Rd 3, day 1: Plenty to do after rain-affected day

A second consecutive half-century to opener Ben Bryant helped the Bears to 7/196 at the end of a rain-affected first day against Manly-Warringah. Regular wickets fell with several batsmen making starts, with 120 overs to be played next week in the top grade. 2nd grade will look to finish off Manly's tail with a chase of 300 looming. 3rd grade rallied well to finish Manly for 257, while 4th grade are behind the game with Manly 0/31 in pursuit of the Bears' total of 157. Finally, Manly finished in 5th grade at 0/164 after 50 overs, with a surely interesting second day to follow next week.

1st Grade (Manly vs. North Sydney 7/196)

After winning the toss and opting to bat, rain set in and play was delayed for quite some time after the scheduled start. When play did begin, the Bears lost opener Anjan Oberai early. Regular wickets fell, with Avendano, Newton, Reynolds and Aitken all making starts. However opener Bryant stood firm, making his way to 68. A late flurry from Olly Knight saw the Bears to 7/196 when rain interrupted play - since only 55.2 overs were posible, 120 overs will be played next week. North Sydney will need to dig in and set a total that they can defend later in the day.

2nd Grade (North Sydney vs. Manly 8/292)

Up at Bon Andrews, Manly-Warringah won the toss and elected to bat on a good wicket. The returning Declan Hoare made the early breakthrough, with Harjit Singh dismissing the other opener to have Manly 2/41. None of the Manly batsmen made fifty, but none were dismissed cheaply either, and they managed to avoid any quick flurry of wickets. Declan Hoare finished with 3/48 off his 16 overs, while Harjit singh picked up 2 wickets. The Bears will be looking to wrap the final two wickets up early next week and settle in on what will surely still be a good batting wicket.

3rd Grade (Manly 257 vs. North Sydney)

Skipper Ronny Alexander won the toss and invited Manly to bat down at Graham Reserve, after rain delayed the start by 45 minutes. A wicket first ball to Jack Thomas was followed second ball by a strong appeal for caught behind that was puzzlingly given not-out. Unfortunately the quality with the new ball was not sustained and a dropped catch or two let the Manly batsmen settle in. Two quick wickets, however, had Manly 3/90, but as the rain worsened, conditions deteriorated and it became very difficult for quicks or spinners to grip the ball. A late flurry of wickets saw Manly bowled out in the day's final over, finishing all out for 257. Ali Shaikh finished the day with 4 wickets, while leg-spinner Ben Knox picked up 3 for his efforts.

4th Grade (North Sydney 157 vs. Manly 0/31)

After losing the toss at Tunks, the Bears found themselves batting. After seeing off the first hour without the loss of any wickets, the batting side would have been hoping to kick on and set an imposing total, but regular wickets made that difficult. Chris Lloyd pushed back and made 60, but eventually the Bears were bundled out for 157. Manly made it through unscathed before rain halted play, leaving the Bears with a lot of work to do to pull themselves back into the game next week.

5th Grade (Manly 0/164 vs. North Sydney)

After winning the toss and electing to bat on a good wicket, Manly found the going reasonably easy as conditions quickly became quite difficult for bowling at Mike Pawley Oval. Although no wickets fell, the run-rate stayed under control as Manly finished at 0/164 off 50 overs before rain once again forced the players off the field. Since more than 40 overs were bowled, the game will remain an 80 over contest next week. Some hard work will be required by the Bears to keep themselves in with a chance.