Back in the game

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
St Mary's import taylor Chandler was lethal with both bat and ball in the BMRCA A-Grade T20 Qualifying series
Camera IconSt Mary's import taylor Chandler was lethal with both bat and ball in the BMRCA A-Grade T20 Qualifying series Credit: Supplied

St Mary’s Cricket Club finally got going in the Busselton Margaret River Cricket Association last Saturday with two wins in the T20 qualifying series.

Last season’s 50-over premiers, the Saints combined two excellent bowling innings with a more disciplined batting performance to first defeat Yobs and then Dunsborough in a return to form.

St Mary’s cruised to 7-142 from 20 overs against Yobs, thanks to 31 runs from young opener Nick Barr before import Taylor Chandler and Nick Ritchie both blasted 23.

In reply, Yobs openers Harvey Golding and Jacob Evans started well, racing to 59 without loss, before the Saints tightened the screws.

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At 5-100, the Yobs looked to be in the box seat but lost their final five wickets for only 10 runs to fall 32 runs short.

Chandler was again handy with both bat and ball against Dunsborough, hitting another quick 22 and taking 2-15.

Dunsborough’s Phil Watts offered some resistance but when he fell to Chandler for 23, it sparked a mini collapse.

Former Dunsborough captain Nick Ritchie top-scored for the Saints with 42. But Dunsborough had more luck in their first game against the in-form Margaret River Hawks, who could not maintain their ferocious fielding focus in the shorter format falling by 46 runs.

The match started well for the Hawks, who skittled Dunsborough’s first three wickets for nine runs but Dunsborough captain Ian Purcell (40) steadied the ship with a commanding innings to help his side reach 9-127. In reply, Hawks opener Kade Dittmar loosened his arms to top-score for the Hawks with 27. However, the Hawks were in trouble when Sri Lankan import Rumesh Silver and powerful vice-captain Grant Garstone fell in quick succession with their side still needing 71 runs.

St Mary’s stalwart Benjamin Lloyd said it was a balanced bowling performance that got his team over the line. “It was good to see the tight bowling of all-rounder Taylor Chandler who has had a tough start to the season,” he said.

“We restricted them to a low score and got back to the basics with our batting which paid off.”

Saints have now qualified for the A-grade T20 grand final on February 1. They will play YOBS, who clung to the final on net run rate.

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