Perth 224 (Richards 4/25, Dzodzos 3/30, D Sadik 2/70) def. by Wanneroo 9/226 (Smith 137*)
It was a beautiful day at Fletcher Park after some moisture the two preceding days where the skipper won the toss and decided to have a trundle. Mooga Michael O’Day and the Doz man Matt Dzozdos backed up the skips calls to bowl by applying some undeniable pressure early doors to have Perth reeling at 3/9. Contract killer O’Day with the big wicket of Wells for a quack from 17 deliveries and DJ Dozman not to be overshadowed with a mix tape of his own claiming two wickets in two deliveries prior to his interpretation of ‘what not to do for a hat trick delivery’.
Perth steadied through their middle order recovering to 3/138 although there were a couple of dubious decisions that didn’t go our way much to choppers disgust. Enter Vin Diesel (Sadik) straight out of a decent paddock who had really started to dial in after a couple of wayward overs to start – breaking the partnership with a juicy wrongun that had the Perth opener McPlumb.
In typical Richo fashion the long faced dibbler found his lengths and proved that he isn’t as c##p as suggested to finish with 4/25 from his 12 overs. Perth were bowled out for 224 with what seemed to be slightly under-par on a wicket that proved to be quite challenging. Special mention to Jim (Newnham) Paine with an incredible display with the gloves claiming 5 (7) dismissals and proving he can do more than just cover drive. There was a cheeky 6 overs at the end of the day that the Roos slumped to 2/12 overnight but with the batting depth the gents were confident heading into day 2.
Deon ‘D’ Billington and Kelvin ‘nicknames are not worthy’ Smith went about grinding the Perth bowlers into the ground early on day 2 with some solid defence and selective shot making steadying the ship and recovering to 2/57 until D decided to punch one. A little power surge from ADB prior to lunch had the Roos sitting at 3/102 heading into lunch confident and comfortable with where things were at.
Enter Perth bowler Jack Backer with 4 wickets in an over for the fiery seamer shocking everyone and leaving the Roos at 7/102. Needing 123 runs with three wickets in hand the boys had started to plan Mad Monday the day after.
Slowly but surely a much needed partnership built between Mooga and Kel formed and the recovery began. Kelvin was quietly and confidently going about his work as if he was playing on a different wicket, the question was could someone stick around with him to assist.
After Mooga was dismissed and Sadik removed with a fast and furious barrage the Roos were left at 9/168 still requiring 57 for victory all hope had dissipated. Kelvin was continuing to pile on the runs and raised the bat for an incredible century, although many thought it was going to be in vain as the likelihood of running out of partners was high.
Enter number 11 Caiden (Pujara) Eaton providing his version of the wall being utterly sound in defence and assisting Kelvin to get closer and closer… and closer and closer.
With a couple of close calls there was plenty of nail biting, edge sitting and a few hands over eyes while Kelvin strategically made calculated risks and farmed the strike to get the Roos closer and closer to an unlikely victory.
With now only three to win you could hear a pin drop at Fletcher Park as it would only take one ball. But cometh the hour cometh the man – Kelvin (Special K) Smith deservingly and in characteristic fashion smashing one behind point to bringing up the victory for the mighty Roos in what has been touted as one of the best wins, recoveries and batting performances in WDCC history.
Onto the Semi Final for the A Graders with the confidence and self-belief that was built from a win against the odds.
Three cheers for Special K!
Midland-Guildford 107 (Smith 4/27, Jessani 3/30) def. by Wanneroo 172 (McDonald 49, Ardagh 44)
Adam Smith won the toss (because of course) and elected to bat first at Lilac hill 1. Despite one early wicket the Roos got off to a good start of 1/66 thanks to Michael Ardagh (44) and Jack McDonald (49) before a mini collapse sent the Roos to 4/77. The rest of the batters chipped in with starts with the tail wagging putting on a crucial 43 for the last two wickets to get the score to a defendable 172. Not batting all the overs was a blessing in disguise with Wanneroo needing to bowl 8 overs to close out the day. The captain Adam Smith made the ball talk in late-day conditions taking 3 wickets off his three overs to leave midland 3/8 at stumps – and Kingy in hysterics from their nightwatchmen approach.
The next day started without much luck for Wanneroo who dried up runs but couldn’t take the important wicket before lunch. First over after lunch saw Donny Fryer get the break through with a direct hit at the bowlers end from backward point. The game still in the balance at 4/62 – it was time for Sharad Jessani to spin a web, taking 3 wickets and causing a collapse for the river mob. At 7/70 Adam Smith was enjoying cricket that much he wanted to stay out there longer, and dropped a soda. Despite some big hitting from the tail, Midland were eventually bowled out for 107 leaving Wanneroo the victors by 65 runs. Great signs by a team hitting their straps coming into the pointy end of the season.