DIGGERS have begun the defence of their Griffith and District one-day title in perfect fashion, with a swashbuckling innings from Jarrod Cahill proving the difference, as his side beat Hanwood by 62 runs.
With his team destined for no more than 140, and well within Hanwood’s sights of running down, Cahill strode to the crease at number 10 and dispatched the home side’s attack to all parts.
Despite facing only 33 deliveries, Cahill blasted 66 runs from the Hanwood attack, with seven boundaries and three booming sixes coming from his blade.
Diggers captain Nathan Smith said Cahill was given the green light to have a dash at the bowlers, but said even he was surprised the big-hitter had such an impact on the game.
“We got off to a slow start and lost a few wickets, so if we were able to get to 130 to 140 we’d be able to defend that,” Smith said.
“But to get to that final score, we were more than happy with that effort.
“It was getting late and we needed to lift the run-rate, but that’s what he does anyway and if he’s got his eye in then he can really score quickly.
“And those sixes were big as well, so it was a handy knock.”
Earlier in the innings, Hanwood’s new ball bowlers did the job asked of them to see Diggers fall to 4-24 and in real trouble, with Tom Shannon
looking good early.
However, the Diggers fightback began, with new recruit Tom Webb, who scored a patient 32 from 55 to go with Mark Brown’s 21 as the side clawed its way to 7-101, before Cahill walked to the middle and turned the game on its head.
With more runs at his disposal than he had planned, Smith went on the attack and set agressive fields, tempting Hanwood’s top order to hit over the top.
But they did not fall into the trap, but the suffocating tactic worked as the required run-rate began to climb worryingly for the home side.
“After the first 20 they were only on 31, so after that they needed seven or eight an over, but our bowlers did well,” Smith said.
“(Glenn) Faganello, Craig Lugton, Mark Brown and especially Tom Webb, all kept it very tight, so we were attacking from the start.
“But they all managed to bowl to the fields which made my job a lot easier.”
Hanwood lost Tom Shannon (3) cheaply but Michael McWhirter (23) and Toby Polkinghorne (29) began Hanwood’s rescue mission.
Dave Felton also added valuable runs, but nobody was able to form the backbone of a
complete fightback, with Brendan Hicken (31 off 32 balls) forced to hit out late as they ran out of time.