Tom Rogers and Nathan McAndrew have pulled off an eighth-wicket partnership to keep the iCollege ACT Comets well and truly in the game after finding themselves in a nervous collapse very early on Day 2 of their Toyota Futures League match against Tasmania.
After securing the two wickets required to have their turn with the bat, the Comets did not get off to the start they wanted. Openers Dan Solway (8) and Henry Hunt (6) didn’t get much of a chance to start their campaigns, and skipper John Rogers also couldn’t produce his usual magic, only reaching four runs before his exit, seeing the first three Comets batsmen depart the crease within eight balls of each other. Dean Solway (9) then headed back to the sheds shortly after that, to have the Comets reeling at 4/68.
Hope was finally found in the form of Andrew Harriott, who didn’t waste any time to put on some desperately needed runs for his team. He went on to make a crucial 42 off 59 balls, featuring six fours and a six, before getting caught off some wicked Hamish Kingston bowling. Some support would follow from Matt Gilkes and Shane Devoy, however the Comets were struggling to see someone stay out at the crease.
Enter Tom Rogers and Nathan McAndrew. Finding their side in dire straits at 8/106 and in desperate need of a long-standing partnership, the boys answered the call and got straight to work. Looking very comfortable and determined at the crease, Rogers and McAndrew picked up the run rate and appeared like their form couldn’t be broken, going on to make a game changing 118-run partnership. Stealing the show in his 200 minutes out in the middle, Rogers was finally dismissed shy of a ton for 89, an innings that featured a glorious 11 fours and two sixes. McAndrew was able to hang in until the end, finishing on the second top score of 43*, helping his side reach 224 before losing their 10th wicket.
With Tasmania resuming their innings with a 68-run lead, the Comets knew they needed to strike early. Once again, enter Rogers. On the first ball of the second innings, Rogers lands a plumb delivery, up goes the umpire’s finger and Tasmania are suddenly 1/0. After bowling a further five overs, the Comets were able to restrict the visitors to 1/9 at close of play.
Speaking after the match, Tom Rogers was pleased with his performance, but knows there’s still work to be done to keep his team in contention.
“I was able to build a pretty good partnership with Shane Devoy and Nathan McAndrew, and get ourselves through [the collapse]. Batting with the other bowler [McAndrew], we both knew that we didn’t really want to bowl this afternoon for any great deal of time. We just took every over as it came and tried to work out a plan to keep ticking it over and bat the day out.”
“I reckon tomorrow they [Tasmania] might come a little more aggressive than what they did in the first innings, but I think something we’ve been working hard on in our last couple of games is our second innings performance. We’ve got to work really hard on being patient and sticking to our game plan, and make sure we have a positive day rather than letting it slip away from us, because we’re still well and truly in the game.”
The iCollege ACT Comets will resume their attack tomorrow from 10.30am at Manuka Oval. View the scorecard via MyCricket.
iCollege ACT Comets injury update: Harry Medhurst will replace Nathan McAndrew after he suffered a concussion during yesterday's batting innings.