Gaerth stands and delivers for Magpies
Another outstanding innings from captain Ryan Gaerth helped deliver Denmark their first win of the season as they prevailed against Collingwood Park in a tense finish to their round 6 fixture in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition on Saturday afternoon.
Buoyed by the fact they almost chased down 228 to win last week, the Magpies’ batting was once again impressive, led by the new skipper as they set Park a tough target to chase on Hard North.
All A-grade fixtures were switched to synthetic pitches after rain late in the week ended any chance of playing on turf wickets on Saturday, but it didn’t seem to faze Gaerth as he plundered the Park attack to all parts with a blistering half-century.
The Magpies finished with a very competitive 7-210 on the back of Gaerth’s knock of 78 plus contributions from Dan Robson (46) and youngster Oliver Pluckhahn (23 not out).
Gaerth has had a terrific start to the season and followed up his 64 last week with another half century, taking him to 227 runs at an average of 37.8.
The hard-hitting all-rounder crunched six fours and five sixes in his innings, which early on helped take the game away from Park after they snared Matt Burton for a duck in the opening over.
Veteran Cary Green reached 22 before falling to Steve Van Nierop, but that allowed Gaerth to join Robson at the crease as they shared in a match-winning 130-run partnership.
Robson and Gaerth fell within the space of a couple of overs, but their side kept going to set Park 211 to win from their 50 overs.
Van Nierop finished with outstanding figures of 1-8 off seven overs, including three maidens.
The Magpies could not have started any better with the ball as Brad Stewart trapped Jesse Spaanderman lbw with the first delivery of the second innings.
Ben Grey and Nathan Dovey put on 45 runs for the second wicket before Gaerth struck, with the ball this time and not the blade, sending Grey back to the sidelines on 17.
Dovey began to compile a significant innings but they fell to 4-88 when Leroy van den Dool (10) and Dovey (56) were removed.
Park skipper Tim Pyle (37) tried to replicate the heroics of his counterpart and Andre Gabriel (21) again proved his lower order worth as the pair put on 59 runs.
It was fitting, though, that Gaerth broke the partnership and Park lost 4-10 to be bowled out for 173 with still more than five overs remaining.
Stewart returned 2-46 off his 10 overs, but Gaerth was clearly man of the match, with his 2-30 off nine crucial in the 37-run win.
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