North West boys off to flying start at CHS titles

NORTH West got its State CHS Boys’ Cricket Championship campaign off to a promising start at Hornsby yesterday with a four-wicket win over South Coast.

After winning the toss and sending South Coast in, North West rolled the coastal side for 144.

Led by co-skipper James Psarakis (Tamworth High), the Kel Walls-managed side then chased down the runs in 31 overs.

As the carnival rules stipulate, they had to bat on until at least 3.30pm and finished up 6-157.

Walls said with misty rain around in the morning and the wicket looking like it had a bit of grass on it they decided to bowl first.

“We thought if there was going to be anything in the wicket it would be early,” he said.

“These carnivals are also notorious for teams being rolled for low scores on the first day after travelling.”

The ploy worked after South Coast collapsed. 

“They were 42 before they lost their first wicket,” Walls said.

“That was in the 14th over. They then lost six for about 23 off about 10 overs.”

There was a bit of resistance from the tail, with a couple of  batsmen scoring 20-odd to push the total up but they couldn’t quite get it to 150.

The North West bowlers shared the spoils.

Narrabri High’s Dylan Segundo, on debut, overcame a shaky start to finish with 2-25.

“He came back and bowled well his second and third spells,” Walls said.

Psarakis was also among the wickets with 2-18. 

He came on at first change but, rather than bowl his off-spin, bowled medium pace and did a good job.

“He bowled very economically,” Walls said.

“We needed a person to come on at first change and settle things down.”

There are effectively four spinners in the side. Two of the others figured among the wicket-takers, with Richard Wilson (Inverell) snaring 2-22 and Narrabri’s Jake Brayshaw 1-22.

Farrer’s Lachlan Davidson also bowled well but without luck, finishing with 0-16 from his eight overs.

“There were also three run outs in the six early wickets,” Walls said.

“Two of them were direct hits.”

Segundo and Psarakis’s arms provided those.

“That really set them on the back foot,” he said.

It reflected a good fielding performance.

“Sage Cook took a couple of great diving catches in the outfield,” he said.

Ryan Meppem also took a good catch for the first wicket.

North West did have a couple of shaky moments in the run chase. 

It was in a bit of trouble at 2-12 before Psarakis and co-captain Matt Everett (Oxley) came together and rescued things.

“They had a great 40-run consolidating partnership after we’d lost our two openers for not much,” Walls said.

Psarakis top-scored with 78, while Everett hit 13, Inverell’s Alex Smith 28 and Farrer’s Campbell Baker 15. 

“It’s a good start,” Walls said.

“It sets us up hopefully for the opportunity to be competing for the final.”

They’ve got Hunter today, which should be an interesting contest. The boys know a few of the Hunter boys from Central North teams. 

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