The Absolute Physio & Rehab Yarrabilba Cane Toads have downed the Helensvale Pacific Pines Hawks by six-wickets in the opening round of the RJR Sports Winter Cricket Cup on Saturday.
Despite the cloud cover, and the deluge of rain the area got towards the later part of the week the ground crew from Greenbank worked around the clock to have their Malling Park cricket pitches ready for action, with the visiting Hawks winning the toss and electing to bat first.
Both sides clearly in need of the match to shake off cobwebs that had begin to form since the sides respective summer seasons finished, it however, did not take long before the Yarrabilba Cane Toads made the early breakthrough when a masterclass decision from skipper Nick Feros to open with Patrick Hansen picking up two wickets in his first over, the second of the match, to reduce the visitors to 2 for 11 early.
While the early set backs would be enough for a lesser team to begin to crumble the Helensvale Pacific Pines Hawks remained in the match, thanks largely, to some big, powerful hitting by Hawks wicket keeper Ben Daley that ensured the scoreboard continued to tick over.
A five-wicket haul to Baker (5 for 33) including at one point sitting on a hattrick helped the Cane Toads, who have been allocated Malling Park as their ‘Home Ground’ for the duration of the RJR Sports Winter Cricket Cup, to remove any remaining sting the Hawks may have had.
Jos De Waard, who has had almost as many retirements as his idol John Farnham, came out of a medically induced bowling retirement just 16 overs into it picking up two wickets for eight runs from his thirteen deliveries to end the Hawks innings on 112.
Carl Purvis opened the batting alongside Justin Noonan and the pair put on a solid opening partnership turning over the strike rate and punishing the bad balls with the home side looking comfortable throughout the run chase – it was however, a lapse in concentration that saw Purvis returning to the pavilion after becoming Andrew Daffin’s first senior wicket for the Helensvale Hawks on debut.
Purvis bowled for 19.
2020 Yarrabilba Cane Toads LMS Player of the Year Daniel Muller, making his return to the field following a health scare on the eve of the Winter LMS Season, filled in for the side and made his debut at number three and played a solid knock running hard as he partnered with Noonan who brought up his half century for the Cane Toads.
Muller, on seven, however had a change of mind halfway through a shot against another Hawks senior debutant Finn Beuvink and guided it into a floating gully to see his innings come to a disappointing end – with another Hawks youngster taking his first senior wicket scalp.
Despite the loss of two wickets the Yarrabilba Cane Toads were looking comfortable in the run chase until Hawks skipper Lee Greenwood introduced Rajesh Ponnaboina into the attack.
With just ten runs required Poonaboina looked to be turning the game on its head with first the wicket of Noonan, dismissing the opening batsmen for 58, before picking up the scalp of Hayden Mcavoy trapped in front on his first ball to be sitting on a hattrick.
Jos De Waard, now a specialist batsmen after heading off into bowling retirement, survived a spirited appeal for the hattrick ball with umpire John Rossiter correctly ruling the batsman had made contact with the ground and not the ball.
Alongside Jamie Braithwaite (two not out), De Waard guided his side home. The Cane Toads reaching the target in the 22nd over with six wickets in hand.
The Absolute Physio & Rehab Yarrabilba Cane Toads are in action next Saturday against Greenbank on Malling Street Oval’s Synthetic field from 10:30am.