Miners dig deep to prevail
South Hedland has snatched second place on the men’s cricket ladder with a big win over the Wanderers helping them leapfrog cross-town rivals Port Hedland in the final round of the regular season.
After going down to the Miners earlier in the week, the South boys needed to win well on Friday night to snatch second place and hope the Miners could keep their winning run going against Port Hedland Cricket Club the next day.
Wanderers won the toss and opted to bat first but struggled to settle right through the innings.
Wickets fell regularly through the top and middle order, though Bailey Minissale (25) and Jonathon Hawkins (24) did provide some entertaining resistance.
With the Wanderers teetering on collapse at 5-88 Mahesh Perera (4-5) came on and tore through the tail-end to quash any hopes of revival.
It proved a bowlers’ game, however, as South Hedland made a meal of their 93-run pursuit early on and were at one stage limping at 3-23.
Perera (33no) joined Ben McNeil (18) at the crease at this stage and steadied the ship to set up a comfortable — if not convincing — win with plenty of overs left in the bank.
Meanwhile on Saturday night Miners’ cemented their place as title favourites in an entertaining five-wicket victory against Port Hedland Cricket Club.
With first place still up for grabs, PHCC openers Chris Briody (62) and Kevin Johnston (31) came out strong.
First drop Toby O’Grady (52no) kept the runs ticking over to see PHCC to 4-169 off 35 overs.
In response Taurean Williams (31) and Razi Zain (20) got Miners off to a confident start.
After leading the charge with the bat, Briody’s (4-23) efforts with ball in hand kept his side in the hunt as time and time again he prevented partnerships from settling up the top of the order.
It was not enough however, as Miners cruising to 5-171 in the 34th over.
PHCC’s loss is their second in as many weeks coming into the finals series.
And ladder leaders Port Hedland Cricket Club tasted their second defeat in as many weeks, going down by [par]
South Hedland Cricket Club fired and the Miners scraped through with two close-run wins, including against ladder leaders Port Hedland, in the final round of men’s Senior Grade cricket tournament last weekend.
Round nine marks the final set of matches before semi final action begins at South Hedland’s Kevin Scott Oval this week.
The weekend full of stunning upsets and underdog victories followed the Miners’ seven run win against the South Hedland Cricket Club last Wednesday, 3-110. (March 3)
The real showstopper came on Saturday (6) when the tournament’s top side, Port Hedland Cricket Club, lost to the Miners by five wickets.
Port Hedland won the toss and opted to bat first.
The team crawled through their first two overs with just two runs earned by the start of the third over.
Chris Briody, 33, and Kevin Johnston, 33, carried the team through 14 overs before Johnston was dismissed 1/66.
Skipper Briody toughed it out for 15 overs for his squad before being dismissed 2-112 to the cheers of fellow teammates.
Port Hedland Cricket Club was challenged by Daniel Lockley’s bowling with no runs scored during a gruelling 28th over.
The team slowly built their way to finish their over on 4-169.
Taureen Williams and Razi Zain started the steady chase for the Miners until their partnership ended with Williams’ dismissal 1/42.
The deal was sealed for the Miners in the final moments of the match with stunning hits from Neil Smith, 19.
It was a tense tousle with the Miners’ finishing 5-171.
Meanwhile on Friday, (5) South Hedland Cricket Club defeat the Wanderers by four wickets with the souther side squad finishing on 6-98.
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