Brothers? last-ditch collapse
By ADRIAN MILLER
A STUNNING batting collapse by Brothers Post Office Hotel in the last half hour of play handed Westlawn Crown Hotel first-innings points in their Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League clash at Ellem Oval on Saturday.
Brothers never looked like overhauling Westlawn's first-innings total of 373, but were intent on holding on for the draw in order to snare four critical points.
And it looked like they would do just that, with under an hour to play and cruising at 5 for 226.
But the introduction of part-time off-spinner Brendan Purser changed all that.
Brought into the attack with less than an hour left in the day, Purser ripped through Brothers' lower order to pick up 4/13 from 6.1 overs.
They lost their last five wickets for seven runs to be bowled out for 233.
Purser's definitive bowling performance followed his gritty 70 with the bat the previous week.
Westlawn captain Tony Blanch said the introduction of Purser was an act of desperation.
"He normally doesn't bowl at all, but he came off with his gentle right-arm off-spinners and took two caught and bowleds, an LBW and another catch so we were pretty happy with him at the end of the day," he said.
"I think we might look at bowling him a bit more often now."
Brothers started the chase solidly, but faltered slightly to be 3/73.
Matt Ryan, who top-scored with 74, and Mick Summers, 46, shared a 106-run partnership to put Brothers in a strong position at 3 for 179.
But two exceptional catches changed the course of the match.
First Ryan was brilliantly caught in the gully by Nathan Blanch off the bowling of Jason Chevalley, then Summers was snared by a diving Shaun Ulrick on the mid-wicket fence off Blanch.
Brothers started to teeter, but it looked like they would secure the draw ? until Purser was introduced.
He took four of the last five wickets to secure the points for Westlawn.
The points moved Westlawn closer to current leaders Harwood, who they play next week.
Blanch said with only three matches left, that result would prove vital in the chase for the minor premiership.