Skipper leads the way: Central North starts cup defence on front foot

CENTRAL North began the defence of their Bradman Cup Country Under 16 Championship in a confident manner at Bomaderry Sporting Complex yesterday beating Central Coast by six wickets.

The Bradman Cup holders restricted Central Coast to 8-176 and then reached 4-177 off 44 overs, reported team manager John Kilborn.

“It was a pretty good win,” Kilborn said.

“A great start for us. The boys batted sensibly on a wicket that was keeping pretty low towards the end. Max (Houlahan) and Jimmie (Psarakis) were our backbone.”

Houlahan opened the batting with Ryan Hansen (5) and was in good touch, hammering 10 fours in his 79-ball 54.

Hansen and Houlahan put on 26 for the opening wicket before Hansen was given out handling the ball which brought Jayden Park (29) to the wicket and he proceeded to post a 65-run second wicket stand.

Skipper Psarakis and Brandon Smith (4no) steered the side to victory with 36 balls left, Psarakis smacking two sixes and seven fours in his 54-ball unbeaten 49.

It was a big day for the 16-year-old skipper too.

He took 5-19 from his 10 overs of off-spin earlier in the day.

Michael Williams (45), Jonathon Boyd (38) and Lochie Gale (21) were Central Coast’s top run scorers with Psarakis leading the way with his off-spin.

“He also had a run out and took a catch,” Kilborn said.

So there was only one dismissal he wasn’t involved in.

“Perry Stapleton bowled pretty