The Longmuir Wrap: Semi Final
The Missen Statement
Former Aussie Test batsmen Brad Hodge bludgeons 131 to lead East Sandringham to Longmuir Shield semi-final win
FORMER Test batsman Brad Hodge has showed he still has what it takes, notching up a stunning century to lead his side to a SECA Longmuir Shield semi-final win.
Hodge starred for East Sandringham as they racked up 9-367 on Saturday after winning the toss against Chelsea Heights Aspendale Gardens, which replied with a creditable 289.
Opener Guy Martyn played a sizzling knock particularly early against the CHAG new-ball bowlers.
While he was missed off a difficult chance to second slip when on 36 he otherwise hardly put a foot wrong, hitting some delightful straight drives and latching on to anything on his pads. His opening partner Mark Devereaux (6) was almost a spectator during their opening stand of 65 before being trapped in front of his stumps by Cal Dodson.
Martyn was then joined by Brad Hodge, who slipped into cruise control while Martyn continued his dazzling display.
The pair added 63 until finally Dale Tormey slipped one through to hit the stumps, sending Martyn on his way for a brilliant 88. It came off only 59 deliveries, with 14 boundaries and three sixes.
Hodge was joined by Chris Diggle and they kept the run rate ticking over quickly until the tea break, by which time East had already reached 2-206.
They continued in similar vein after the break and their union had reached 116 when Tom Cleaver removed Diggle for a useful 40.
By then Hodge was bludgeoning the CHAG attack.
And on reaching triple figures he went ballistic until he was dismissed for 131 off 155 deliveries, with 15 boundaries and six maximums included in his fine effort.
If CHAG thought they were off the hook now they were mistaken as Luke Dallas then made a sensible but attacking 52 off 51 balls to ice the massive total of 9-367. Dodson finished with 3-52 off 15 overs, a fine effort in the face of such an onslaught.
On day two CHAG made a rapid-fire start with Kaleb Tymco playing in his customary aggressive style, complemented by the steady Cleaver.
The duo added 103 in just 21 overs before Tymco holed out to mid-off for a 68, which included 5 sixes. Tormey was quickly into stride and shared a 52-run union with Cleaver before Cleaver fell for 42.
The key moment came in the final over prior to tea when Tormey was brilliantly caught by Diggle after seeming in complete control during his 52-run knock.
CHAG turned at the break at 3-182. From that point they maintained their run rate but wickets began to tumble and when Brad Lockhart went after an enterprising 44 his team followed suit in quick succession, Devereaux (3-34) claiming the spoils late in the day as CHAG were wrapped up for a respectable 289 with plenty of overs in hand.
It was a different game at Packer Park where low scoring was the story of the day in the first semi-final.
Mackie took first hit against Washington Park and started reasonably well with Dale Park (15) and Dean Bott (28) looking solid.
But Matt Oaten (2-33) got Park and then grabbed the key wicket of Waqas Hussain (7) to leave the Machine 2-43.
From there Sharks medium pacer “Gentleman” Jim Cleary dominated, carving a swath through the Mackie middle and lower-orders, taking an outstanding 7-20 off 17 typically frugal overs as Mackie collapsed to be all out for 81.
The bowlers’ dominance was not finished there however as Mackie’s Craig Park and Christopher Pearson grabbed a wicket each and Hussain snapped up another two as Washington Park crashed to 4-27 at the close of play.
On day two the Sharks nudged their way up to 4-52 before Tom Bishop (22) was removed.
It set off a collapse as Dean “Roti” Bott (3-24) grabbed three key wickets.
While the Sharks’ last pair dug in and survived for half an hour eventually Hussain (5-21) had the final say with a perfect yorker to claim the last wicket with the defending titleholders still seven runs short of the target.
The Sharks had a second go at Mackie in the hope of a turnaround and had them 7-75 in their second innings when time elapsed.
Pearson’s defiant 5no came from 96 balls, important in the end.