Donnybrook keep the lead
Harvey-Benger Cricket Club’s second grade fell just short of ladder leaders Donnybrook at the weekend in Harvey.
Donnybrook won the toss and elected to bat first leaving the home team to sweat it out in the hot conditions.
But Harvey-Benger had their best start to the season with the ball, with opening bowlers Aaron Jovanovic and Zak Italiano bowling tight lines with Italiano claiming both opening batsmen thanks to some tidy work behind the stumps by David O'Shaughnessy.
With Donnybrook struggling at two for three, Bradman May (96) and Paul Reynolds formed a solid partnership as the two batsmen found the boundary on regular occasions.
Harvey-Benger players toiled in the heat but unfortunately couldn’t capitalise on the opportunities created.
Francois Roelofsz was able to sneak a ball between bat and pad, bowling Reynolds for 75 and ending the 177-run partnership with Donnybrook three for 180 off 38 overs.
With Donnybrook still in a strong position the spin from Matt Chave (4 for 44) and Roelofsz (2 for 51) turned the game as Harvey-Benger took eight for 35 to dismiss Donnybrook for 215.
In reply, Harvey-Benger started well until Anton Fimmano (5) was given out LBW leaving the home team 1 for 17. With the score on 33, Haydn Jones (19) then picked out mid wicket with a mistimed drive.
Chave and Scott Fowler tried to regain some control with a watchful partnership. However, the pressure built up on Chave who was bowled for 16 trying to lift the run rate. The loss of Chave’s wicket created a middle order collapse leaving the home team struggling at 6 for 68 still needing 148 runs off as many balls.
Fowler and Zak Italiano then came together to share a 60 run partnership before Fowler was given out LBW for 46.
Needing 15 off 13, O'Shaughnessy cleared his front leg and launched the ball over mid on, but it was no fairy-tale ending for Harvey-Benger with Mark Manea taking a spectacular catch, saving a certain boundary as the home team finished 15 runs short.
The season has a break and will return on the January 4.
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