ESCC powers past The Machine
by Mark Missen - Bayside Leader
THE powerful East Sandringham Cricket Club won yet another South East Cricket Association Longmuir Shield after a power batting display on Sunday coolly took care of a spirited Mackie. Chasing 9-200, East overhauled it's target with the loss of just one wicket.
It's innings started in expected fashion with opener Guy Martyn taking on the Mackie new ball bowlers in a game of Russian roulette. He smashed 43 off 32 balls giving East just the beginning it hoped for with a rapid opening stand of 59 in just 10 overs.
Former Test man Brad Hodge joined skipper Devereaux after Martyn was removed by Craig Park. The duo were cautious early but they expanded their stroke range as the day wore on and Mackie had no answers to their fine stand. It was only curtailed by the arrival of the winning runs as the pair’s partnership reached 144. Hodge was undefeated on 76 and Devereaux earned man-of-the-match honours for his unbeaten 74 to go with his two wickets and excellent work in the field.
There was little for Mackie to do but play second fiddle to a team that was playing its best cricket at the right time of the season.
The Machine did superbly well just to reach the last match of the season after losing key players to injury just when they needed them most. On Saturday Mackie won the important toss and took first hit in perfect conditions at Hurlingham Park. It made a bright start with veteran Dale Park (playing his 300th senior game for the club) looking in good touch early against wayward East Sandringham opening bowlers. Against the run of play East keeper Anton Duddy stumped Dean Bott (3) with the score at 14, throwing down the stumps after Bott had carelessly strayed from his crease after letting a ball pass. Park (28) was next to go with the score at 40 when he played an indiscriminate slog to East skipper Devereaux’s first ball of the day to be lbw. Then James Cooke (11) hit a Luke Dallas full toss to short cover, where Ed “Dirtbag” Turner snapped up a fine catch, Mackie was 3-48 and had gifted East three wickets.
Mackie captain Josh Simon and Chris Pearson set about steadying the innings and slowly took the score to 71 when Dallas struck again, deceiving Simon (18) with a quicker arm-ball which was superbly caught low down at slip by Devereaux. Mackie limped in to the tea break at 4-80 after 42 overs.
East had been sharp in the field but unravelled after the break as Pearson and Roshan Lakmal combined for the key union of the day. Starting slowly — Lakmal took 31 deliveries just to get off the mark — the pair gradually built the score and later branched out as the field spread, adding 87. Hodge came into the attack and caught a charging Pearson unawares, slipping a wide ball down the leg side which Duddy again gathered brilliantly to sweep the bails off. Pearson was stranded after an excellent innings of 42. Dean Krelle and Lakmal added a quick 25 before Krelle (13) charged Dallas and again a quicker ball made its way through to Duddy, this time via an edge. JoJo Amaah (1) was run out by Devereaux backing up too far as the Machine chased quick runs. Lakmal’s fine 55 came to an end when he drove Devereaux straight to Mitch Strahan at cover and Phil Verrall (1) became another Duddy stumping victim off Dallas, leaving Craig Park (8no) and Nick Sinclair (4no) to use the last couple of overs to get Mackie to 200.
Spinner Dallas was tremendous for East bowling 30 consecutive overs to take 4-69. Devereaux (2-29) provided useful support.