Bayliss bowls 'em over in nail biting Grinsted Cup contest

Parkes has retained the Grinsted Cup in a nail-biting opening match of the 101st season.

Bowlers dominated the day at Woodward Oval: Phil Dunford claiming his first of three wickets on the game's opening ball and Harry Bayliss taking 6/29.

But Forbes responded with Mark Simmonds taking 7/45, in a man-of-the-match bowling performance that almost saw the historic cup brought home to Forbes.

The captains of both sides paid tribute to the young quick, who bowled a solid 20 overs in Forbes' campaign.

"He was unreal," Forbes' Mitch Bayley said.

"I hadn't faced him much until practice, in the nets, and he surprised me.

"He deserved the win."

Even Parkes captain Peter Yelland reckoned "Forbes should have won it", his side eking out the last 17 of the required 92 runs with their final partnership.

Players and cricket fans gathered to celebrate the competition milestone at Parkes' Woodward Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Forbes won the toss and went in to bat first.

The hosts announced their intentions early, with Phil Dunford bowling Forbes' Jarrod Nicholson out with the opening ball.

But captain Mitch Bayley and Scott Neville held off Parkes' powerful opening bowlers to be just two wickets down for 51 after 21 overs.

Bayley's wicket fell not long after drinks, however, and from there Parkes off-spin Harry Bayliss claimed six to see Forbes bundled out for 91.

Dunford took another two wickets back-to-back, tantalisingly close to repeating his hat-trick performance from the 75th anniversary Grinsted Cup campaign.

Simmonds, who went in at number seven, proved himself handy with bat as well as ball and was 20 not out with two boundaries to his credit at the change of innings.

Parkes went out to chase what looked like a very achievable total, but found Forbes' bowling attack matched their own.

Parkes was also 1/1 off the bowling of Mark Simmonds, and just 2/14 after five overs.

Toby Hurford took one and Simmonds another two to have the hosts feeling under pressure at 5/45 in the 20th over.

Shane Jones added runs steadily, top-scoring for Parkes with 33 including two boundaries.

But they still had 17 to chase for victory, when the last batsman Ben Coultas joined him at the crease.

Simmonds kept the pressure on, but the Parkes batsmen had 10 overs to get those runs and made it safely home to retain the Cup.

In a low-scoring match, Yelland paid tribute to the bowlers.

"It wasn't the wicket," he said. It was, however, the first time most of the players had faced a pink ball.

The pink ball was chosen as the match was to be completed under the new Woodward Oval lights, but the bowlers had the batsmen too tightly reined in for those to be needed.

Other stand-outs in the match were young Toby Hurford for Forbes, who took two early catches and bowled eight overs at 1/19.

For Parkes Harry Bayliss took 6/29.