Manly U13/1 v Northern Districts

Manly v Northern District match report Round 3 23 Oct 2022

It was a cold and rainy day in Lake Park when the Manly team arrived. They were coming off a huge win against Hawkesbury, where everyone had a perfect game. They were now against Northern District, a team they were not familiar with, on their home turf. Rain threatened to delay the game, but the clouds cleared as Manly started their warm-ups.

Captain Harvey won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Rohit and Angus, who were coming off huge knocks the game before, came out to the crease. Rohit opened the score with a cover drive for a single on the first ball. The next over, he then edged a ball for four. Manly were looking good but suddenly, in the third over, a yorker on middle stump got through Rohit’s defense as he was clean bowled for 7. Harvey then came and was cautious but did steal the sneaky singles. Angus continued where he left off last week as he pummelled the opening bowlers for fours with lovely cover drives and any full tosses would be dispatched for four over square leg.

Harvey was looking good but was given out LBW. He departed for 6 and Noah Keam came in. He was not available the week before due to COVID, so this was his opportunity for a big score. Angus resumed with his onslaught but a mix-up between the wickets with Noah got him run-out. Angus ended his innings with a well-made 35.

Darcy joined Noah and together they built an excellent platform. Any loose balls were smashed to the boundary. Darcy then got bowled trying to play a cut shot to a ball that stayed low. He left the crease with 22 runs to his name, which is a mighty effort coming in with a lot of pressure. Noah was joined by Mitch, who unhappily had to conclude his innings by chipping one to mid-wicket, for 1 run.

Manly then suffered a collapse, with Lewis being bowled for 5, Will coming and getting out for a three-ball duck, Declan rrying but regrettably getting bowled for a golden duck, and Toby getting out for 1. All these wickets came from one bowler, who bowled a superb, unplayable spell taking 5 for the innings including a hat-trick. Louis, who was the last batsmen, came in and partnered Noah (who was still resisting the excellent bowling of Northern District) and the two stole singles. Louis impressed everyone with a momentum changing 10 of 19 balls (including two of the finest cover drives of the innings) but was outdone by a deceiving leg spinning ball for which he came down the wicket but ended up getting stumped. Manly was all out for 136 with 5 overs to spare. You have got to give credit to Noah, who came in with Manly in a spot of bother. He never looked like he was getting out and he scored at a good rate. He exited the innings with 40*.

Manly (having scored 136 which is a sub-par score on this pitch) knew that their bowling had to be impeccable. They couldn’t let any batsmen settle in.

Will opened the bowling with Louis partnering him at the other end. Together, they built a nice platform but could not find any early wickets. The batsmen started to settle in, which was a bad sign for Manly, who were toiling hard to build pressure. Toby, who bowled one of the best spells the game before, came on to bowl and immediately got a wicket in his first over. The batsman spooned one to Deckie, who took a good low catch. Lewis then came on and bowled a slightly shorter ball. The batsman tried to swing across the line resulting in a ball high in the air. Angus and Noah had another mix-up, but Angus secured the catch safely.

The next over, Toby bowled a good line and length ball which tempted the batsman to smack it straight down the ground, but instead he smashed it high up in the air, this time Rohit running back and taking the catch. Manly were suddenly back in the game. Harvey and Rohit then partnered, trying to find another wicket and Harvey did, outsmarting the batsman with a wide slower ball that tempted him into smashing it into the covers but edged it straight into the safe hands of wicketkeeper Darcy. Rohit then found another breakthrough for Manly, clean bowling the batsmen. Northern District were reeling at 5 wickets down in only the 20th over.

Manly suffered a setback when Noah was feeling sick and had to go off the field. Caden, carrying a wrist injury, replaced Noah. Will and Louis came back on attempting to get another wicket. More

running between the wickets led to mistakes as Angus and Deckie both threw hard and flat throws to Darcy so he could whip the bails off.

Northern District were 7 down and now Mitch and Deckie (the spin twins) partnered to try and finish the game. They tried hard but the batsmen were doing exceptionally well to keep them out. Deckie finally got a wicket with the batsmen trying to drive a wide ball, but he gave an easy catch to point, with Rohit taking another catch. Before the spectators and players knew it, Northern District needed 19 runs in the last 3 overs with two wickets to spare. Harvey gave the ball to Lewis, who got a breakthrough with Angus taking his second catch with him running far back. Manly got one step closer to claiming an epic game. The next ball, the batsmen drove the ball straight to Harvey, as Manly won one of the closest games they have ever played.

This game was as brilliant as any game that the players will ever play in. In these sorts of situations, you must show courage, motivation and the willingness to go the extra mile. All the players that participated in this game did just that, and that was why the difference was only 12 runs between the two sides with good cricket all around.

Rohit Jayaram