Ridind Mill have slumped to their second loss in succession going down to a star studded UTS North Sydney at the picturesque virtual North Sydney Oval.
This game was being billed as the biggest of the tour so far with the UTS North Sydney team of the decade littered with talent up against Riding Mill who have already claimed some big scalps on their virtual tour down under.
The virtual wicket looked to be in pristine condition as you would expect from the North Sydney Oval ground staff preparing an absolute belter of a wicket.
Glenn Aitken won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first and when Daniel Hughes and Tom Jagot put on 102 for the first wicket this looked like being a very astute decision.
Daniel Hughes brought up his half century in an eventful over from Rob Burns which saw a six land in virtual Miller St and another sailing into the virtual Duncan Thompson stand which brought up the milestone. In between it all when on 48, Hughes was wrapped on the pads by Burns which was accompanied by a massive appeal that was subsequently turned down. Replays showed that Hughes had got an inside edge onto his pads which ensured he was given not out.
Aly Hall was the first to provide some joy for the visitors when Tom Jagot got a thick edge through to Iain Longstaff who made no mistake with the gloves. Jagot was back in the virtual pavilion after a crisp 33 off 15 balls.
The Bears continued to score at will before Hughes finally fell skying one which was caught by keeper Iain Longstaff off the bowling of Steve Kent for 90 off just 29 deliveries. The innings is the highest score of the tour so far and certainly put the home side in the box seat.
Avendano was neatly stumped by Iain Longstaff off the bowling of Scott Dickson for 25 off ten before Scott Rodgie finished the innings with a six that sailed out of the ground landing in the virtual bowling club car park. UTS North Sydney had set a very imposing 3-170 from their ten overs.
Riding Mill did not get off to the start they were after, losing key man Scott Dickson LBW off the bowling of James Campbell on the final ball of the first over to leave them reeling at 1-10.
Dave Cox and Steve Kent set about resurrecting the innings putting on a handy 56 run partnership before Kent was stumped by Lenton off the bowling of Rob Aitken for a well made 40 off 16.
Part timer Adam Crosthwaite then turned the game on its head with a remarkable over claiming the wickets of Liam James who was plumb in front departing for 17 with Aly Hall and Iain Longstaff both out to sharp catches behind the stumps from Lenton for 3 and 0 respectively.
Despite a second half century of the tour to Kiwi Dave Cox, Riding Mill were left with too much work to do and when Cox was stumped by Lenton off the bowling of Jagot for 58 off 21 it was all but game over.
Joel Marks and Rob Burns were able to take the total to 6 for 149 but it was 21 short of the target with the class of the Bears shining through.
The Riding Mill squad will now need to regroup before they head to Victoria to take on Westmeadows Cricket Club, St kelvin’s Old Boys and Parkdale Cricket Club before heading to Perth to clash with Bayswater-Morley.
Rumours were leaked last week on social media that another game has been scheduled for virtual Hong Kong on a stop over back to the UK. There is speculation that there is a campaign to bring team manager Brian Watson back into the squad for this fixture alongside two former England Internationals. We are seeking confirmation of these rumours and will bring you the latest news as it comes to hand.