan, through Simon Fahey, who hit 64, and number 11 Dean Southwell who struck 30, managed to get to 171. Ginninderra then found themselves in trouble at 3/32 by close of play with Comets allrounder Adam Heading taking 3/15. Ginninderra may well rue letting the Queanbeyan lower order get away from them but given a dry sunny day next week should be able to overhaul the total with skipper Sam Gaskin and young allrounder Daniel Poidevin at the crease.
My predictions for next weekend are ANU to knock off the runs against Norths and then to attempt to get enough ahead to send them back in and try for an innings win. ANU to win on first innings.
Tuggeranong will bat on and rack up around 300 which will be a hard ask for Eastlake, but one not out of the reach given the strength of their batting. Tuggeranong to winon first innings.
Weston Creek should take the points against Wests/ UC while Ginninderra and Queanbeyan match is a hard one to pick. Given Gininderraâ€™s young side I think Queanbeyan will pick up first innings points in this one and much will depend upon Sam Gaskin if Ginninderra are to get up.