The Absolute Physio & Rehab Yarrabilba Cane Toads have defeated Danger Island Cricket Club in round three action of the RJR Sports Winter Cricket competition, the Cane Toads surviving a batting collapse to secure a two wicket win in the final over at Malling Street Oval on Saturday.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first Danger Island started their innings strong thanks largely to Mairi Katoa and Frederick William who together survived a number of close calls early during the opening exchanges and were lucky enough to have edged balls either fly just over the head of Cane Toad fielders, or luckily bounce short.
As the chances went begging the Cane Toads struggled to stem the flow of runs as both batsmen brought up half centuries as part of their opening stand, however, things soon went south for the current cellar dwellers in the second division competition when Katoa was forced to retire hurt on 59 with an arm injury.
The decision from skipper Nick Feros to bring himself on shortly before the McDonalds Yarrabilba Drinks Break proved a decisive one as the skipper dismissed Murphy Marurai caught and bowled for a duck in the 20th over, umpire Cameron Bennett calling for the early drinks break.
Danger Island had worked their way to 1 for 126 at the half way point of their innings, and unless the fielding lifted the Cane Toads were looking down the barrel of a massive run chase.
Matt Bailey switched from medium pace to spin to continue his spell and shortly after the drinks break it proved dividends when he had Frederick William caught behind by Patrick Hansen – his superb innings of 67 coming to an end.
Baker struck on his reintroduction to the bowling attack when he had Makitini Paulo trapped in front for 13. The introduction of the grey-nomadic, whiley-coyote Wayne Woods himself helped stem the flow of runs while also picking up the scalps of Mataito Temoana – with a delivery that hit the stumps so fast fielders were ducking the flying bails, and Vata Vailoa who was adjudicated to be trapped in front to help reduce Danger Island to 5 for 193.
Some massive middle order hitting, coupled with a number of tough missed opportunities in the field, saw Ruarau Vailoa and Anania Puiki ride their luck all the way in a 47-run partnership to see their side finish their allotted forty-overs at 5 for 240.
Wayne Woods finished with 2 for 44 from six overs, Baker took 1 for 43, as did Feros while Matt Bailey was the other wicket taker finishing with 1 for 49.
With their late hitting Vailoa finished unbeaten on 42, Puiki playing a handy cameo finishing not out on 27.
Missing strike opening batsmen Justin Noonan, who has scored back-to-back half centuries in the opening two matches, and Jamie Braithwaite due to other commitments the Cane Toads looked to be on shaky ground when it came to the look of their batting line up.
Carl Purvis retained his position opening the batting and was joined by Pat Hansen. The pair negotiating the opening pair, and taking the opportunities for runs which were presented as they posted a 78-run opening stand, only coming to an end when Purvis was caught off Marurai for 17.
Matt Bailey joined Hansen and they continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, the pair reaching the McDonalds Yarrabilba Drinks Break. Unfortunately for the home side however the drinks break looked to break the concentration of the set batsmen and Matt Bailey soon departed for 47 after he played a Temoana ball onto his stumps.
When Hansen’s brilliant batting masterclass was finally brought to an end on 79 when he was trapped in front by William.
Things began to get tight when Wayne Woods was controversially run out for three, and was soon followed by Hayden McAvoy suffered the same-fate a short time later for 17.
The Cane Toads very own John Farnham – Jos De Waard – was promoted up the batting order, seem for the time being he is still in retirement from bowling – and played an impressive knock of 35 that included a monsterous six that would’ve cleared the fence on any ground to keep the Cane Toads in the hunt just as it looked as though the Danger Island side were on the cusp of scoring an upset victory over the joint leader ladders.
Zac Donnolan was stumped for six, before skipper Nick Feros was trapped in front for a duck and with just one batter remaining in the sheds the Cane Toads still required five runs when the final over came.
Simeon Roberts – not out on 8 – and Andrew Baker – two not out – were able to hit the winning runs with four balls to spare.
A tight contest which unfortunately despite the good amount of cricket played left Danger Island at the bottom of the table, while the Cane Toads remained joint leaders in the competition standings with a top of the table clash at Noyer Park next Saturday against the Southside Rangers.