U12/2 Round 3 v Sutherland

U12 NSW Youth Championship Foster Shield, Woolaware Oval, 22nd October 2023.

Our MWJC Under 12/2’s took on Sutherland away at Woolaware Oval on Sunday 22nd October in what was the start of a couple of games on the road for the boys.

The day started well when our Captain Jack Maris once again won the toss (apparently his 8th in a row as a Captain!) and elected to bowl with the thinking that the boys could get out of the serious heat that was going to follow later in the day.

Our top order bowling unit of Jack Maris, Jack Dale, Jake Renshaw and Luca Bailey bowled tightly and economically to the Sutherland opening bats. Sutherland were not giving away many chances but the boys fielded tightly and really backed their bowlers up and with great energy and enthusiasm. Something that we had spoken a lot about at training on Thursday. Luca Bailey bowled nice full lengths enticing the batsmen to play shots and was well rewarded with a couple of quick wickets before the drinks break. He was ably supported by Jake Renshaw who was finding some good swing and at one stage had figures of 1/6 off 5 overs. The team went into the 20 over drinks break high on confidence and bowling well with Sutherland 5/65.

Post drinks we went to our spin attack of 3 leggies: Lucas Moss, Luke Willis and Cooper Gabriel. Sutherland took the opportunity to look to increase their run rate at this point and began to knock balls into gaps and find boundaries. Cooper bowled really well finding a very consistent line and length through his spell and was rewarded with 2/15 off his 6 overs including a beautiful leg break that found the outside edge of the bat and flew to Mossy at slip who took a great catch. Dylan Brabant also bowled very tightly at the back end of the game with figures of 3/11 from 5 overs. Despite this Sutherland pushed really hard in the last 15 overs – a period of the game the team need to continue to concentrate on – and before we knew it had made a strong total of 160 in their 40 overs.

Despite the threat of it being a very warm day there was a strong ocean breeze up at Woolaware and the Sutherland opening bowler was able to strike in the first over coming down wind and bowling with good pace and bounce. Luke Willis (15 runs) and Lucas Moss were able to stabilise the innings after a couple of early wickets and looked comfortable despite some tight bowling from Sutherland although runs were difficult to find. An area the boys continue to focus on which is rotating the strike and always looking for those cheap singles within an over to keep the score ticking over.

To their credit, Sutherland bowled a very good line and length throughout the early and middle part of our innings so that with 10 overs to go we required about 6 per over. Lucas Moss (34 runs) batted very well, knocking the ball around, putting pressure on the field with quick singles and added the odd boundary forming good partnerships with Grayson Jacobsen (14 runs) and Cooper Gabriel (15 runs). The lower order had to push the run rate along quickly to give us any chance of reaching the 161 runs required for victory and get above that 6-7 runs per over mark. Unfortunately it was not to be despite a rear guard partnership of 20 from Jack Dale (15 n.o) and Jake Renshaw (10 n.o) to get us within 20 runs or so.

The team were far better for another rep game experience against a side of very similar ability. Our energy and field positions were much better this week. Areas for us to continue to work on will be rotating the strike and ensuring the bad ball goes to the boundary. On average around 4 out of the 6 balls we faced ended up being dot balls, while we scored only 8 boundaries to Sutherland’s 16 boundaries. We are not far off our first victory which hopefully we can record against Illawarra next week when we are once again on the road and playing away.

Matt Willis – Coach