Country week a grind for red caps

David EckartThe West Australian
Chris Briody acknowledges his ton
Camera IconChris Briody acknowledges his ton Credit: Brian Bailey

Senior country week cricket has finished for another year with the Port Hedland Cricket Association red caps winning just one of their pool matches, against Exmouth last Monday.

The result meant the Hedlanders missed the opportunity in the cross pool matches for the chance to qualify for the final on Friday.

In the cross-pool match against Northam, Chris Briody enhanced his reputation as a top order batsman of quality with an unbeaten century, carrying his bat through the innings for the second time in the week.

Briody was dismissed juts two times over the week, scoring 178 runs at an average of 89.

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In the final match a Twenty20 game against Exmouth, Hedland opted to give some of their other players a chance at the crease and Briody was not required to bat in the win.

A rare opportunity presented itself in this final game where Chris Ams was able to bat with his son. Jarred, for the first time at a representative level in senior cricket.

Over the course of the week away Taurean Williams, who assumed the captaincy mid week when Jarrad O’Dea headed across the Tasman for a wedding, was the equal second-highest wicket taker in the grade, with Tim Lees, with 14 wickets.

Williams finished third in the champion player award for the grade, with Briody finishing fifth.

Forty-over games in senior grade cricket resume at the Kevin Scott Oval this weekend with South Hedland and the Hedland Lions playing on Friday and Port Hedland and Mines squaring off on Saturday.

A win to Mines would result in a three-way bottleneck at the top of the ladder. Both games are scheduled for 5.30pm starts under the lights.

Newman Cricket Association took a strong squad away to Perth last week for the 2019 senior country week tournament. After winning the battle of the Pilbara against Port Hedland on the opening day, wins followed against Peel (Mandurah) and Exmouth, leaving the Newmanites unbeaten in the round-robin poll matches, giving them direct access to the semifinal fixtures to determine the two teams that would play for the E Grade pennant on Friday.

In game two (against Peel) Newman batted first and made 219 from their allotted 50 overs with solid contributions from Elliott Lawrie, Laen Diamond, Darren Reid and Rob Green.

Matt Warhurst and Reid both took three wickets as they dismissed the Peelers for 114.

Exmouth were Newman’s final opponents in the pool matches and, once again, Newman batted first fishing their innings all out for 207 in the 47th over, with “superbat” Lawrie scoring 68.

Brad Roe was the chief destroyer in the Exmouth innings taking f4-6 off five overs as Exmouth were routed for 59.

The semifinal was against the West Pilbara yellow caps from Karratha and Newman were given first use of the ball and Paul Pitchers took out the stumps of the West Pilbara opener with his first delivery.

But those celebrations were tempered as the yellow caps settled and ground out 230 runs from their 50 overs.

In reply Newman managed only 155, being dismissed in the42nd over. Laen Diamond held his head best for Neman with 50 runs, with handy contributions from Ben Murphy and Darren Reid. No final this year for Newman.

In the consolation T20 on Friday Newman took on Peel again, rolling them for just 64 runs with Roe taking another four-wicket haul.

Chris Scheu and Elliott Lawrie saw Newman past the target, leaving the team with a win but with “unfinished business” for 2020.

Elliott Lawrie finished the week just one point behind Donnybrook’s Armaan Randhawa as player of the tournament.

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