It was a soggy start to the State Challenge on Monday as the overnight rain delayed the start of play for more than two hours.
Only the under 13s clash between Country Thunder South West – featuring Dubbo's Fletcher Hyde and Ty Sissian, Nyngan’s Tyson Deebank, Condobolin’s Riley Keen and Orange-based skipper Angus Cornish – and Metro Sixers North East went ahead as a 40-over affair.
The locals lost by 77 runs, despite some strong performance from Deebank (1-17), Keen (1-18) and West Wyalong’s Harry Roscarel (16).
All other fixtures were reduced to Twenty20 matches, as Lady Cutler Ovals 1 and 2 were too water-logged to facilitate play.
Cricket NSW talent and coaching specialist Greg McLay is coaching the Country Thunder South West 14s team that includes Dubbo’s Harrison Quinn, Ant Atlee and Rudy Peet and Bathurst’s Angus Parsons.
They too suffered defeat at the hands of Metro Sixers North East, the visitors reeling in the 81-run total with eight wickets and 4.4 overs in hand.
Atlee opened the batting but fell for a duck, and the Western-Riverina side was reduced to 6-35 before Parsons (17) and Griffith’s Ben Signor (20) came to the crease.
The pair combined for 32 but, once they fell, the collapse resumed.
Harrison Quinn (5 from 4 balls) carried his bat but the tail fell around him.
When Peet (1) was run out it, was all over.
Sloppy bowling gave the Metro Sixers an easier time at the crease, the hosts conceding 27 sundries.
Max Robinson (37) carried his bat for the visitors and they reached their target with eight wickets in hand.
McLay said poor shot selection, rather than the wet wicket, was to blame for the batting collapse.
“It’s just a little bit of poor awareness but we batted well towards the end of that innings and we bat deep – we’ve got quite a few players down the order who can really bat well so that’s one of the positives for us,” he said.
“From a bowling point of view, we just haven’t been disciplined enough.
“We haven’t quite hit the right length for this kind of wicket. The right length for this kind of wicket is to try to get the batsmen driving the ball. We’ve been a little bit short today so that’s been costly.”
McLay congratulated Metro Sixers North East for the win, labelling them “a tough opposition to draw first up” with “some excellent players”.
“We matched it with them at times, but just their quality has shone through a little bit more consisently.”
McLay commended the Cricket NSW staff and ground staff for working “tirelessly” to get games underway, after “it looked pretty doubtful overnight”.
But he said no one begrudged the rain, and the visiting cricketers “absolutely” understood the need for it.
“We’re going to have three great days the next three days, reverting to 40 overs for each of those three days, so there’s still plenty to play for,” McLay said.
“Each of the boys will get their opportunity to show their skills and execute their skills and that’s what the week’s all about.
“The week’s about growth and development and trying to give them some new skills that they can then take back to their home associations to get better with.”
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