CRCA CRICKET: Cox puts Harwood on ropes
IT WILL take an inspired effort from Harwood to turn the tables in the GDSC Premier League round nine clash at Harwood Oval.
The premiers were dismantled for 150 - their lowest first innings score of the season - against third-placed Coutts Crossing, who were 3 for 80 in reply at stumps.
Down on troops, it took a masterstroke from stand-in captain Luke Cox to throw the ball to his 15-year-old wunderkind Eli Fahey, asking him to bowl legspin instead of medium pace.
The all-rounder proceeded to take 4 for 44 off 14 overs, as well as a run out off his bowling and took two excellent catches for good measure.
"I've seen him bowl legspin in the nets a bit at training,” Cox said.
"I told him to practice it and he bowled it in under-16s on Friday and got three wickets.
The oppressive heat also influenced Cox's decision, as the move to slow bowling meant Fahey was not limited to bowling 12 overs due to underage restrictions.
"Batsman who bowl medium pace are a dime a dozen, but a batsman who can bowl legpspin is more of a rarety.
"I think he has a future there. But that's up to him where he goes with it.”
Zac Page was typically stoic with 2 for 36 off 16 while Nick Wood took 3 for 22 off 11 as opening batsman Nathan Ensbey (27) and then Matt Young (48no) provided the only significant resistance for Harwood.
"They might've underestimated us because we had a weak team on paper compared to what we usually have,” Cox, who was without the services of in-form bowler Adam Elliott, said.
"Everyone took their catches. Riley Chevalley (0 for 16 off 6) did well opening the bowling on debut. He loved it, which was the main thing.
"Lance Chevalley's experience in the field was good to have too. Little smurf helped set some attacking fields, and has good reactions at for an old fella.
"Youngy batted really good and held their innings together.”
In reply, Cox opened the batting and struck a first ball bouncer from Daley Durrant into a fence paling to set the tone of the chase.
While he lost partners at the other end - with Durrant (2 for 26 off 5) striking back - Cox hit nine boundaries to finish the day's play 53 not out with Page (4no) - becoming something of a specialist nightwatchman for Coutts - at the other end.
"They definitely weren't happy and came out very vocal in the field,” Cox said.
"It played into our hands because the more they talk the more it drives you.
"They had plenty to say but at the end of the day that's cricket. We need 70 runs with seven wickets in hand so hopefully we can do the job next week.”
"Only half the job is done. We've still got to go back out next week to finish it off.”
Coutts will be boosted next Saturday by the return of regular captain Tim Tilse. The downside however, is that Harwood has built a legacy of not giving in and will believe thay can still manufacture victory from their current position.
HARWOOD v COUTTS CROSSING
At Harwood Oval
Toss: Coutts Crossing
Harwood 1st Innings
DD Durrant c ? b 12
N Ensbey c ? b 27
D Harris c ? b 2
LD Johnson run out 16
BG McMahon c ? b 14
MN Young not out 48
D Mitchell lbw b 1
HJ McMahon c ? b 15
L Many c ? b 9
MJ Farrell lbw b 4
JT McMahon b 0
Extras (b 0, lb 2, w 1, nb 0) 3
FoW: 1-28(DD Durrant) 2-35(D Harris) 3-48(N Ensbey) 4-72(LD Johnson) 5-72(BG McMahon) 6-76(D Mitchell) 7-110(HJ McMahon) 8-123(L Many) 9-141(MJ Farrell) 10-151(JT McMahon)
Bowling: Z Page 16-2-36-2, RL Chevalley 6-0-16-0, N Wood 11-3-22-3, E Fahey 14-3-44-4, L Cox 9-0-31-0.
Coutts Crossing 1st Innings
L Cox not out 53
N Wood b Durrant 7
LR Chevalley c Farrell b Durrant 4
R Cotten c Ensbey b JT McMahon 11
Z Page not out 4
Extras (b 0, lb 1, w 0, nb 0) 1
THREE wickets for 80
FoW: 1-27(N Wood) 2-31(LR Chevalley) 3-69(R Cotten)
Bowling: DD Durrant 5-0-26-2, HJ McMahon 4-1-16-0, BG McMahon 2-0-15-0, JT McMahon 4-1-10-1, D Harris 2-0-12-0, L Many 1-1-0-0.