Dolphins down Stags in nail bitter at Chatswood


First Grade are back in the winners circle after a nail biting 25 run win in their two day fixture at Chatswood Oval. The win leaves them two points outside the top six and only seven points off first place on a ladder which is log jammed at the top.


On Saturday, stand in skipper Will Somerville won the toss and elected to bat. Easts made a steady start moving to 1/79 at lunch. The Dolphins innings revolved around 96 from Angus Robson, as Ian Moran (55), Will Simpson (48) and Peter Lazarus (45) provided valuable support as Easts closed the day at 6/332.


Easts declared overnight and straight away made inroads removing part of the Stags top order to leave them reeling at 3/45. However a rear guard fourth wicket partnership worth 130 and a wicket less second session, meant the match was set up for the post tea session, with all three results likely. However as Gordon increased their run rate, the Dolphins managed to pick up key wickets, but it was when the new ball was taken that Tom Skelly (3/55) who removed centurion Steve Colley that the Dolphins looked likely to take the spoils. With 31 required off four overs and two wickets still in hand for the home side, the game again looked to swing the their way until Peter Lazarus effected a direct hit run out. Two balls later Somerville bowled the Gordon number eleven finishing the Stags innings at 307 and locked away six valuable points for the Dolphins.


Second Grade completed a dominant eight wicket win against Gordon at Waverley Oval thanks largely to Tas Yazdani. On a seamer friendly wicket, Easts won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Gordon to bat first. Straight away Yazdani had an impact as the Stags quickly fell to 8/34. Yazdani bowled his ten overs straight and finished with the outstanding figures of 7/15. From there the Gordon tail offered a bit of resistance as they pushed their total through to 80 before being bowled out in the 29th over.


Yazdani couldn’t be kept out of the game as he opened making 34 as Easts passed Gordon’s total in the 17th over with only the loss of two wickets. In doing so Easts also acquired a bonus point which has kept their slight finals chances alive.


Third Grade lost the toss for the tenth straight time this season and as expected were asked to bat on a wicket that looked to offer the seamers early assistance. After two early wickets, Udit Mehta (54) and Rueben Taucher (37) put together an 80 run third wicket partnership to move Easts to 2/94 just before the second drinks break. From there, Easts lost their way as the middle order attempted to increase the run rate and in doing so surrendered their wickets. Easts were eventually bowled out for 160 in the 44th over.


In reply Easts toiled hard to restrict the Stags and picked up wickets intermittingly to keep themselves in the game. With 14 overs remaining, 40 runs still required and six wickets in hand, the Dolphins insighted a middle order collapse which was instigated by Campbell Pert (3/39). With three wickets to take and 25 runs required the game was on a knifes edge, when an obvious caught behind was not given out. The decision stymied the momentum to victory and the home team were able to knock off the remaining runs required. Pert was backed up by Udit Mehta (2/35) who completed a good all round game.


Easts have dropped to eighth spot and will be desperate to acquire six points next round against the Saints.


Fourth Grade suffered a one wicket loss at Trumper after being sent into bat. Easts compiled 166 with Sam Powell making 56. Gordon put together a 45 run last wicket partnership to ensure a win. Tim Brown finished with 4/32.


No scorecard provided.


Fifth Grade played competition leaders Gordon at Killara. Easts lost the toss and were asked to bat first and compiled a healthy total thanks to 50 from Terry Mystakas. He was supported well by Alex van Vugt (34), Charles Gulliver (41) and Joel Canceri (38) as the Dolphins finished their 50 overs at 8/216.


In reply Gordon slumped to 6/97 and victory looked a likely prospect for Easts. But two crucial partnerships followed which bought the Stags back into the match. From there, the home side capitalised on the game situation winning the match with four overs and two wickets in hand. Jackson Coutts and Luke Course both took two wickets each.


Easts now sit eleven points outside the top six and will need to win all remaining matches this season to reach the finals.


Sixth Grade suffered a three run loss at Waverley on Sunday to Georges River. Winning the toss, Easts sent the visitors in and quickly had them reeling at 5/35 thanks to a great opening spell from Shreyan Deshpande (3/21) and David Dunne (3/24). The middle order and tail from Georges River were able to offer more resistance as they put together a defendable 137. The visitors put on 52 for the last wicket. Corey de Wit (2/37) also offered valuable support during the middle overs.


In reply Easts set themselves a platform to chase the required total. At 3/87 the Dolphins looked comfortable but rain interruptions and an inability to forge any partnerships to close the match out meant the game remained in the balance. Easts required eight runs with two wickets when captain Mitch Clayton was dismissed bringing David Dunne in to join Nathan Moxey. With four runs required Dunne pierced the in field, but in returning for the second run Moxey was run out at the non-strikers end to give Georges River victory by three runs.


Easts drop to fourth place and take on competition leaders Gordon at Killara in a two day fixture over the coming two Saturdays.

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