Gracemere snubs brother act
THE BROTHERS Reid may have formed the nucleus of Brothers' PFD Cup team on Saturday but there was little they could do to stop Brothers from slumping to a heavy defeat at the hands of Gracemere.
Brothers lined up with four Reids in the batting order - Luke, Tim, Nathan and Mark - but it was not a day the quartet will remember with any joy as Gracemere controlled the match from start to finish.
Two wins in a row put Gracemere back in contention for second place on the competition ladder.
And while the team never doubted they could topple Brothers, the manner of the win was a surprise.
Brothers showed their confidence by electing to bat on winning the toss, however Gracemere captain Michael Harth said the pitch was not to blame for Brothers' demise for had the coin landed in his favour he too would have batted.
As it was, Brothers never really looked like posting a competitive total. Openers Grant Nelson and Ken Litschner did not hang around for long, but Harth had to admit the ball he bowled that crashed into Litschner's stumps was one of the best he had ever sent down.
"It was an in-swinging yorker," he said, "I don't know who was more surprised, him or me."
Harth was on fire during the early stages of the Brothers innings, sending four top-order batsmen back to the sheds to have Brothers in all sorts of trouble at 4-16.
While Litschner is one of the Brothers' batsmen opponents like to see depart early, so is Murray Harch who has been in good form with the bat in recent matches.
Without troubling the scorer, Harch tried to pull a short-pitched delivery from Harth but was only successful in dragging the ball down on to his stumps.
The only Brothers player to get going was Jason Batchelor who scored 48 runs from just 38 balls to amass over half of his team's total of 92 and was the only player in Brothers' team to reach double figures, the next best score being 6.
Less than 100 runs in a 40-over match on a good wicket is not a competitive total but Gracemere did suffer a couple of nervous moments before claiming the competition points.
Gracemere openers Luke Johnstone and Rhys Philp put together a patient 32 runs before being separated.
"Luke and Rhys set up a really good platform against tight bowling," Harth said.
Aaron Harmsworth was looking to an extended spell in the middle as he eases his way back into A-grade cricket, but it was not to be.
While Harmsworth did spend some time in the middle (19 balls) he was unable to get a run on the board.
"Aaron was unlucky - they saved their best bowling for him," Harth said.
However, Todd Harmsworth was in form with the bat, and in the field, scoring 38 not out to end any lingering hopes Brothers may have had after earlier taking three outfield catches.