Whyalla gets combined series off to winning start

In trying conditions for batters, Whyalla (6/157) defeated Port Pirie (10/116) in a tense struggle on Saturday, getting the combined series off to a winning start.
Nanjing Night Net

After winning the toss Whyalla captain Scott Collison decided to bat first on a pitch that was good for bowlers, all batters struggling to get on top of the tight bowling.

Whyalla got off to slow but cautious start, openers Collison and Greg Fiebig (9) having an opening stand of 17 runs, but it took them five overs.

Jarrad Dunbar came and went for one run, score 2/20 after eight overs.

David Dekuijer and Collison steadied the ship but were still finding it hard to get the tight Pirie bowlers away, who were getting some assistance from the pitch.

At the 25 over drinks break, Whyalla had still only lost two wickets but had made only 59 runs, both batters knowing they had to up the run rate soon.

Dekuijer (27) was next to go, followed soon after by Collison for a well but hard made 31 runs.

Troy Brougham and Nick Johns set about lifting the run rate, Johns going for 25, closely followed by Chris Beaty for 0, the score after 45 overs, 6/134.

Brougham was joined by Matt Quist, both seeing out the last five overs, Brougham making a well made 42 not out and Quist 10 not out, Whyalla making a hard fought 6/157 on a pitch that was assisting the bowlers.

The best of the Pirie bowlers was David Shazad (2/19) from six overs, getting good support from Randall Wyatt (2/34), M Thornton (1/14) and M Congdon (1/31).

Whyalla knew it had to bowl tightly to restrict Pirie’s batters and that is just what it did, Pirie losing its first wicket, Wyatt in the second over for 2, to Rhys Lacey.

Beaty was bowling a superb line and length, troubling both batters and was well rewarded in his second over, claiming the wicket of M Thornton for 6 runs.

Beaty continued to cause the batters trouble, claiming his second wicket, Zack Hutchinson for no score in the seventh over, Lacey claiming the fourth wicket of C Murolo for 6, Pirie in a spot of bother at 4/17 after 12 overs.

Pirie batters were struggling to come to terms with Whyalla’s two opening bowlers Beaty and Lacey, both bowling a great line and length.

Pirie continued to struggle and after 25 overs was 4/56, Whyalla just having its nose in front at this stage of the innings.

Ben Brown went for 23 and when T Bradley was out for 4, Pirie was in all sorts of trouble at 6/63 after 28 overs.

Whyalla continued to keep the pressure on Pirie’s batters, S Athanasos (23) putting up a rear guard performance, getting good support from Congdon who finished not out 24, but it was not enough, Whyalla winning by 41 runs.

It was a superb bowling performance by most Whyalla bowlers, man of the match Chris Beaty leading the way, finishing with the good figures of 3/10 from nine overs.

Other Whyalla bowlers to take wickets were Reg Harris (3/35), Quist (2/13) and Lacey (2/20), but all the bowlers bowled well all innings, Whyalla getting the combined series off to a great start.

It was tight all game, all batters struggling to find gaps in the field, many good shots going straight to fielders while the bowling from both teams was hard to get away.

COMBINED TEAM: Whyalla’s combined cricket team that defeated Port Pirie by 41 runs on Saturday (back, from left) Chris Beaty, Gary Branford, Nick Johns, Sam Lewis, Reg Harris, Scott Collison (capt), Troy Brougham, (front) David Dekuijer, Rhys Lacey, Greg Fiebig (vice capt.), Jarrad Dunbar and Matt Quist.

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