Flinders Island fumbles

O/50. The Marrawah 50 and Over Cricket Club headed to Flinders Island last Thursday for the first time in more than three decades.

In the final match of the season, the side combined cricket with tourism throughout the three day visit.

In 1984, a time when cricket was quite buoyant on the island, Marrawah visited Flinders Island however the game was washed out.

These days the island has no formal cricket competition and so a local team of younger players in their 20s, 30s and 40s was assembled to enable a game to go ahead.

A game format of 40 overs a side in total was split into two innings with the teams alternating the batting and bowling after 20 overs a side. Dismissed batsmen could be recycled if needed to ensure the 40 overs were bowled.

Marrawah batted first facing an impressive display of accurate swing bowling.

The local Cape Barren geese made themselves scarce but the ducks moved in as five Marrawah batsmen were dismissed without scoring, including Drew Grey who maintains he was dismissed by an unplayable ball.

In an uninspiring first innings, Neil Leighton managed 32 runs and Dallas Burke 17 to have the team at 5/78 after the first 20 overs with little else worth reporting except for the magnificent weather and the raucous, cricket-hungry crowd.

Flinders Island started the run chase confidently but with some tight bowling from the likes of Willie Gale, Rob Turner, Ron Nicholls, Phillip Wilson and Burke, the home side lost regular wickets to close at 6/101 after their first stint at the wicket.

So began an improved second innings from the visitors as Burke and Turner contributed 25 runs each.

With a helpful 36 wides and no-balls bowled by the locals, Marrawah’s final total was a respectable 190, leaving the island team a chase of 90 runs from their final 20 overs.

Unfortunately with some loose bowling and dropped catches, including a couple of embarrassing attempts by Dale ‘Woppa’ Walters following on from his duck, the locals knocked off the runs in 36 overs to run out winners.

Best bowlers for Marrawah were Burke with 4/24 from six overs, Nicholls 2/15 and Turner 2/29.

In his return to the team after an overseas trip, Bruce Grey was lucky to pick up one wicket from a conceded 55 runs from four overs as he continues to recover from an overdose of spicy Asian food and will be seeking advice on pre-match preparation as the team heads into the off season.

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