A lack of players saw a forfeit in one match of round six in Gunnedah District Cricket. Meanwhile, the other fixture was a one-sided affair as Albion registered its second consecutive win to account for Kookaburras which are yet to register a win for season 2022/23. Court House and Mornington were scheduled to do battle at Kitchener Oval, but due to the unfortunate circumstance of Mornington unable to extract player numbers, the match was awarded as a win for Court House via forfeit.
That result strengthens Court House’s position on top of the ladder remaining undefeated, while Albion skips ahead of Mornington into second place of the competition.
Albion was clinical in its match with Kookaburras at Wolseley Oval, winning the toss and electing to bat to post an impressive 7/207 from the allotted 40 overs at Wolsley Oval.
In return, Albion’s bowlers were able to suffocate the Kookaburras batting line up in its run chase of the daunting target as Kookaburras which was bowled out for 121.
Albion opener Damien Baldwin set the tone with his aggression at the top of the order, asserting the pressure on the Kookaburras bowling despite the loss of two early wickets inside the first 10 overs.
Opening bowler Alex Seach and first change pacer, Cam Waugh, took the opening two Albion wickets but Baldwin continued the attack at the other end. With Baldwin at the crease in an attacking vain, Albion’s run rate was rattling along at five runs an over but that was also his downfall and brought about his dismissal. Baldwin was caught on the boundary off the bowling of first change medium pacer Bailey Keeler in an attempt to bring up his half century – dismissed for 47 that included seven boundaries – as Albion reached 3/80 after 15 overs.
In the middle order, James Mack continued the five-an-over run rate momentum Baldwin had previously garnered for Albion, piercing the gaps in the field at ease and although Keeler took his second wicket of the innings (Albion’s fourth) an over before the 20-over drinks break, Mack and number six Mitch Herden took the score to 4/110 at the break. Mack and Herden’s fifth wicket partnership kept the scoreboard ticking over steadily through a rotation of strike. Mack and Herden were fruitful due to their impressive running between the wickets and the partnership of 58 through the middle overs of the innings set the platform for an attacking avalanche towards the close.
While Herden was run out for a patient 14, allrounder Ash White joined Mack at the crease at 5/149 and immediately White began to put impetus into closing stages of the Albion innings.
White was ultra-aggressive as he took to the bowling, while Mack continued to pierce the field and registered a polished and well deserved half century. Upon his milestone Mack began toying with the field and bowling in adventurous fashion by playing numerous reverse sweeps and lap shots as White at the other end, hit out.
Together they established a brisk 50-run partnership until Mack, in the penultimate over of the innings, was dismissed for a chanceless 71 that included four boundaries. White’s innings of 37 included five boundaries – one of which a towering six – and his aggressive contribution propelled the Albion score above the 200-run mark. Best of the Kookaburras bowling effort were Keeler who claimed figures of 2/39, closely followed by Waugh with 2/42 off their respective eight over spells. Kookaburras began its pursuit of the target steadily to reach 19 without loss in the opening six-over new ball stanza. Through a combination of some wayward Albion sundries and dogged protection of their wicket, openers Jayden Windsor and Shayne Riordan gave the chase a solid start.
The introduction of Mark Ewington into the attack though brought about the first wicket as he extracted Riordan in the seventh over, to introducing Kookaburras captain and in form batsman Chris Holliday to the crease. Holliday bludgeoned three crisp fours in a brisk innings of 17, until he was undone by a leg cutter from medium pacer Travis Oakley bowled in the 15th over with the score on 48. Albion remained patient in its tight line and length bowling, increasing the required run rate to more than a run-a-ball heading into 20-over drinks break. Kookaburras were 152 runs in arrears at 2/56, requiring more than seven runs an over. The task at hand proved a monumental task that was made all the more harder by the suffocation of Albion’s attack after the drinks break.
Although opener Jayden Windsor battled hard to top score with 26 for his side, of significance was Albion’s 25 sundries in the first 20-over stanza.
Baldwin rounded out a solid bat and ball contribution to the match to claim 3/23 off his eight overs, as did White with identical figures and both were ably supported by first change bowler Oakley who also claimed three wickets for figures of 3/22. Despite a late flurry from Steve Keeler with 20 not out at the back end of the innings, the Kookaburras innings died a slow death, bundled out for 121 in the 38th to hand Albion an 86-point victory.To order photos from this page click here