Cricket season returns to the pitch with big summer on way

Griffith Exies met the Leagues Club Panthers under the lights for the season opener on Saturday evening. 

 GOOD START: Leagues' Shae Prudham made a good impression in his first game for his new club, picking up two wickets during their win over Exies. PHOTO: Jessica Coates

GOOD START: Leagues' Shae Prudham made a good impression in his first game for his new club, picking up two wickets during their win over Exies. PHOTO: Jessica Coates

Both the Panthers and Exies came in with players missing. With Leagues’ Toby Polkinhorne scoring a crucial 42, he steered his side to a four-wicket win.

From there, Exies captain Phil Burge (27) along with Jamie Winkler (34) got their side back on the right track with a partnership of just over 50.

The pair were able to see off the opening bowlers before Polkinghorne (2/28) as able to pick up Winkler in his first over.

Polkinghorne knocked over Duane Ashcroft (4) before debutant Shae Prudham trapped Findlay in front for three.

Leagues captain Paul Plummer was thrilled with the contribution from Polkinghorne on his return.

“For Toby to not have played cricket for 12 months and to bat like that, he is going to be very handy going into the season,” he said.

Leagues started well with Plummer (3/31) picking up a wicket in the first over as he trapped Craig Burge in front for a duck.

Only J.Mann (13) and Marc Tucker (13) were able to break into double figures, with Logan Matheson (3/11) picking up three lower order wickets.

“He (Matheson) bowled sensationally for a bloke who has had a crook shoulder for the past three years,” he said.

Plummer was pleased with his side’s effort to restrict Exies to 118.

“Burgey started well, and Winkler started well, and they were on the attack and at one for 40 odd we were looking at a lot worse when we went into bat,” he said.

There was a slight wobble early from Leagues with Ben Leach (2) dismissed by Tucker (2/45) in the first over.

The innings was stabilised with the Matheson brothers, Reece (5) and Logan (23), putting on a partnership of 41 before they fell in quick succession to leave the side at 3/49.

The fall of Logan Matheson brought Polkinghorne to the crease and with the support of Zane Hogan (12)  they were able to steer the side to victory with a 58 run partnership.

Leagues’ Babuu Safdar hit a boundary to secure the win.