Kensington trail Southern District by 279 runs with seven first-innings wickets in hand, after a long hot Saturday of toil on Parkinson Oval perhaps highlighted even before play’s commencement by the debut of our youngest-ever A or 1st Grade player.
Fresh from a 2nd Grade century on his last day as a 14-year-old, Sam Rahaley has made his debut at 15 years and six days – he received his cap from club great Andrew Rumbelow and has managed his debut a month earlier than our previous youngest and now Geelong Cats footballer George Horlin-Smith.
With back-to-back forecasts of 42C either side of a Saturday night ‘low’ of 27C, the start of play had been brought forward to 10am but, even with the dodged bullet of Sunday’s 44.1 to be recorded at Kent Town, Saturday’s 39.6 was challenging enough on a day that would see play still lasting fully until 5.53pm.
Southerns captain Josh Barrett elected to bat on a wicket green enough to offer some assistance to the bowlers but was one half of a first-time pairing (Shaun Tanner 54 and Barrett 47) that put on 93 for their team’s best opening stand of the season, aggressively riding their luck along the way with a number of half chances falling just short or wide of fielders, before home skipper Jake Brown bowled Tanner for the much-needed breakthrough. A second wicket, to David Grant (1/77) just before the interval saw the visitors lunching at 2/118. A post-interval collapse of 4/12 left them 6/180 before David Sboro (48) partnered Matthew Sugg (40) and then Huw Stone to add 63 and 52 for the 7th and 8th wickets as Southerns reached 301.
Three Browns bowlers finished with three wickets apiece for their efforts – Elliot Opie 3/65 off 21, Scott Aufderheide 3/45 and Brown 3/69 again with a mix of fast medium and orthodox spin in the continuing absence of Lloyd Pope, newly world-famous after his record 8/35 off 9.4 eye-catching overs steered the Australian Under 19s to an astonishing World Cup quarter-final win over England. With Alex Ross and Dan Worrall returning this Saturday from KFC BBL duties, Rahaley will be replaced and won’t manage a bat in his debut game but did roll the arm over for two overs – a delivery from his first is pictured – shortly before the second new ball was taken.
With an awkward six overs to face before stumps, Kensington managed to lose both opening bats bowled shouldering arms, as well as nightwatchman Opie who’d found himself facing the second ball of the innings. Kensington are 3/22 with Adam Hose (11no) and Brown (1no) to resume this Saturday.