Wednesday, September 28, 2005

1st Impress and 2nds Decompress

A marginal first weekend of competition has raised as many questions as it may have answered for the Kiama Cricket Club.

1st Grade, playing for the first time in coloured clothing and with a white ball, couldn’t have been much more impressive in their defeat of The Rail at Croome Road Oval. Bowling out their opponents for just 165 was a great effort with a virgin bowling attack, while the chase was one of Kiama’s best in the past 15 seasons, losing only two wickets in the chase, and with more than 13 overs to spare.
This was the type of performance that announces a team’s intentions for the season. Some will scoff that it was “only against The Rail”, but most Club’s will have taken the result very seriously indeed.

The performance of 17 year old Matt O’Brien was outstanding. In just his 10th 1st Grade match, he took 5/26. It was his second five wicket haul in 1st Grade, in just his second season. He becomes just the 41st Kiama player to take multiple 5 wicket innings in 1st Grade. Not since Darren Gregory has the Club had a spinner so young with so much talent and maturity. His will be a season worth watching.

Dale Scifleet’s all-round effort is the kind of performance that Kiama has been looking for from him for the past couple of seasons. His start is excellent news for 1sts, and very encouraging.
He should almost definitely have secured himself a start in the Burns Cup side as well, where no doubt he will do himself and his Club proud.

As an opening effort, Matt Meurant would be pleased with the victory. The boys were certainly on a high back at the Grand Hotel beer garden after the match. Their enthusiasm and excitement bodes well for the coming weeks.

On the other side of the coin, 2nd Grade could not have been more disappointed with their loss to one of last season’s stragglers, Shellharbour City. Though it was a side that was not at full strength, the team should still have defeated the opposition they faced.

Apart from John Simon, whose patient 53 held the innings together, the batting failed to fire against some excellent patient line and length bowling from the Shellharbour side. Their bowling was, in fact, a perfect execution of what is required in one day cricket.
2nds always appeared a bowler short, especially after Jason Wills’ knees buckled for the ninetieth time in his career. Josh Elliott finished with 3 wickets, and though he was not at top pace, will expect to get better as the weeks roll on.

Things will be clearer following the next round, especially with the beginning of the lower grade competitions. Already, however, Kiama are beginning to feel very confident about the season ahead.

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