The Pressure Gauge round 2

Where we stood up

Scoring big

Across the grades the Bears piled on 1,500 first innings runs for the loss of 44 wickets. Hundreds from Glenn Aitken and Dhruva Thorat were complemented by eight half centuries. That said, Bankstown did a fair job themselves, putting on 1,423 first innings runs, highlighted by centuries to Solway and Leten.

Supporting clubmates

Playing a two-day match that includes a long weekend can put the squeeze on player availabilities, particularly when there are injuries suffered in week 1. That is why the support first and second grade players gave to fourth and fifth grade was so crucial. A total of five Bears helped out as substitute fielders to support fourth grade as they pushed for an outright and fifth grade as they took first innings points. Club spirit is alive and well.

Hanging tough

The Bears were looking at 400+ run chases in first and second grade after week 1. Both made valiant efforts and while 1s couldn’t quite hold on for the draw, 2s executed a stirring chase of 415. Third grade also hung on to split the points with Bankstown when the Bulldogs only needed seven runs from the day’s final over to take the win.

In PGs, Penrith were in what appeared to be an impregnable position at 1/119 after 10 overs in the first match. Enter Ali Shaikh who took 3/1 in his first two overs to turn the match on its head. Reynolds and Newton got the Bears off to a flyer and Ryan Van Kemenade played a brilliant innings punctuated by seven sixes, to record a remarkable comeback victory.

Where we were outplayed

Finding wickets on flat decks

It is no secret that early season pitches in Sydney rarely have much in them for the bowlers, especially when the weather has been dry. A total of 24 wickets across the top three grades does reflect a need to find a way to manufacture a breakthrough though, even when the going is difficult. That said, Bankstown’s Mitch Brown enjoyed success with 4 wickets in 1s and North Sydney’s Travis McKenna showed it can be done in 3s with a Michelle and the guileful Mano Mahadevan, Rob Lavery and Anim Huq picked up 4-fors in 4s and 5s.

Hitting the right areas

After a stirring win in the first PGs T20, an inability to restrict Penrith’s strong top order proved costly in the second match. For the second time in the day Penrith scored over 100 in the first ten overs, and this time around the brakes could not be applied as they racked up 191. By comparison, Penrith’s Sparkes, Weir and Fletcher conceded only 21 runs from the final three overs to leave the Bears 18 runs short.