Recruits star for Bulldogs in first up win
North County recruits Riecko Parker-Cole and the returning Patrick Butler had an immediate impact as the Bulldogs toppled reigning premiers Railways by four wickets in the opening round of the Albany Cricket Association season on Saturday.
The Bulldogs had won the last three opening round clashes against the Tigers in recent seasons and that trend continued with some added batting depth.
Despite a slow over rate forcing the Bulldogs to chase the Tigers’ target of 165 from 41 overs instead of the allotted 45, they achieved the victory target with an over to spare and only six wickets down.
After two early breakthroughs by the Tigers leaving the Bulldogs at 2-7, young all-rounder Michael Ferreira and Butler shared in a 66-run third-wicket partnership to push their side into a strong position.
Seamer Jack Richards removed Ferreira on the eve of drinks for 32 but Butler began to look more comfortable at the crease and the injection of Parker-Cole proved tough for the Tigers to contain.
The pair added 55 runs in 10 overs with Parker-Cole taking on the Tigers attack with some lusty blows and impressive sweeps.
Playing his first match for the Bulldogs since 2014-15, Butler was the only batsman to pass 50 for the match but then immediately skied a Ryan Tindale delivery to hold out with the score at 128.
Parker-Cole’s entertaining innings was brought to an end on 33 with the score at 139 but the Bulldogs had enough left in the shed.
Such was the strength of the Bulldogs batting line-up veteran Craig Tonkin slotted down to No.7 instead of his customary opening position, contributing 12 not out as the Bulldogs passed the total with an over to spare.
Batting first the Tigers could not string any decisive partnerships together and it was left to Richards at No.9 to top score with a fighting 32 not out to lift his side to 165.
They were bowled out in the 42nd over.
It didn’t take long for Parker-Cole (3-46) to have an impact with the ball as the left-armer struck two early blows, bowling Mark Natale (7) and Sam Want (9).
The Tigers’ middle order each reached double figures but could not go on due to tight spells from Michael Ferreira (2-22) and veteran Graeme Weinert (2-16) who snared wickets at crucial times, while Butler returned 3-30.
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