Corrimal captain Xavier McDevitt has praised his team after they recovered from a poor start in Saturday’s clash with University.
After being sent into bat on a juicy wicket, the Cougars were in all sorts of trouble when they slumped to 7-106.
However with the wicket drying out and the ball losing it’s shine, McDevitt was able to combine with Connor Gray for a 78-run partnership to rescue the team’s innings and guide the side to 205.
That set up a tough nine-over spell for the University batsmen to survive, and instead of hunkering down, they attacked the Corrimal bowlers.
The move failed to pay dividends, with Uni falling to 3-33 at stumps.
Given his side’s start, McDevitt was thrilled with where the Cougars are sitting at the midway point of the match.
“It was great to top the day off with three late wickets,” McDevitt said. “We’re pretty happy with 200. They came out and looked to attack, which surprised me, and we ended up taking three wickets.
“It’s not by a lot, but I’d say we’re in a better position. We were in a bit of trouble early, but we pulled it back a bit.”
The clash has crucial finals implications, with Corrimal sitting in fourth position, just one point above fifth-placed Balgownie, and University a further three points back in seventh position.
Knowing the Cougars must win their final three matches to secure a top-four finish, McDevitt is determined to ensure his side bowls University out next Saturday.
“It was pretty big taking those three late wickets. We have to win pretty much every match now to make the semis, given we’re just on the fringe. To win this would be great.
“I think we do have the bowling attack to finish it off. Our bowling attack is our strength, so defending 200, I’d like to say we will do it. They’re three down already, if we can take another couple early, we’ll be comfortable.”
Despite the heavy rain that fell in the region on Friday night, Saturday saw all five Cricket Illawarra fixtures proceed as scheduled.
READ MORE: Batty determined to halt Balgownie slump
With nine teams fighting for four playoffs spots, the matches are all evenly poised heading into next Saturday’s play.
Helensburgh are 1-15 in response to Dapto’s 146, with Lachlan Brady taking three wickets for the Tigers.
Keira pair Neel Honavar and Troy Coleman combined for a 112-run partnership to help the Lions to 9-239 at stumps in their fixture with Wollongong. Jason Welsh was the strike bowler, taking six wickets.
Balgownie have a tricky chase ahead next week after Port Kembla scratched their way to 141. Jason Bunyan took 4-28 with the ball.
The Magpies will resume at 0-5 and should chase down their target, however their batsmen have struggled in recent weeks, so it won’t be an easy chase.
Finally, competition leaders Northern Districts scored 204 in their fixture with Wests. Sri Lankan Udara Jayasundara took four wickets, while Bailey Edwards claimed two. The Devils survived a one-over stint late in the day to be 0-0 at stumps.
Cricket Illawarra Round 12
DAPTO 146 v HELENSBURGH 1-15, KEIRA 9-239 v WOLLONGONG, CORRIMAL 205 v UNIVERSITY 3-33, PORT KEMBLA 1-41 v BALGOWNIE 0-5, NORTHERN DISTRICTS 204 v WESTS 0-0.