Muddies attack destroys Rovers /Newsport

Muddies attack destroys Rovers

Monday March 11 2014

Ben Vikionkorpi

What a long time one week is in cricket.

In the reserve battle for 2nd and 3rd going into the semi-finals, Rovers resumed at 3/48 off 37 overs at the Port Douglas Sports Complex on Sunday against The Muddies, needing only 32 runs for victory from a possible 90 overs.

The odds were stacked against the Muddies from the start, but with the knowledge that many of their wins in the second half of the season had come from similar situations, they had confidence they could win in taking the field.

The change in the Rovers attitude from the previous week was evident immediately, with Rovers Captain Dan Kearney looking to get quick runs.

This was a positive for The Muddies, as quick runs usually mean quick wickets. An early breakthrough was essential to the Muddies gaining an upper hand, and this was provided when Ben Vikionkorpi pounced (with the grace of a gorilla) on a run out opportunity to have the Rovers' captain caught short of his ground, leaving Rovers at 4/59.

Kaiden Sorensen continued to apply pressure with precision line and length, but was unable to pick up any more wickets.

Dave Johnson then drew a false shot from the new batsmen, popping up a slim chance to mid-off, which saw Benny V crashing through the recently mowed jungle to take a full length, mid-air diving catch to his right just centimetres off the ground.

The Muddies were delirious with excitement and astonishment and Rovers in the grips of a cataclysmic decline at 5/57.

Rovers then proceeded to show more grit and determination, creeping up to 64, until lynchpin Jesse Thiele got caught up in the need for quick runs, getting a top edge off a well-directed Johnson short ball, providing Benny V with a simple catch.

Cook and Smith put on 7 frustrating runs, until Davey J then produced a ball leaving the left handed Cook, which found its way to Deep Singh, who had not been on the field for more than 5 minutes.

Not to be outdone, Deep then juggled the ball, and took the catch on his second or third attempt, to take Rovers to 7/71.

The intensity on the field was thick from both teams, with a win still likely for both teams.

DJ then produced a short ball to the new batsmen first ball, who took a massive swipe at it.

It caught the top half of the bat, sending the ball over Benny V’s head at mid-on.

He back peddled, only to realise to ball was going to clear him.

He turned round and legged it as fast as his short legs would carry him, not taking his eyes off the ball. 

With his teammates not backing him, he managed to pluck the ball from the air, fully outstretched at full pace, and hold onto it, to the sheer delight of The Muddies.

This then had Dave on a hat trick.

Leaving the field in place, Dave nearly picked up his hat trick but it didn’t come off.

With only two wickets remaining, The Muddies were jumping out of their skin, and Rovers were struggling to get their gear on to make it into the middle before being timed out.

With Kaiden now done, Bobby Fitness (Adam Lucas) stepped into the attack. In his first over, Luco bowled five dot balls, before setting up the no. 10 up to have him leg before wicket on the sixth ball.

Dave and Adam then bowled the next three overs for just one run.

Bobby's third over of the day saw the first four balls go for three runs. With Rovers on 77, their number 11 went for the winning runs with a massive swipe trying to clear the boundary, only for the experience and coolness of Luco to bowl a straight, full ball that instead rattled the batmen’s castle.

Rovers were all out for 77, leaving Muddies with a two run win in the first innings. Jubilant celebrations were had mid-pitch by the Muddies, amazed at just what had happened.

All this in the first 55 mins of play for the day!

With four hours of play left, The Muddies were looking to spend some much needed time in middle.

Ben G and Simeon were looking solid in the middle early.

Simeon was getting off strike with ease, but popped a simple chance straight to gully.

Gaske was again given LBW to have the Muddies 2/17.

Hayden and Nathan then set about steadily working the ball around, waiting for the right balls to score from.

Taigy was able to lift the scoring rate with some quality shots over the top of the field, showing good composure.

Hayden showed great patience to face out 46 balls before being caught. Nathan was out soon after Hayden, making the score 4/49.

Buckets promotion to 6 was short lived when a sharp catch was taken at close cover.

Deep was given a chance at 7 because he got very little bowling, and didn’t disappoint.

He showed superb patience and concentration which has been lacking for most of the season.

At 6/65 off 35 overs, Ben V was unable to hold his wicket as he started to look for more runs with only 70 minutes of play left.

Adam Lucas was not feeling the bat, and was quickly out. Given the green light to score, Kaiden and Deep attempted to lift the rate.

After his patient innings, Deep lost his wicket going for the boundary.

Dave joined Kaiden, but was short lived as Kaiden was bowled.

Muddies out for 76. Although the total was lower than the first innings, the goal of spending time in the middle was achieved, giving more confidence to The Muddies.

With 30 mins left to play, and needing 78 runs for a second innings outright win, Rovers swung the bat from ball one.

They got off to a quick start, but DJ again chimed in with a quality slower ball, hitting the stumps.

Kaiden then chimed in finding the outside edge which travelled to Benny V at short third man.

Kaiden then picked up the next two wickets with catches to Taig and McCullough, to take Rovers to 4/32 off 6 overs.

Luco joined the attack and had success second ball, giving Benny V his fifth catch for the day.

In the last over of the day, Deep took two wickets in a row, to be on the second hat trick for the day, but to no avail.

After eight overs, Rovers finished at 7/50, with The Muddies 3 wickets short of an outright win.

The belief and confidence are now back at an all-time high for The Muddies, ready for the finals.

What a difference one week makes!It was a great result for The Muddies, securing second place on the table and a home semi-final game this coming weekend.

For Rovers though, because of other games results, they dropped from third to fifth, and out of the finals.

The Muddies will now take on Mulgrave Punjabi at the Port Douglas Sports Complex on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, with free entry to the game.

Get down and support your local sports teams.