Downs U16s go down fighting
THE Southern Downs under-16 cricket side travelled to Dalby on Sunday to play Western Downs.
Unfortunately, with two players pulling out early in the morning, the team had no choice but to make the trip with only a squad of nine.
Southern Downs captain Tom Cameron won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Western Downs to bat first.
Once again, the fast bowlers were on song and, when Jack Breen made the break through in the ninth over, it started a collapse which saw Western Downs reeling at 8 for 55 after 26 overs.
The highlight was a masterful display of swing bowl
ing from paceman Alastair Middleton, who took 5-8 from nine overs.
In the three representative games played this season, he has bowled 20 overs for only 30 runs and captured seven wickets in the process.
In what would be a match-deciding performance, Western Downs duo Nathan Wehl (30) and Lachlan Markim (16no) put on a 46-run ninth wicket partnership which saw the innings close at 101.
Middleton 5-8, Breen 3-24, Alex Archibald-Binge 1-11 and Curtis Allen 1-11 were the Southern Downs wicket takers.
Hayden Lanza took a great one-handed catch behind the stumps and also featured in a stumping.
The winning target of 101 was always going to be a challenge with only nine batsmen but the committed Southern Downs players were confident of chasing down the runs.
The Western Downs bowl
ers had other ideas however and, when previous match winners Lanza, Mitch McLennan and Tom Cameron were back in the pavilion with a total of 14 runs between them, the task set was so much harder.
Middleton and Curtis Allen set about rebuilding the innings and at 3-72 looked a chance of getting the team over the line but, when Curtis fell for 14 in the 22nd over, the last four wickets could only muster a further 17 runs and Southern Downs was all out for 89.
After being the best bowl
er, Middleton capped a fine day with 31 not out for Southern Downs. Allen was the only other player to reach double figures.
The representative season now takes a break until next year with two games scheduled for February.
Southern Downs needs to win both these matches and hope other results go their way to reach the final.