The Civeo Cricket Club’s three-game winning streak in the 2019-20 Narrabri District Cricket Association one day competition campaign came to an end on Saturday at the hands of Tatts.
In round eight, top-ranked Civeo and second-placed Tatts went head-to-head at Collins Park in what was the last game for both teams in the calendar year ahead of the T20 season and Christmas/New Year break before the competition resumes for its final four rounds in February.
It was Tatts which got the job done to move even on points with Civeo while leapfrogging into first due to a superior net run rate.
The match was a 30-over one due to a 1.30pm start following rain in Narrabri on Saturday morning.
Civeo won the toss and batted first and made 8-97 which turned out to be far too little as Tatts chased that down in 16.4 overs to secure a six-wicket win.
The victory was inspired by Tatts captain Tom Craig who led from the front once again with another man-of-the-match performance.
Craig scored an unbeaten 30, which included the match-winning runs, to take his season total to 254 runs in six matches at an average of 50.8.
The Tatts skipper also bowled three overs for a return of 4-4 which included a maiden, taking his season tally to six wickets at the expense of just 32 runs from 14.3 overs at an average of 5.33.
When asked about his 2019-20 form Craig said that he was enjoying his cricket.
“I’ve been really enjoying cricket this year,” Craig said.
“It’s been enjoyable compared to some years where things don’t go your way.”
The two-time defending champions’ captain commended his side, especially the bowling attack.
“I feel that we are bowling really well,” Craig said.
“The Schwager brothers (Brock and Jonty), Ryan (O’Neill) and Cainy (Michael Cain) have done it for years now but they just seem to build pressure really well together.
“All four of them take big wickets.
“Ryan got Smarty (Civeo batsman Nick Smart) on the weekend, he did chop on but he was still there for it to happen.
“We are bowling well, building pressure, our fielding could improve there’s no doubt about that but it’s at a standard that we’re almost happy with this time of year.
“It’s also great to have guys like Gleeso (Craig Gleeson) and DK (Daniel Kahl) and even lately Nicho (Jacob Nichols) all doing a job in the top order with the bat.”
Despite Craig’s dominance on Saturday, in hindsight the match was an opportunity wasted for the Civeo side which started the match so positively, and could have moved two wins clear at the top of the table with a win.
Nick Smart scored 35 runs in 10.5 overs in a 41-run partnership with fellow opener Nick Tomlinson.
Smart looked in good touch, hitting O’Neill for a pair of fours from the fourth and fifth balls of the Tatts opener’s sixth and final over.
But O’Neill had the last laugh when he bowled Smart (35) with his last delivery to finish with 1-30 from his six overs.
Civeo co-captains Lachlan Cameron and Luke Meppem entered at three and four respectively but could both only add nine runs each to their side’s total before being dismissed.
Cameron was bowled by Brock Schwager in the 17th over which made the score 2-57, before Meppem was bowled by Tatts skipper Craig in the 25th over which made the score 3-79.
That was Craig’s first over with the ball and he went on to take a second scalp in it, removing Tim Hayne who was caught by Jonty Schwager for a duck which made the score 4-79.
Tomlinson (20) was next to go, run out by O’Neill in the 28th over to make the score 5-83.
That became 7-89 after 29 overs after Craig bowled Jade Lees (1) and dismissed Jordyn Mowle (2) two balls later with the help of the hands of Jake Packer who took the catch.
That was the skipper’s third and final over as he finished with a tidy 4-4.
Gleeson took the ball for the final over and dismissed Sam Bullen (1) who became the second Civeo batsman to be caught by Packer.
Bullen and non-striker Chris Sargent crossed before Packer took the catch which left Sargent on strike, and the veteran scored eight runs from the final five deliveries as Civeo finished on 8-97.
Gleeson and Jacob Nichols opened the batting for Tatts and combined for a strong first-wicket partnership that ensured Tatts never looked like losing.
The pair put on 53 together in just 5.5 overs.
They scored at more than 10 an over for the first five overs to make the score 0-51.
Gleeson contributed 32 of those and scored two more in the sixth over, however his innings came undone when he was trapped in front by Sam Bullen for 34 from just 23 deliveries.
The score then became 2-61 after Tatts’ number three batsman Luke Morgan (7) was bowled by Bullen in the eighth over the very next ball after striking a six.
Craig entered at number four to partner Nichols and the pair guided the side past 80.
Nichols (21) finally departed in the 14th over when he was caught by Nick Tomlinson from the bowling of Mitch Clifton.
Clifton then took Civeo’s last wicket two overs later when he removed Daniel Kahl (1) during a wicket-maiden.
In the 17th over Craig got the job done for his side, hitting Brady Jenkins for two fours to finish with an unbeaten 30 and secure the four-wicket win for his team.
Craig picked up the three NDCA best and fairest points for his brilliant performance with both bat and ball, while Smart was awarded two and the one point went to Gleeson.