Redhawks go down but stave off outright loss

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West Coast cruised to victory before tea but failed to secure the outright win against the Redhawks in the last North Suburban Community Cricket Association C grade game before finals start. Picture: Jake Santa Maria

By Jake Santa Maria

WITH news that all community cricket swill be stopped for the rest of the 2019-20 season, ladder leaders Wanneroo will be named the winners of the North Suburban Community Cricket Association C grade competition.

Yesterday WACA chief executive officer Christina Matthews said it had recommended to all its affiliates to cancel all cricket for the rest of the season and that all programs in schools would be concluded for the rest of the season.

She said the leader at the end of the home and away season would be declared the winner.

This means Wanneroo will win the NSCCA C grade competition beating West Coast by 0.52 points.

Cricket West Chairman Brad Pearce, who represents several comps include NSCCA, said the cricket community knew many people who were vulnerable to COVID-19.

“They are known to us and involved in some capacity as a player, umpire, administrator, spectator or club volunteer,’’ he said.

“To place any of our cricketing community, male or female, at the risk of contracting or transmitting the COVID-19 virus would be negligent on behalf of myself and my fellow board members at WASTCA and Cricket West if we were not to enforce the recommendations and advice to abandon the rest of our respective cricket competitions for 2019-20.”

Last weekend at John Maloney Park the threat of rain was about the only hope the Redhawks had of securing a result having resumed their innings at 1-4 chasing 324.

But despite the overcast and humid conditions the rain did not arrive and any chance of a miracle was gone within the first half hour.

Kevin Hall was bowled by Jordan Conroy for eight before Sam Christie played all around one and was bowled two balls later and Will Kwaramba was caught off Zac Richardson in the next over as Yanchep fell to 4-14.

Barry Gardner joined captain Michael Knight with the Redhawks in the mire but the pressure West Coast displayed over day one and the morning sessions seemed to fall away.

With the game seemingly gone already Gardner and Knight started swinging hard targeting down the ground and flicking square.

The horribly slow outfield worked against the pair but West Coast dropped more than a couple of chances and made some odd bowling changes with spin dominating the back half of the innings with the West Coast opening bowlers rarely sighted for the rest of the day.

Gardner and Knight brought up a 50-run partnership before Gardner became frustrated with the outfield charge spinner Ryan Leonard and was stumped for 33.

Victor Hugo came and went for one but Knight continued on bringing up his seventh century of the season to dominate the Yanchep batting card once again.

Then madness ensued as Knight was dropped at point before being dropped for six at square fine leg before being caught the next ball for 65 at 7-117.

Alex Keay was bowled for a golden duck as the tail failed to add much as Yanchep were bowled for 123 of which Gardner and Knight made 79 per cent of those runs.

West Coast going for the outright win to secure a home final and potentially top spot sent Yanchep in again after tea.

Sam Christie and Alex Keay opened for Yanchep with Christie getting off a pair with a huge 6 square of the wicket with the first ball of the innings.

This set a much more attacking tone for the second innings which was effectively a last hit for the batsmen with nothing to lose.

Christie hit two 4s and two 6s in a quickfire 23 before he was caught behind, Murray Hunter was bowled off Conroy for five and Alex Keay who struggled for timing but at least got off a pair was caught for 10.

Gardner was caught for nine and at 4-50 there was a chance that an outright was still on the cards.

But once again the pressure from West Coast waned as dropped catches and fielding errors crept in as well as a general attitude which suggested they weren’t fully in the game.

Odd bowling choices which resulted in Richardson only bowling two overs and spin dominate the innings saw Yanchep push on with relatively ease.

A freak caught and bowled off Will Kwaramba was the only other wicket to fall for 15.

This allowed Knight to pile on more runs when he came to the crease bludgeoning the bowling striking 8 fours and just ran out of time at the end to finish on 48 not out just two short of an eighth 50 and two in a day.

Yanchep finished at 5-133 in the second innings with Michael Knight finishing with a season batting average of 58 and while Yanchep finished bottom of the ladder they have a much better base to launch into next season than they did this time last year.