Illawarra’s representative woes continued on Sunday as the team lost to Sutherland and Sydney in a Kingsgrove Cup double header at North Dalton Park.
After falling to Sutherland by eight runs in a tight affair to open the day, the team was comprehensively outplayed by Sydney in the day’s second match, losing by 38 runs.
The two losses add to what has been a miserable representative season for Illawarra. With one game to go in the Kingsgrove Cup, the side has been eliminated from finals contention and currently sit second last in their pool without a win. Only North Sydney sits below them, by virtue of an inferior net run rate.
Just last weekend Illawarra was swept out of the Country Championships, losing all three matches played. Earlier in the season, the team failed to progress out of the pool stages of the Regional Bash.
The day started promisingly enough, with a tight spell from Kerrod White, 3/21, and two wickets to Jarrod Colliss, 2/28, helping restrict Sutherland to 7/135 off 20 overs.
Opening the batting, White, 30, combined with number three Duncan Maddinson, 57, to form the bedrock of the run chase, but the innings stalled after White was dismissed in the eighth over. The team was then in big trouble after losing two wickets in the 14th over and falling to 4/85.
From there it was always going to be a tough ask and while the home team fought hard, they ultimately fell short at 6/127.
Austin Waugh, son of former Australian captain Steve Waugh, impressed with both the bat and ball for Sutherland. The 17-year-old picked up valuable runs in the middle order, finishing with 19 off 17 balls before rebounding from an expensive opening over with the ball to finish with figures of 2/31.
While the first match could be placed in the one that got away category, the Illawarra side was comprehensively outplayed in the second match against Sydney.
After losing the toss, captain Nathan Fitzgerald’s team was sent in to field and despite a strong start with the ball by Pat Hammond, they never quite took control of the innings. Led by Harry Dalton, 60 not out, the visitors ultimately reached 8/147.
Hammond, 3/27, and White, 2/25, were the pick of the bowlers, with both men keeping the opposition batsmen on their toes. Hammond’s bowling, however, slipped away in his third and final over, conceding 14 runs.
It became clear early in the run chase that Illawarra would struggle to chase down the total.
Opener Kerrod White’s outstanding day came to a halt as he was removed for zero in the first over before Kieran Gray and Duncan Maddinson fell in consecutive balls five overs later.
From that point, Illawarra, sitting at 4/22, were behind on the scoreboard and the batsmen were fighting to gain the ascendency. Wickets fell at regular intervals and the team slumped to 7/50 at one point.
Illawarra fought hard, however, with a fighting 52 by Tim Laws helping the side to 9/109 off 20 overs.