Yobs and St Marys are on the board with one win each after the opening round of the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association’s A-Grade T20 competition held on the Saturday before Christmas.
After being brought forward one week from its original date of December 29, the A-Grade double-header at Cowaramup saw some excellent T20 cricket played, with the host club producing an outstanding wicket for the occasion.
The highlight of the day was the A-grade derby between Busselton clubs YOBS and St Mary’s, which went down to the final over before YOBS emerged narrow victors.
The opening game of the day, between Cowaramup and St Mary’s, was highlighted by a scintillating innings from Peter Grygorcewicz for Saints, who smashed 68 not out off barely 20 balls.
Thanks to this individual performance, St Mary’s passed Cowaramup’s 20-over total of 4-108 in just 10.0 overs, precisely half of their allowance.
Put into bat first, Cowaramup suffered a setback when they lost both openers for single figures, Tom Bradshaw having his defence penetrated by Pete Morris and then Mike Hibberd misjudging a second run to deep point and being caught short by a swift return from Shay Thackrah.
But the real body blow for the Bulls occurred when star import Kavy de Silva, on 11, drove Lewis Milligan hard to Danny Hatton at mid-off. The Saints skipper did not miss the opportunity.
It was then left to Fraser Oates to lead the way against a tight Saints attack as the overs wound down. Oates made a fine 50, while Connor Barrett-Lennard fought hard for an unbeaten 23 as the Bulls compiled 4-108.
St Mary’s’ chase got under way with a rapid succession of boundaries and included one fielding high point for Cowaramup, when a wide delivery from Ben Shepherd was brilliantly gloved by Hibberd to stump Ed Lowe, who was making a guest appearance for Saints.
But after Grygorcewicz took the long handle to the Bulls attack the game was soon decided.
The second game saw YOBS get away to a match-winning start when openers Harvey Golding (44 off 17 balls) and Nayton Colombera (20) amassed 63 in the first five overs before Golding was adjudged in front.
YOBS showed their middle-order depth with guest Italian international player Nick Maiolo (37), Ben Clarke (26 not out), Haig Colombera (a rapid 18), Tom Evans (18) and Ethan Piggott (19 not out) all contributing to the uncompromising 20-over total of 6-193.
Legspinner Joe Lowe was a standout in the Saints attack with 3-27 off four overs.
Saints maintained the required run rate for the greater part of their chase, thanks to a scintillating start by Nick Barr (31) which saw left-armer Matt Connaughton concede 26 runs in his opening over.
But after their first 4 overs went for 51 runs, YOBS employed interesting and effective tactics, with a succession of slow bowlers combined to deliver the last 16 overs of the Saints innings.
Strong contributions from Ed Lowe (39), Danny Hatton (25), Peter Grygorcewicz (17) and Jono Lloyd (25) were not quite enough to get Saints home, as they finished on 6-181 from 20 overs to fall 12 runs short of the YOBS total.
The left-arm orthodox spin of Maiolo, who took 1-19 off 4 overs at the death, was particularly effective in the final result for YOBS.