Pitch blamed for low-scoring clash
SEVENTEEN wickets and just 148 runs scored tells the story of the Gracemere and Norths game at Kalka Shades on Saturday.
While no bowler dominated by claiming a big haul, all bar one did succeed in taking at least one wicket.
Norths middle-order batsman Geoff Joyce was not happy with the wicket.
"It was a very bad pitch," he said.
Joyce said six deliveries could land on the same spot and each would move differently off the pitch.
"All the grass was gone and it was spongy underneath," he said.
A sign of the difficulty faced by the Norths batsmen is the small total they achieved coming from 57 overs.
Having scored just 92 all out, Norths were in a bit of trouble, but gremlins in the wicket remained as Gracemere lost seven wickets and still trail Norths by 34 runs.
For Chris Bath it was a near-perfect day, scoring a patient 28 not out and then taking the valuable scalp of Gracemere opener Mark O'Keeffe for a duck.
It was also a good day for Andrew "Big Bob" Keiler who shared a stand of 38 runs with Bath before being dismissed for 24 from the bowling of Ben Milne.
Of the Gracemere bowlers, Milne made the best contribution taking 3-16 from 15 overs which included eight maidens.
If Gracemere's plan was to knock over the Norths total quickly and then press on for a big score, then it backfired dramatically. With just four runs on the board, Gracemere had four of the top order back in the sheds.
There was a recovery with Aaron Harmsworth scoring 32 runs, the only batsman to get after the bowling.
Harmsworth scored at a run-a-ball, hitting five boundaries and a six before falling to spinner Justin Peacock.
Worse was to come.
With his next ball, Peacock also claimed Todd Harmsworth to have figures of 2-0 but he was unable to get the hat-trick.