West in prime position heading into second day

West in prime position heading into second day

West Gambier has a strong grip on its match against Mil Lel after a tough start at Malseed Park on Saturday.

Mil Lel sent West Gambier in to bat first after winning the toss and it looked the wrong decision early as Justin De Jong and Nuwan Gunawardana got the Roos off to a quick start.

Gunawardana smacked Tom Smith for back to back fours but after winning the battle Gunawardana lost the war with Smith bowling him the following delivery.

Captain Jack Miller then provided two massive breakthroughs in the same over for Mil Lel with Jayden Prior caught on one, and then Bray Stephenson bowled by Miller for a two ball duck.

Justin De Jong got to 23 off 21 when he was caught off the bowling of Smith, Smith then took another big wicket of Sam Willis for eight.

Smith then snared Sujith Nikethana with the first ball of his following over for a golden duck as Smith was on a hattrick and West Gambier was in real trouble at six down.

Jake Blackwell remained at the crease and was an important wicket for Mil Lel.

Blackwell dug in and fought off the Mil Lel attack, with Samuel Coxon providing much needed support to Blackwell out in the middle.

Mitchell Little took a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Coxon on 22, which was a big breakthrough as he and Blackwell were settled at the crease.

Blackwell passed 50 with the bat, he had saved the West Gambier innings from disaster alongside Coxon and got his side in a good position.

Jack Geddes only made nine before his dismissal, Tom Smith was the wicket taker as he wrapped up an impressive fivefer.

Miller took the big wicket of Blackwell for 58 and then finished the clean up of the tail, bowling Bailey Rothall for a three ball duck.

West Gambier finished all out for 156 with a good recovery thanks to Jake Blackwell and Samuel Coxon.

Tom Smith finished with figures of 5/31 and Jack Miller 4/44, the pair doing most of the work with the ball.

Mil Lel batted out 32 overs to finish day one but the match swung firmly in West Gambier’s favour before the close of play.

Jarrod Sanders was the first to go LBW for one to Bray Stephenson, Stephenson then picked up another wicket in the same over with the important scalp of William Rowland for a two ball duck.

Mitch Little and Nick Walters both got themselves started with the bat, before Little was trapped LBW for five by Bailey Rothall.

A run out at the hands of Sam Willis made things even worse for Mil Lel, and Ty Dinniosn and Oliver McCracken were both dismissed for ducks, putting heavy pressure on the remaining batsmen.

Walters continued to survive as he quickly lost batting partners, Craig Hicks was one to stand up but only managed 12 before being caught off the bowling of Nikethana.

Next week Walters will resume on 11 with Brad Hann who is 0 off just one ball.

Mil Lel is in big trouble at 7/39 and still requiring 117 runs, while West Gambier only needs three more wickets to get a good claim on the points.

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