U11/1 Round 4 v Parramatta

Parramatta won the toss and elected to field, which suited Manly just fine. The openers, Cruz and Luke got off to a typically solid start against a duo of spin, nudging around singles to get the scoreboard ticking over. Parramatta struck in the 8 th over with Cruz getting caught out by some extra bounce that had him popping one back to the bowler. Two balls latter Tom got off the mark with a four off a juicy full toss. The first boundary of the innings. Parramatta struck again right before the drinks break, Tom getting bowled by a peach from Para’s key pace bowler.

After the drinks break Ekam and Luke had clearly been giving instructions to up the run rate, and they did so beautifully. An attractive combination of deft drop and runs, and lofted shots over a tight inner ring got Manly up over 50. Ekam was unlucky to get out to a screamer of a catch. A middled lofted drive was taken at full stretch at mid-on.

Luke and Ollie didn’t let the fall of three wickets slow the momentum. Playing shots all around the wagon wheel, including a six to cow by Luke in the 23 rd over. They went into the second drinks break with Luke on 49, immediately hitting a single after the break to bring up his 50. Together they took the score up over 100, and then fell in close succession, bringing Blake and Zac to the crease. They went about their work rotating the strike and edging their way towards 150 with a very valuable lower order partnership.

Zac was run out going for the quick singles that the coaches asked of them with the team on 135 with two overs to go. Eddie came to the crease with a need to swing from ball one and run hard. Blake hit a beautiful lofted straight drive for 4 to get the score to 142. Eddie hit a similar shot two balls later but was caught at mid-off. Jensen came on with six balls to play. Blake and Jensen picked up a couple more singles to take the score to 145. A solid score on a slow outfield.

The coaching instructions to the bowlers was to bowl tight line and length and create score board pressure with dot balls. The opening pair of Eddie and Virat followed the instructions to a T with only seven runs off the first six overs. With pressure mounting, the batters looked to go after the first change bowlers, but Zac had other plans, with a perfect ball swinging into the right hander and hitting him plumb in front.

Parra had a partnership that kept them in reach of the run rate, until the 15 th over, when Toby got the batter to edge off with a nice ball and Hugo taking a sharp catch behind the stumps. Again Parra looked like they were building a concerning partnership before Tom took a great caught and bowled off his first ball in the 25 th over. Score board pressure forced Parra to try and keep playing shots. Easier said than done when the Manly bowlers and fielders had their tails up. Tom took another wicket, knocking over middle stump, and from there wickets kept falling at regular intervals. A string of three run outs from electric fielding first from Toby and Cruz, then Ollie and Eddie, then Virat and Cruz, left the Parra tailenders with an impossible chase. Virat got a clean bowled, then Jensen got the final wicket with a
ball top edged to Luke at gully.

Parra all out 36 runs short and the Manly juggernaut rolls on.