Clinton Hayward looks for the location of the field as he moves towards top-scoring for Sawtell.
Clinton Hayward looks for the location of the field as he moves towards top-scoring for Sawtell. Gemima Harvey

Plantation Diggers nail bogey side Sawtell in photo finish

THE FINISH was a real nail biter when Plantation Diggers overtook Sawtell in the top of the table meeting at Richardson Park.

Sawtell went down for the first time in this rain-interrupted summer of Coffs Harbour District cricket.

Play was halted when heavy thunderstorms swept the ground in the early afternoon period and it looked for a while the match could be shortened from the regulation 45 overs but the skies cleared and players got on with it.

The home side batted first and posted 9-155 with Clinton Hayward top-scoring with 34.

His was the second wicket to fall when the score was on 73 and it sparked a mini-collapse of the top order when they lost 3-0.

Brad Lewis was sent back to the pavilion without adding to the total and he was followed by Tyh Murphy.

Bowler Hardeep Bassi collected the wickets of Hayward and Lewis and finished the match with 4-31 including one maiden.

Skipper Dave Angus, Trent Dierick, Ben Andrews and Pat Myles all made double figures for Sawtell to eventually give Diggers something reasonable to aim at.

Diggers stumbled when Damon Rootes went for two but ever-consistent Alex Byren knuckled down to the task and the total began to climb.

It seemed to take forever to reach triple figures but the visitors were ultra-patient and Byrne formed some useful partnerships.

Firstly, with Raja Sandhu and then with Gus Garland who once Byrne was dismissed, was joined by Scott Carpenter to push the score to withing striking distance.

Things became scary when Rhys Tolhurst became the ninth man down.

Ben Andrews took him out with Diggers still 11 runs short of victory but Bassi and Brad Carey managed to hold on and the winning runs came on the fifth ball of the 42nd over.

This win more than any other is going to be a huge confidence boost to Diggers who have found Sawtell - considered the masters of limited overs cricket - their bogey side over the past half dozen seasons.



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