After both teams agreed to an early 10am start, the Cambridge Cats cruised to a very convincing seven wicket victory over the Parkes Raptors at Woodward Oval last Saturday, ensuring the Cats are at the top of the Lachlan Premier Cricket ladder.
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Batting first, the Raptors lost wickets at regular intervals, with concentrations lapses proving costly despite plenty of their players making solid starts.
Cats opening bowler Clinton Hawke (2/39) thrived in the cooler conditions bowling 10 straight overs for the impressive economy rate of 3.9.
It was the leg spin of rising star Harry Bayliss (6/21) that completely destroyed the Cats, with Harry proving why he was selected in the Western Zone colts team.
The Raptors were bowled out in the 26th over for just 109, and it seemed a forgone conclusion that the undefeated Cats would make short work of the total.
That's exactly what happened, with Anthony Riach (38) and the evergreen Cameron Rosser (24) giving the Cats the perfect start as they put on 57 for the first wicket.
Dan Wilson (12*) and a fired up Mitch Wright (28*) soon had the Cats celebrating a convincing win, with the latter smoking three sixes from three consecutive deliveries.
Both Wright and Riach could be accused of assault and battery on the Woodward Oval pavilion as they crashed huge sixes that had the spectators scrambling for cover.
Though expensive, Will Searl (2/42) was the pick of the Raptors bowlers while Blake Smith snared two excellent outfield catches.
Cambridge Cats 3/110 (Anthony Riach 38, Mitch Wright 28*, Cameron Rosser 24; Will Searl 2/42) defeated Reedy Creek Raptors 109 (Adam Parker 16, Will Searl 15; Harry Bayliss 6/21, Clinton Hawke 2/39) by seven wickets at Woodward Oval, Parkes
The Colts managed a comfortable 38 run win in their game against Cowra Bowling Club, with Jock (58) and Peter Yelland (53) leading their side to an imposing 4/174, ably assisted by a well made innings of 32 from Ryan Dunn.
A great team bowling performance then ensured Bowling Club were never in the hunt. Andrew Britt (3/36) was particularly miserly in his 10 overs, while fellow opener Brent Tucker (1/20) was also in the wickets.
Ryan Dunford (3/18) took a trio of wickets from just 4.3 overs and Geordie Duncan (1/11) rounded out the wicket takers.
Cowra Bowling Club 136 (Jackson McLeish 24, Mick Curtale 22; Ryan Dunford 3/18, Andrew Britt 3/36) defeated by Parkes Colts 4/174 (Jock Yelland 58, Peter Yelland 53, Ryan Dunn 38) by 38 runs at Holman Oval, Cowra
Draw for Saturday 19/12/20 (all games begin at 1.30pm)
Cowra Valleys vs Parkes Raptors at Holman Oval, Cowra
Parkes Cats vs Cowra Bowling Club at Woodward Oval, Parkes
BYE: Parkes Colts
The competition will then break for Christmas/New Year, with the first round back scheduled for Saturday, January 23.
For the 12th year in a row, Parkes has retained the time honoured Grinsted trophy after a comfortable five wicket win over Cowra at Woodward Oval on Sunday afternoon.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Cowra were immediately subjected to some fiery left arm pace from Parkes captain Brent Tucker (3/32) and Jonah Ruzgas (3/41).
Both quicks were absolutely steaming in, showing some fantastic rhythm through the crease and leading the attack with aplomb, backed up by a keen and vocal fielding effort - with the evergreen Western Zone stalwart Myles Smith affecting a smart run-out.
After being reduced to 4/24 from 15 overs, Cowra mounted a mini resistance through Darcy Callaghan (38) and Michael Curtale (27) with the former defending with impressive resolve in addition to pouncing on the bad ball.
After the pair departed it was left to Ben Houghton (13) and Chris Day (25*) to give their bowlers at least some sort of total to defend, with Cowra finally bowled out for 137 in the 49th over.
In reply, Parkes were soon in trouble after losing early wickets, with Emerson Baratto (1/14) and Harrison Starr (1/19) reducing Parkes to 3/18 in the sixth over.
Enter Myles Smith (75*). The wily veteran stroked 11 boundaries as he led Parkes to victory; ably supported by Jimmy Kuntze (24) - with the pair putting on 88 for the fourth wicket and securing the win.
Parkes 5/139 (Myles Smith 75*, Jimmy Kuntze 24; Emerson Baratto 1/14) defeated Cowra 137 (Darcy Callaghan 38, Michael Curtale 27, Chris Day 25*; Brent Tucker 3/32, Jonah Ruzgas 3/41) by five wickets at Woodward Oval, Parkes
Umpires: Trevor Chatman (Parkes) and Mark Ryan (Cowra)
The following 13 players from across the region and two coaches and a manager have been chosen to represent Western Zone Colts at the NSW Country Colts Championships at Albury from January 5 - 7, 2021:
A huge congratulations for Harry Bayliss for his selection, after a whopping six wicket haul, he's certainly going into the carnival in some good form!
There's six teams competing in this year's Western Zone Cricket Premier League competition, but Centennials Bulls talent Blake Aubin would like to see an extra team in the future.
Bathurst, Cowra, Dubbo, Mid West, Orange and Parkes are all competing in the Western Zone Cricket Premier League this summer.
Aubin believes there's too many players missing out on playing in for their respective towns at the highest level and he is calling for the inclusion of a Chairman's XI that can be filled across all towns.
*Many thanks to Greg Morrissey OAM for his assistance filling out this cricket report
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