A half-century and two key wickets from teenager Jye Phillips ensured Dapto started the season in style in Saturday’s Twenty20 match.
Showing his immense potential, Phillips finished unbeaten on 51, taking the Canaries to 4-143 from their 20 overs, after openers Harry Magenis and Pat Hammond built the platform at Figtree Oval.
Phillips then took a return catch to dismiss Tyson Barrett and also removed Liam Mikleus, both without scoring, as Wests tried to push the run rate but collapsed to finish 6-122.
Wests were in the hunt in the early stages of their chase, with Jarrod Colliss (48) and Luke Boncompagni (44) combined for a 79-run first-wicket stand, before losing 6-30, including two run outs. Phillips has been included the representative squad to play a North versus South trial match at University Oval on Wednesday.
A Cricket Illawarra statement confirmed “St George player Nathan Firtzgerald will captain-coach Illawarra’s Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup team”.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Helensburgh’s Mitch McCrae smashed 55 and Matt Ward was unbeaten on 26, as the Tigers reeled in defending Twenty20 champions Balgownie’s total of 4-114 with seven wickets and on over in hand. NSW Country batsman Kieran Gray made a successful start to his time at Wollongong.
Gray top-scored with 37 off 22 balls, including five fours and two sixes, as the Lighthouse Keepers made 8-142 off their 20 overs.
Shaun Thompson snared 4-13 off two overs to ensure University were not chasing a bigger total, while spearhead paceman Rhys Voysey made his return after injuries kept him sidelines last season.
A former Illawarra junior representative player, Toby Dodds was impressive on debut for Uni with 45, as coach Mitch Calder was caught by Gray off the bowling Will Badger for 29 and Mitch Hearn was 26 not out, as Uni finished 11 runs short.
Northern Districts only needed 91 runs to overpower Corrimal, with Jonathan Fowles earning man-of-the-match honours with 4-7 and 26 runs.
Corrimal were 8-62 from their 20 overs in reply, with Daniel Baldwin and John Bainbridge providing the most resistance, as Anthony Sheeley took 2-11 in support of Fowles. In the other match, Keira beat Port Kembla.