Easts/Westlawn hold on in nailbiting final ball victory
GDSC PREMIER LEAGUE: Easts/Westlawn managed to hold off a fast-finishing South Services side desperate to snap a two-game losing streak in a thrilling final-ball run chase that saw Easts/Westlawn take home a three run win.
In a rain-affected match reduced to 35 overs, Easts/Westlawn batted out their overs to reach a total of 139, with Andrew Latham (30) and captain Nathen Blanch (21) helping their side to a competitive total at JJ Lawrence Field.
With ball in hand Blanch did the damage early, snaring the wickets of South Services captain Dylan Cleaver (0) and opener Anthony Dickson (1) in quick succession.
Latham backed up his efforts with the bat with the ball as well, claiming the scalps of Steven McLennan (12), Tom Kroehnert (25) and Luke Sullivan (0).
However, as Easts/Westlawn rotated through their bowlers, the tail of South Services began to wag and the ninth wicket partnership of Matt Dalton (37) and Adrian Boyd (18) brought their side closer to victory.
“Off the last four overs they needed six runs an over, they had to get about 27 runs, and when it got down to last over and they needed nine off it,” Blanch said.
“(Chris) Brophy bowled really well that last over. They needed four off the last ball, so it got right down to the wire. They weren’t hitting big boundaries, they were hitting twos and threes, and with the earlier rain it slowed the outfield.
“It got down to last ball so I pushed everyone back on the boundary where I thought they’d hit it and they only got the single.”
While previously this season Easts/Westlawn have been found short of runs, Blanch said it was pleasing to have a few partnerships build during the match.
“Everyone sort of chipped in with the runs,” he said.
“Andrew Latham and myself hung around in last 10 overs and got us to 139 in the end.
“We had a bit of a slow start again with a couple of early wickets which did put us on the back foot but we had those few partnerships that saw out the overs, we didn’t get bowled out which was good.”
Blanch said while his side were missing some of their key bowlers for the clash, he was confident they could defend their 139-run total.
“It was good to take those early wickets, especially Dylan Cleaver, he was the big wicket in our eyes and after his wicket I thought we could do it from there,” Blanch said.
“We were without Pat Vidler, (Ben) Shaw was out and so was (Matt) Lobsey so our bowling was down a bit understrength.”
With Easts/Westlawn now recording two wins to start the year, and three on the trot, Blanch said confidence was building in the side.
“We’ve been more than competitive with the ball, we’d still like to score more runs but we know we’re a more than competitive side,” he said.
“We will be back to full strength soon and that will go a long way to building that momentum going forward.”