Elliot Opie and Lucas Froude have engineered one of Kensington’s more significant innings recoveries, steering the Browns towards a defensible total from what had been a ruinous start.
As gathering weather threatened some favourable conditions for bowling on a green-top, Tea Tree Gully captain Matthew Weaver elected to field before sweeping showers, heavy at times, delayed the start by more than two hours and saw an early lunch taken. Players stayed sharp with a solid session of P-I-G circle kicking, making use of a verandah area to inject a degree of rebound difficulty.
Wind and emerging sunshine saw Pertaringa Oval fit for play from 1.15pm but opening bowler Ben Atkinson proved an immediate handful from the northern top end – he clai
med the first seven wickets in a 12-over spell of 7/23, as slip catches and lbw and bat-pad decisions saw the Browns slide to 7/39 before Opie (83) joined Froude (58no) for some methodical rescue. The pair each posted their highest 1st Grade score as they compiled 138 for the ninth wicket, first negotiating the hour to tea (7/59) after which Opie and later Froude scored increasingly freely.
Joshua Macey’s lbw dismissal of Opie, also from the northern end, has removed any chance of Atkinson joining the select few to have taken 10 wickets in innings. Froude and David Grant (15no) safely navigated the closing overs to 6.55pm stumps at 8/202. Play will resume half an hour early this Saturday to make up remaining overs lost to the weather.
Saturday’s play capped a remarkable week for the Browns and some of its leading players – Lloyd Pope was in the starting XI for the Australia Under 19s World Cup warm-up win in New Zealand over Sri Lanka, John Dalton and David Grant both featured for a Cricket Australia XI in a warm-up win for the touring England one-day side in Sydney, Dan Worrall took 2/25 in his season-first BBL hit-out for the Melbourne Stars and Alex Ross scored 27 off 19 for the Brisbane Heat before being controversially dismissed for obstructing for the field when even non-geometers could have reasonably concluded he’d avoided injury and wilfully obstructed nobody.