Round 3 – U14/2 v Northern Districts

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MWJCA u14/2 Round 3 vs Northern Districts – 12 December 2021

ND welcomed Manly to Dundas Park. Tim their coach / manager remembered last years game against us in Meadowbank where Gus scored 135 no., Robbie 132 no., Harper took 5-18 and then we rolled them for 63 in the pouring rain. 
As a coach you always want to challenge the boys and motivate them to do their best even against a bottom of the ladder team. So Neo and I arrived with an important plan to carry out, and one that could be the difference between Manly making the final or missing out.
With only 1 final, we need to finish top 2 out of the 11 teams. It’s possible that one or both of these spots could come down to run rate. So in a way, we were competing with the other top teams to defeat ND by the biggest margin and highest run rate.
The plan was to win the toss, bowl first and bowl them out for about 50 or 60, then reach the target in 10-15 overs. 
Shortly before the toss we were informed that no umpire would be available. Tim, their coach, is a registered umpire and I have plenty of experience umpiring so we agreed to umpire the game together, alternating ends. Whilst not ideal, this was deemed the best solution, under the circumstances. 
Sam and Cristo opened the bowling and kept it very tight before Cristo found the edge and Keegan took the catch in his 3rd over, before following up with wickets in each of his next 2 overs. Cristo’s second being an excellent caught and bowled, 3-12 off 8. Sam finished the game 1-10 off 10.
Max (1-10 off 5) removed their No.3 with a text book lbw ball, and then Harper (2-12 off 10) was almost unplayable with Neo and Keegan both taking good catches. I was fortunate enough to be umpiring his end and still couldn’t predict which way he was going to spin the ball, and nor could they. Keegan had another good game keeping to the unpredictable bowling.
Harry (2-4 off 3) helped clean up the tail with good catches from Luke M and Luke P, before a final cameo from Luke M snared their last stubborn wicket, well caught by Cristo. 
ND finished 10-62 off 44, on a very slow ground. Apart from two 2’s, all runs were scored in singles, with no boundaries.
With Manly sticking to the plan, it came time to be aggressive with the bat. Openers Sam and Max set about going after the bowling. Sam (5) was caught behind going after a loose one, that he was good enough to hit, then Harry came to the wicket and was unlucky to be given out Lbw after being struck on the thigh pad. Rishi fell to some very good swing bowling by their opener as did Luke K who was given out Lbw. 
Harper (19 not out) and Max (27 not out) combined well to put the game beyond doubt in the 24th over. Manly 4-63 off 24.
Thanks to Pat and Louise for scoring this week, and to Tom for some fill in coaching.