U14/1 Round 4 v Blacktown

U14 NSW Youth Championship Moore Shield, Round 4, Whalan Reserve, 29th October 2023. 

MWJCA 141 (D Horstead 42, A Pike 25, R Jayaram 22) defeated Blacktown 54 (H Matheson 3-4, R Rulli 2-2, W Graham 2-13, D Horstead 3 catches)

It was a sunny and hot day at Whalan Reserve. The Manly boys were fresh off a convincing win against Sutherland and were now looking to strike against Blacktown, a team that they had never defeated before. Both teams inspected the pitch and it looked like a pretty flat wicket. There was sand in the outfield that could potentially slow the ball down so the batsmen had to run hard. After Manly discussed their Saturday games and then went through their stretches and dynamics, Harvey went out for the toss and chose to bat. 

After receiving throw downs, Rohit and Harvey walked out onto the middle. Manly provided a nice positive atmosphere, pumping up the two openers. After watchfully defending the first five balls, Rohit swept a ball on his pads to the square leg boundary to get Manly underway. Harv and Rohit were stealing twos until Harv got bowled by a ball that stayed low and nipped in, an unorthodox delivery. Harvey had to depart for a duck, bringing in Angus, who looked determined from ball one. Rohit and Angus provided a stable partnership, rotating strike while defending the good balls. Angus started to accelerate quickly, hitting a massive six over square leg that resulted in a delay in play as the Blacktown boys couldn’t find the ball! After an over with multiple twos however, Rohit chipped one to mid off, ending his innings for 22. Darcy partnered with Angus and worked the singles around. Angus then top edged a ball on his pads from the spinner to get caught by square leg. He had to leave scoring 25 and now it was Noah’s turn to bat. However, he edged a ball playing off the back foot and now Lewis had to come in. Darcy started to score quickly, hitting three fours in an over dancing out to the spinner and hitting it through mid off and deep extra cover. Lewis took his time in the middle but then played a pull shot straight to square leg. Mitch, was looking to emulate his Club cricket heroics the day before but that had to wait another day as he got caught dancing out and chipping it to mid on. Rocco, who hasn’t batted yet in the rep season, looked to rotate strike and put pressure on the fielders. Darcy continued on his merry ways and was looking to go really deep. Unfortunately, the bowler managed to find his outside edge and the keeper took a good catch. Darcy had to depart for 42 but his innings really made a huge impact for the team. Caden came to the crease and pushed the scoring rate along. Unfortunately, Caden got bowled trying to accelerate for the team and got out to a good ball. Murray came and looked to score. He and Rocco made sure that they were scoring at a good rate but then Rocco got caught slicing the ball onto the offside. He left for 12 and Will came in to try and add extra runs. At this stage, any runs would be a bonus. Murray hit a towering six over the square leg boundary, and that pumped Manly up but got out later by chipping the ball onto the offside. 

Manly got all out for 141 and lasted 46.4 overs. They knew that their bowling had to be impeccable. They had to get the top order out early and put pressure on the batsmen, bowling a tight line and length and not giving them any opportunities for easy runs. To sum it up; make them work as hard as possible for every run.

It was now time for Manly to field. Louis ran in to bowl and produced one of the best deliveries to start of the innings! The ball swung into the batsman but just left him a touch, thundering into the stumps and the deadly death rattle plays. Manly had gotten one of the opposition’s best batsmen out first ball of the whole innings! They knew that Blacktown were feeling under the pump and were determined to capitalize on this opportunity. Will and Louis put the pressure on the batsmen and Will produced a deadly Yorker that cannoned into the stumps to dismiss the batsmen. This opening partnership involved a handful of maidens in a row and the batsmen really had no answer to this wonderful spell. Next, Murray and Rocco joined the attack. Rocco managed to get a faint nick from the driving batsmen, caught by the keeper Darcy. Murray bogged the batsmen down and Rocco snuck in another wicket, an identical dismissal to his first. Blacktown were in serious trouble. Caden and Mitch were brought on to bowl and bowled 3 -4 overs each respectively. There weren’t many runs scored off them and they choked the batsmen. Captain Harvey brought himself on to bowl and immediately got the batsmen to poke outside off and edged the ball to Darcy. Then, he pulled the length back a bit and the batsmen got a thick edge that went straight to Mitch in the slips. To top things off, he bowled a deadly Yorker and obliterated the stumps. The batsmen tried to challenge Murray’s arm but he threw a nice flat throw straight to Darcy and got a run out. Will came back on to bowl and once again sent the stumps flying. Manly were tasting victory and finally, when Murray came on to bowl, the batsmen smashed it into the gap – after attempting a risky second, Harvey threw the ball from the boundary straight into Murray’s hand and got the runout. Blacktown were bowled out for 54 off 36.5 overs. What a bowling performance!

It was a good all round performance by Manly. Even though the scorecard would suggest otherwise, the 141 runs we scored were more than sufficient, considering the tough conditions with a strange and unfamiliar pitch. Manly’s bowling capped off a great day and hopefully they can repeat this for the games to come!

Report by Rohit Jayaram