11/1 Round 3 v Hawkesbury

Bounty Reserve, Bligh Park, 17th Dec 2023.

Manly 7/201

Hawkesbury 10/102

The day dawned overcast but pleasant and as the team gathered at Bounty Reserve, the evidence of kangaroo love for the reserve was clear around the field, setting a picturesque backdrop for the day’s cricket battle, as Manly embarked on their pre-game rituals under the guidance of the trusty coaches, Graeme and David.

Despite Coach Vince’s absence, the players were confident, knowing he was keeping a close eye on them from a distance.

Winning the toss proved advantageous as Manly elected to bat first, inspired by the success of previous matches led by the formidable opening duo, Luke and Cruz.

The opening pair set the tone with careful running and precise shot selection. The communication between the batsmen was exceptional, resulting in numerous second runs. The boundaries flowed, courtesy of Luke’s and Cruz’s aggressive yet controlled shots on a firm surface that allowed the ball to skip across the boundary..

The openers dominance was evident as they shot through the gaps and picked up boundaries, contributing to a steadily increasing run rate. Cruz, unfortunately, fell victim to a sneaky pace bowler, ending a promising partnership at 1/58.

Enter Thomas, who showcased his prowess with some delightful shots, navigating the critical mid-phase of the innings. 

Luke continued to impress, surviving a dropped catch, but later coming unstuck by that same sneaky bowler at 2/70.

Ekam joined the action, employing his trademark quick singles and showcasing some of his favourite pull shots. Thomas, continued to play smartly, capitalising on some free hits, keeping the run rate ticking and reaching a well-deserved half-century. Ekam’s departure at 3/148 didn’t slow down the momentum that his partnership with Thomas had started, as Oliver and Thomas’s aggressive approach lifted the run rate.

Manly gained ground towards the coveted 200-run mark. The innings witnessed some missed and dropped catches. Zac and Blake were given permission to get aggressive to finish off the innings with the rest of the batsmen, adding drama and excitement to the game as our finishers got us to an amazing 7/201 for the innings.

Jesse and Zac opened Manly’s bowling with tight deliveries which, together with the team’s sharp fielding, limited Hawkesbury’s run rate.

Ethan claimed the first wicket at 1/17 on his first ball by forcing an edge from one of the openers, which was caught beautifully by Thomas in slips. This was the beginning of the end for Hawkesbury as tight bowling from Ethan and Virat continued to put pressure on the batsman, limiting the run rate.

Ethan claimed the second wicket at 2/20 in the seventh as the remaining opener was clean bowled. 

Jensen, Blake, Ekam and Luke continued the pressure with great spin bowling, with Blake, Ekam and Luke claiming wickets and Zac assisting with a brilliant catch. 

Ethan’s second spell bowled 2 more wickets with Oliver also bowling a wicket, sending Hawkesbury batsmen off the field..

Manly displayed their trademark exceptional fielding and backing up throughout the entire innings, with great stops and direct throws building pressure on the batting side.

Hugo showcased his excellent wicketkeeping skills, adding to the opposition’s woes.

Manly closed out the innings, with a catch by Ekam off a Thomas bowl in the 39th, all out for 102.

The match at Bounty Reserve was a testament to the team’s skill, determination, and unity. The players displayed their collective spirit and pride of being part of a cohesive Div 1 Manly rep team. The victory, achieved through stellar performances with batting, bowling and fielding ensured the team left the field with heads held high.

Go Manly!