QUEANBEYAN will be desperate to avoid its first outright defeat of the season when the side takes to the field in a precarious position against Western District UC this weekend.
Queanbeyan will resume at 4/18 with Wests’ first innings total of 330 already seemingly out of reach on the second day of their Douglas Cup two-day match at Jamison Oval.
The Bluebags were perhaps suffering from a grand final hangover on last Saturday’s opening day’s play after claiming the one-day title just six days earlier.
In searing conditions, Wests effectively batted the current two-day competition leaders into the ground as Queanbeyan wilted in temperatures approaching the high 30s.
After an opening partnership of 162 between Darren Richards and Matthew Condon, ACT Comets batsman Ethan Bartlett added insult to injury with a quickfire 62 to see Wests pass 300 late in the day.
And the damage could have been worse were it not for the efforts of 17-year-old spinner Alex Page who ripped through the home side’s lower order.
The teenager finished with figures of 5/87, his first five-wicket haul in just his second two-day game in the top grade.
Page’s figures included the key scalp of Bartlett and the left-arm tweaker has now taken nine wickets in his first three innings in first grade.
“I had my first spell just before tea and they were coming out alright,” Page said. “Then I managed to pick up four after tea and was able to clean up the tail which was nice.
“The wicket really started to fall apart toward the end of the day which helped with the ball but obviously hurt us a fair bit with the bat.”
After a near full day in the field and on a crumbling pitch, Queanbeyan showed little resistance in the final session as Lakshmn Shivakumar (3), Dean Solway (5), Vele Dukoski (4) and nightwatchman Vinesh Bennett (1) all failing.
Mark Solway (2) and Sam Taylor will attempt to mount Queanbeyan’s salvage mission with recognised batsman Mick Curtale and Blake Dean yet to pad up.
“We’ve just got to see how long we can bat for and then see what we can do from there,” Page said of Queanbeyan’s chances to avoid a humbling outright defeat. “If we do get bowled out cheaply and they send us back in, we’ll have to bat all day.
“Earlier in the day the pitch shouldn’t be too bad so hopefully a couple of guys can hang around and put some runs on.”
Douglas Cup, two-day competition
Who: Queanbeyan v Wests
Where: Jamison Oval
When: Saturday, 11am