The Browns have wrapped up first innings points on day one and set up the chance of an outright win next Saturday, in an eventful day that saw 22 wickets fall for 310 runs.
Skipper Jake Brown sent Northern Districts in to bat on a wicket promising some assistance for the bowlers – supported by some good catching in slips and elsewhere, the bowlers capitalised to see the home team 4/35 after the first hour, 6/75 at lunch and all out for 92 just 30 minutes after the break. New-ballers Elliot Opie (3/23) and Scott Aufderheide (4/29) led the way. Nick Palmer snared 2/12 after battling his way to Salisbury Oval, helped by a phone call to his dad after the only apparent local he’d felt comfortable asking for directions, a BMW driver, turned out to be similarly out-of-area and lost.
We did make a shaky start to the run chase. Being rattled by the demoralising day unfolding at the WACA for their national side presumably doing nothing to help, both of our Poms were back in the sheds inside of the first over and before a run had been posted. John Dalton (34) and Hugh Cranendonk (22) steadied things but there was still work to do when Dalts was dismissed at 6/76. The seventh fell at 86 but Sam Williams (16) and Palmer saw the win secured with three in hand.
The dismissal of Williams triggered an entertaining apparent battle for deserving ownership of the number 9 position between Palmer (43 off 40) and Daniel Burns (28 off 23 including four sixes off one Cameron Williams over). The eventual total of 171 meant a 79-run lead with 18 overs to have a crack before stumps, Opie (2/14) making the inroads to have the home team two down and still 32 runs in arrears heading into day two.
Day 2, The Browns welcomed back David Grant, Henry Dall and Euan Fletcher from Strikers and SA Under 19s commitments, meaning Nick Palmer didn’t have to locate Salisbury Oval for a second time, together with two less directionally challenged teammates also dropping back to the Bs.
In 37C heat, Northerns resumed their second innings two down and 32 runs in arrears but Mark Cosgrove (is 69 off 69 balls a double date?) was looking dangerous and steering the home side to safer territory until his stumps were splayed by Elliot Opie (4/71), the first of four wickets before lunch. A Scott Aufderheide (2/24) wicket on the first ball after the break kept us on top towards seeing the home side all out for 189 within an hour of the resumption, Grant (3/40) the other multiple wicket taker and claiming the last.
Imperious batting from John Dalton (66 not out off 48 balls) meant the target of 111 was never going to be a problem. The wicket of Dall (29), right on the tea break, would be the only loss on the way to a nine-wicket most welcome outright win sealed with an Adam Hose (13 off 9) boundary.