Marathon seamer sets tone for finals charge
COUTTS v TUCABIA: A marathon effort from Coutts Crossing seamer Zac Page, along with a top notch support cast, has given the side a perfect platform to launch its GDSC Premier League finals crusade.
Page bowled a mammoth 36 overs in the afternoon across Tucabia-Copmanhurst's two innings, including 16 maidens, and finished with match figures of 6 wickets for 77 runs.
It was a spirited effort from the competition's leading wicket taker as the side went within a whisker of claiming outright points - and a major semi-final berth - but instead had to settle for a 104-run first innings victory.
Coutts did not have it all their way on the afternoon with Bob McKenzie (47) picking up where he left off the previous weekend, scoring with a level of freedom in the first 10 overs of the day.
With only nine fielders for the first half hour, Coutts struggled to contain the former captain before a smart bowling change saw an off-spinning Luke Cox (4 for 19 off 5) take McKenzie's castle and the rot began.
"It was tough bowling in the early stages; Bobby edged a couple through the vacant slips and I thought it was just going to be one of those days," Coutts captain Tim Tilse said.
"But all of a sudden, the wickets just went bang, bang, bang and we just started rolling through them."
With a bit in the deck and an overcast sky above, there was movement to be had, and Tilse happily turned to his workhorse seamer to get it.
Page and Cox worked in tandem as they destroyed the Tucabia middle order, bowling the side out for 96.
With Tucabia on the ropes, Tilse's men went in for the kill as they aimed to secure an outright win to leapfrog Brothers into second spot.
"We definitely thought the outright was on the cards," Tilse said. "Bowling them out for under 100 runs, it was almost automatic to send them back in."
Coutts made immediate inroads when some quick thinking from Cox at silly mid-wicket resulted in the run out of he Dan Cootes (5). Tucabia was in trouble at 4 for 32 as the top four batsmen all failed to reach double figures.
However, the middle order of Brayden Pardoe (43), Matt Dougherty (10), Chris Adamson (19) and Brad Chard (14no) all dug in to stem the flow of wickets and stave off the outright.
"We started to string them together again but Pup (Brayden Pardoe) and Addo (Chris Adamson) just batted really well to take it away from us," Tilse said.
The two sides will now meet again next week in the minor semi-final after Coutts finished equal with Brothers on 55 points but agonising 0.0448 quotient points short.
Despite sending their opponents a clear message, Tilse said he won't be taking them lightly.
"They have got some dangerous batsmen there and their bowling attack is up there with the best in the CRCA," he said. "They didn't come fourth for no reason."
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