Ellul rips through Royals

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

A six-wicket haul from left-arm seamer Matt Ellul guided Denmark to a comfortable 45-run bonus point win against Royals in the season-opener of the Merrifield Real Estate Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition on Saturday afternoon.

Batting first, the Magpies set a competitive target of 189 on Turf West courtesy of a steady half-century from captain Dan Robson and some heavy hitting from new recruit Michael Pratt in the latter stages of the innings.

Robson and English import Jujhar Johal combined for an opening stand of 50 runs before Johal fell victim to the bowling of Jeremy Ellis after reaching 30 on debut.

Robson struggled to find a partner after that point as the Magpies’ middle order fell cheaply and the opening batsman was eventually dismissed by fellow captain Jack Hastie for 56 runs with the score at 5-116.

Pratt came to the crease with the score at 6-131 in the 36th over and smashed a quick-fire 40 runs that included three sixes and helped push the Magpies’ total to 189. Ellis and Liam Andrew both finished with two wickets for Royals, while seamer Ted Batchelor snared three.

The Lions’ innings got off to a shaky start after recruit Shameer Ahmed became Ellul’s first victim, and when former Railways batsman Matt Wolfe went soon after for a duck, the score was 2-24.

Opener Digby Nuthall and Hastie attempted to resurrect the innings as the pair combined for 69 runs before Hastie was dismissed by Fynn Underwood on 39.

After Nuthall was run out for 42, Royals showed little resistance, with Ellul ripping through the bottom order as the Lions finished all out for 143.

Ellul finished with impre-ssive figures of 6-21 from 8.4 overs, while Hayden Collard, Underwood and Johal all collected a wicket each.

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