One of the most devastating displays of fast bowling in Busselton-Margaret River A-grade cricket history saw St Mary’s crash to 31 all out at the Cowaramup Oval last Saturday.
Sri Lankans Kavy de Silva and Buddhika Sanjeewa were unplayable for Cowaramup, de Silva taking 5-9 off 10 overs and Sanjeewa collecting 4-16 off 7.2 overs.
Wides (10) top-scored in the St Mary’s innings, which last 20.2 overs after Ben Shepherd won the toss and put the visitors in to bat on a track which yielded little bounce.
Cowaramup openers Mike Hibberd (25 not out) and Ryan O’Sullivan (7 not out) then raced to a 10-wicket win for the Bulls in 4.5 overs, and the game was all over in under two hours.
St Mary’s were not at full strength, with Marc Ford and Joe Lowe unavailable, but it remained a remarkable performance by the reigning premiers, who have otherwise made a slow start this season.
Meanwhile at the Dunsborough Playing Fields, an outstanding century by Ben Clarke led YOBS to a strong victory over Dunsborough, the ladder leaders.
The competition for the Yates Shield looks healthy after six rounds, with all five teams having won at least two games, and all sides also being beaten at least twice.
YOBS were sharp in the field from the moment Dunsborough opted to bat first on a good track, and openers Aaron Mott and Nick Ritchie were made to work hard for every run.
Ritchie (62) showed great concentration but was allowed only two boundaries in his stay, and it was not until Josh Reagan (44) broke free late in the innings with three boundaries in an over that Dunsborough gained any impetus to their run rate.
Offspinners delivered more than half of the overs for YOBS, with Ben Payne (3-33) and ex-skipper Nayton Colombera (2-41) being joined by Zimbabwean Ardene Ruhode (1-35). Ruhode complemented his fast off-breaks with a great display of fielding.
Set 176 for victory, YOBS were led home powerfully by Clarke’s unbeaten 103, his first century for YOBS since joining the club three years ago. Apart from two tough caught-and-bowled chances to Richie Banham, Clarke played very few false shots in a masterful display.
Once again state schoolboys representative Troyden Thorp played a valuable hand for YOBS, hitting 24 and sharing a second-wicket stand of 92 with Clarke to swing the game in YOBS’ favour after the early loss of opener Haig Colombera.
Dunsborough gained a small win late in the piece when they denied YOBS bonus points as the game stretched into the 41st over. With scores level, Clarke (99 not out) brought up his century with a four to third man to end a hard-fought affair.
In B-grade cricket, Dunsborough turned the tables by beating YOBS in a great contest on the adjoining ground at Dunsborough. Chris Dudley (60) and Ben Christmas (52) hit influential half-centuries in Dunsborough’s total of 7-226. Jake Wain (86) and Jed Kemp (45) gave YOBS a glimmer of hope, before the visitors ultimately finished 24 runs shy of Dunsborough’s total.
Margaret River Hawks were too strong for St Mary’s in the other B-grade game, at Churchill Park. Grant Garstone for Hawks (69) and Dave La Motte for Saints (63) were the respective top scorers.
B-grade results: Dunsborough 7-226 (45 overs) (C. Dudley 60, B. Christmas 52, C. Morris 23, N. Whitney 20, J. Mewett 2-48, G. Spowart 2-52) b YOBS 7-202 (45 overs) (J. Wain 86, J. Kemp 45, J. Bennett 3-38, N. Whitney 2-48) at Dunsborough Playing Fields. Marg River Hawks 9-235 (G. Garstone 69, J. Stanbury 42, K. Dittmar 39, S. Leigh 26, D. Johansen 2-31, M. Penfold 2-36, C. Roberts 2-40) b St Marys 192 (40.2 overs) (D. La Motte 63, T. Hartnett 53, J. Bennison 28, P. Crimp 3-4, A. Robins 2-22, J. Stanbury 2-29) at Churchill Park Trotting Track.