Lions import leads way in double bonus point win
An impressive bowling display has shot Royals to fifth place and enhanced their finals aspirations after skittling Collingwood Park for 80 in their round 10 Albany Cricket Association A-grade fixture on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions sat at the foot of the table heading into the first game of 2019 but recorded their third win of the season to leap up the standings as their bowlers set the game up early on Turf East.
Englishman Sam Hughes was the chief destroyer for the Lions, removing Park’s top run scorer Nathan Dovey (4) for his lowest score of the season when he chipped back for a simple caught and bowled in the sixth over.
Hughes struck again in the same over when Ben Grey was caught behind for a duck to leave Park 3-11 after Dylan Holt had earlier bounced out Jesse Spaanderman.
It became 4-19 when Matt Heberle held out at mid-on, again off the bowling of Hughes for 3 as the Lions took a stranglehold on the game.
Nic Barrow and Steve Van Nierop both made 15, providing some resistance but the Lions continued to take wickets.
Youngster Sam Steel produced his best A-grade performance, taking 3-18 as Park slumped to 9-67.
Andre Gabriel finished unbeaten on 14 but his side were rolled for 80 as Hughes (3-9 off seven overs) and Steel ensured their side had a small run chase.
There were plenty of nervous moments for the Lions, especially early on as Park speedster Ben Grey knocked over Mitch Green for 1 and then fellow opener Digby Nuthall was run-out for a duck.
Dylan Holt wanted to move the game on quickly and he became Grey’s second scalp before a calming knock from Ted Batchelor helped settle the innings.
Batchelor was unbeaten on 33 and put on 48 runs with Matt Wolfe (14 not out) as the Lions won with seven wickets in hand.
It was a crucial result for the Lions, passing the score in the 19th over to also grab a double bonus point. Meanwhile at Turf South, North County piled on the runs despite missing import Rickeo Parker-Cole as they set Mt Barker a daunting 244 to win.
Batting first Bulldogs star Craig Tonkin scored his first century since February 2017 as he blasted 116 at the top of the order.
He and Aaron Williams (50) put on 129 runs for the first wicket and then a handy 44 from Neil Ferreira helped the Bulldogs reach 3-243.
Jacob Wintle returned from serious injury to bowl five overs, in two spells that yielded 0-18.
Jarrad Gardner played well for his 42 to go with contributions from Alex Fergie (24) and Steven Scott (27) but they were always up against it, finishing at 9-205 from their 50 overs in reply.
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