Tamworth monsters Gunnedah

TAMWORTH dished out more War Veterans Cup punishment at No.1 Oval yesterday and amassed its biggest total in recent memory in the process.

The defending champions put on a batting masterclass, with Michael Rixon, Simon Norvill, Kris Halloran and James Psarakis all chalking up half-centuries.

The end result was a blazing 5-493.

They then rolled Gunnedah for 121.

Skipper Tom Groth was delighted with the 372-run win, and what he saw from his side ahead of next week’s SCG Country Cup battle against Coffs Harbour.

“We just needed to spend some time in the middle and we did,” Groth said.

“Everyone got a hit.”

Like they did back in the first round, which Tamworth won by 288 runs, Rixon and Norvill  set the platform.

They put on 122 for the first wicket.

Norvill made 77 of those in a 39-ball stay that included 13 fours and two sixes.

Gunnedah picked up Cal Rowe not long after but their joy was short-lived, with Rixon and Adam Jones (28) putting on 83 for the third wicket.

It got uglier for Gunnedah, with Halloran then joining his North Tamworth skipper and continuing the carnage.

They added 120 in pretty quick time, with Rixon smacking a six to bring up the 300 in the 38th over.

He was out a couple of overs later for a brilliant 135 from 112.

But his dismissal brought little relief for Gunnedah, with Psarakis coming out and belting an unbeaten 84 off just 26 balls.

He took just 20 deliveries to reach his half-century and lofted eight over the fence to go with four boundaries.

Aaron Hazlewood was unbeaten on 35 at the other.

He faced just 10 balls and, in one Blake Small over, carted four sixes.

It was spectacular to watch, unless you were a Gunnedah bowler or fielder, with Tamworth thumping 231 in the last session (16 overs). 

There wasn’t much Gunnedah skipper James Mack could say. 

“They just hit the ball hard and long,” Mack said.

“Every player who came out seemed to be hitting the ball in the middle.”

The spinners bore the brunt of the attack, with  Small going for 82 off just four overs, Sam Doubleday 91 from his 10 and Vinnie Winsor 112 from nine.

The only bowler who was really spared the carnage was Troy Sands.

He was the pick of the bowlers with 1-24 from five.

Mack though didn’t think they bowled that badly. 

Farran Lamb and Al De Nysschen early “bowled a decent enough length but they were able to get under them”.

If there was one positive for Gunnedah, it did score more runs than the last time it played Tamworth.

Then it only made 60, with Sands and Ben Middlebrook the only two to make double figures.

They were yesterday again their top-scorers, with Middlebrook hitting 49 opening and Sands making 23.

The quicks did the damage for Tamworth, with Col Smyth, Jack McVey and Aaron Hazlewood claiming three wickets each.

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