Conditions were absolutely perfect for Dice Cricket at the virtual Wagga Wagga Cricket Ground with Riding Mill hoping to bounce back after a narrow loss to Dubbo CYMS during the week.
Aly Hall who was incredible for the visitors in Dubbo took over the captaincy having immediate success winning the toss and sending the home side in.
When the score raced to 0-78 after four overs, things were looking bleak for Riding Mill and they desperately needed to remove Ethan Perry who was looking indestructible on 47, or Neil Morton who was also in sublime touch on 31.
Skipper Hall needed to roll the dice and call upon tour new comer Joel Marks who had not had a happy start to the tour, with figures of 0-21 and a golden duck in his first appearance. In what proved to be an incredible turn around, Marks was able to have an immediate impact with Dave Cox taking a smart catch to dismiss Ethan Perry three short of his half century on the first ball of the over. Wagga Wagga wicket keeper Todd Henderson went next ball trapped in front for 0 and all of a sudden Riding Mill were back in the contest and Marks was on a hat trick. Hall brought the field in for the hat trick ball and when Cooper Henderson was struck on the pads first ball it looked like we may have our second hat trick of the tour. It was adjudged not out but two balls later Steve Kent had the bails off in a flash and Neil Morton was stumped for 31 off twelve balls.
There was a period of consolidation with Cooper Henderson and Shaun Perry putting together a partnership before Steve Kent was again in the action taking a sharp catch off the skipper’s bowling to send Henderson back to the virtual pavilion for 22 off 8.
Dave Cox had an immediate impact in the 8th over bowling Shaun Perry with a yorker with Bulldogs skipper Sam Perry getting a feather on one that carried through to Steve Kent behind the stumps who was having another good day with the gloves. The hat trick ball was negotiated but two balls later, Kent had another catch as Fletcher Morton was on his way for 1.
With the score at 7-130, the feeling was that the Bulldogs were still on track for a big score and despite wickets in each of the last two overs, the final score of 9-168 still looked to be enough. Earlier in the tour, against the highly fancied Cricket Library Podcast XI Riding Mill had posted 6-169 so they knew it was possible but would still require some clean striking to get them over the line.
This total looked even more imposing when danger man Scott Dickson was bowled by Will Morton on the final ball of the first over to have the visitors 1-13. Enter Dave Cox, a Kiwi import & new signing from Clara Vale to the crease dispatching 5 sixes from the first nine deliveries he faced.
The Bulldogs had no answers until skipper Sam Perry brought himself into the attack luring Rob Burns down the track and Todd Henderson completing a sharp stumping chance to send Burns on his way for 34 off 13.
Riding Mill skipper Aly Hall made his way to the middle joining in the fun with Cox in a 49 run stand before he fell LBW to Cooper Henderson. Meanwhile, Cox had raced past 50 and despite Iain Longstaff being caught behind for 6 off two deliveries, Riding Mill were still well on track for victory.
Joel Marks looked like a completely new man after his first ball duck in Dubbo, smashing 15 off just four deliveries including a towering six off Neil Morton’s bowling to win the game for Riding Mill.
Dave Cox finished unbeaten with a magnificent 74 from just 20 balls to go with his 3-6 with the ball earning the Kiwi player of the match honours.
Riding Mill team manager Brian Watson has been absolutely thrilled with the way the team has been performing on the tour so far saying,
“If you take out the narrow defeat to Dubbo CYMS we’ve had a great tour so far, we’ve rotated the playing staff and everyone’s stepped up to the plate, proud of the lads tonight.”
Next stop on the tour is virtual Auluba Oval in Sydney for a game against the Kissing Point Cricket Club followed by the picturesque virtual North Sydney Oval for the highly anticipated clash with the North Sydney Cricket Club team of the decade.
The Wagga Wagga RSL Bulldogs will host Riding Mill at the Virtual Wagga Cricket Ground in what should be an exciting contest this weekend.
The home side are fresh off an outdoor cricket season which brought home silverware in 4th Grade, u-12s and the Thunder Girls Cricket League.
First Grade Captain Sam Perry will lead the side in what will be a dice cricket debut for the majority of the squad. It will be interesting to see how they adapt to this format of the game particularly against the very experienced Riding Mill outfit coming off a narrow loss to Dubbo CYMS during the week.
In some massive news for the visitors, Aly Hall who was the hero in Dubbo claiming 4-5 including a hat trick to go with his powerful 46 off 17 balls takes over the captaincy in the absence of both Andy Watson and Liam James. Rumours on social media are suggesting he has been out doing fitness training since which is a sign he is well and truly focussed and leading by example.
Newcomer to the tour Joel Marks will be hoping to iron out the cobwebs and has been given another chance to impress despite a duck in Dubbo.
Despite the return of Iain Longstaff , Steve Kent retains the gloves after his fine display against Dubbo. Rob Burns will take his place in the side at the top of the order with Ben Smith also back in the XI and is expected to open the rolling. Lance Mallinson has been rotated out of the squad which has been part of the Riding Mill policy of managing player workloads on what is a month long tour.
Tune in to @CricketLibrary on Twitter from 6am Sunday in Australia and 9pm in the UK to follow along the action.
Dubbo CYMS have recorded a nail-biting one wicket win with just two rolls to spare in a dice cricket game for the ages at Virtual Victoria Park in Dubbo.
Riding Mill skipper Andy Watson won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on what looked to be a belter of a track at the home of cricket in Dubbo. Coming off wins against the Burrabadine XI and the highly fancied Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI the visitors were quietly confident of making it three from three against the hosts.
Heath Larance opened the attack for Dubbo CYMS, rolling out his cunning off breaks. With just the second delivery of the match it looked like a master stroke when key batsman Scott Dickson was struck on the pads but the umpire turned down the appeal much to the relief of Riding Mill camp.
Corey Suckling followed up with a tidy over and after a fumble from Hyde behind the stumps there was a mix up with the batsman and Hyde was able to effect the run out of Dave Cox who departed for 17.
The experienced Ben O’Donnell kept things tidy in the third over with another big appeal turned down when Dickson was struck on the pads on 8. Riding Mill finished the over steadily moving to 1-37 at the completion of the over.
Veteran Paul Suckling, who has been known to struggle with the occasional calf strain had been priming himself all week for this fixture. Despite the injury cloud, he was able to produce some of his finest work removing Liam James caught behind by Hyde who moved to his left taking a smart catch. Steve Kent from Riding Mill proceeded to hit the next delivery into the virtual tennis courts adjacent to the ground registering a maximum. This seemed to bring the best out of Suckling who removed Kent next ball skying one to cow corner straight down the throat of Gavin Weekes who made no mistake. Next ball, Hyde was again in the action behind the stumps taking his second catch to remove Ali Raza without scoring. Riding Mill were now in big trouble at 4-51.
After an over of consolidation, Aly Hall launched into Gavin Weekes, hitting one ball onto the virtual croquet green and the other landing in the virtual car park. Weekes bounced back though claiming two wickets in two balls to finish the over removing danger man Dickson for 17 thanks again to some smart work behind the stumps from Hyde and followed it up with a sharp caught and bowled chance to remove Joel Marks for 0.
Hall was still at the crease and posing some real problems for the CYMS attack. CYMS skipper Ben Knaggs was unable to break the partnership, however, with the final ball of Marty Nelson’s spell he re arranged the timber and had Cam Longstaff on his way back to the virtual pavilion for 4.
The following over Marty Nelson was in the action again, this time taking a one handed catch to his right when Aly Hall flayed at a pitched up delivery from Thomas Nelson skewing the ball to gully. It was the innings of the day to that point with Hall compiling a magnificent 46 off just 17 deliveries.
Kev Frazer got Riding Mill to a competitive total with some valuable runs in the last over finishing on 28 not out off just 7 deliveries. Good judges were feeling like it was perhaps a little under par given the scores we have seen so far on tour.
It didn’t take long for the Riding Mill bowlers to strike with Thomas Nelson dismissed in the first over of the CYMS innings for 0 with Steve Kent taking a great catch behind the stumps off the bowling of Lance Mallinson who set the tone with a very tidy first over.
Again Kev Frazer would make his mark on the game getting one through the dangerous Brock Larance who departed for 9. This left club president Marty Nelson and First Grade skipper Ben Knaggs with some work to do and they resurrected the innings with a mix of power hitting and smart running between the wickets.
The pair put on 67 before we witnessed one of the more incredible overs you will ever see in a game of dice cricket. Aly Hall was brought into the attack and claimed a hat trick with his first three deliveries. Marty Nelson was first to go, attempting a big cover drive which found the edge and went through to keeper Steve Kent who made no mistake. Gavin Weekes got a top edge to the next delivery with the safe hands of Steve Kent holding on to a tough chance. Peter Hyde made his way to the crease to face the hat trick ball which Hall dropped short with Hyde not able to get his gloves out of the way as Kent moved nicely to his left to take a screamer.
There would be more drama before the completion of the over with CYMS captain Ben Knaggs dismissed playing a full blooded cut shot which Cam Longstaff was somehow able to hold onto. Hall finished the over with the incredible figures of 4-5 and CYMS were now in serious danger of letting the game slip at 6-91 with just four overs remaining.
Ali Raza compounded the problems for the home side when he trapped Barber in front in the following over. Two balls later Ben O’Donnell was run out after he was sent back by Suckling who we believe was managing his reported calf injury. CYMS had now lost 6-14 in the space of two overs and the momentum was well and truly with the visitors.
Seasoned campaigner Paul Suckling was joined at the crease by his son Corey who is not unfamiliar with batting in pressure situations. The two steadied the ship with Corey rotating the strike nicely to give his Father the strike where possible.
At 8-131 going into the final over it was anyone’s game and things got very interesting when Dave Cox bowled Corey Suckling on the first ball of the over. Suckling was eying off the virtual cenotaph in the adjacent park but chose the wrong delivery to do so.
Heath Larance kept his nerve however, finishing the game off with a towering six which crashed into the virtual scoreboard and followed this up with a boundary and one of the slowest run threes in the history of dice cricket as Paul Suckling somehow managed to make it back for a third which sealed the victory.
Riding Mill will now look re group before heading south to Wagga Wagga for their match against the Wagga Wagga Bulldogs on the weekend.
The Riding Mill Cricket Club had an impeccable start to their virtual tour of Australia accounting for a Burrabadine XI and Cricket Library Podcast Invitational side boasting some very talented cricketers.
As announced last week, Brian Watson has moved into a managerial role to make way for Joel Marks who will be making his debut down under on Wednesday night. He is the only fresh face in the squad though there has been some astute rotation within the playing eleven to help with workload management on what is a month long tour.
Ali Raza, Andy Watson and Steve Kent all return for the clash against Dubbo CYMS with Steve Kent taking over behind the stumps in the absence of Iain Longstaff. Longstaff is expected to return on Saturday alongside Rob Burns and Ben Smith for the fixture against the Wagga Wagga RSL Bulldogs.
Scott Dickson will again be a key player for Riding Mill coming off a swashbuckling 67 off just 22 balls backed up by two wickets to help lead his team to victory.
Dubbo CYMS Cougars have named an XI including 5 players from their Whitney Cup Premiership winning side including key player and captain Ben Knaggs. It is also something of a family affair with three father and son combinations lining up for the Cougars.
In other tour news, we are hearing reports that discussions are underway between Riding Mill officials and Matt Ellis from the Cricket Library Podcast to determine if a rematch can be convened between the Cricket Library Podcast XI and Riding Mill.
We are lead to believe that after the loss on Sunday, the Cricket Library Podcast XI are currently taking part in a virtual boot camp in Hong Kong which may well be the perfect location for the tourists to stop over on their way back to the UK.
Sources close to the team are reporting that the training regime at the virtual boot camp has been compared to that of Rocky Balboa preparing to fight Ivan Drago in the cinematographic classic Rocky IV.
You can stay across all of the latest virtual tour news here as we look to keep you up to date with all of the key news as it unfolds.
Riding Mill have had an impeccable start to their virtual tour of Australia accounting for the hosts Burrabadine by 3 wickets in the opening fixture and backing it up with a 23 run blitz of the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI.
After some overnight rain, conditions were perfect for dice cricket and it was no surprise that when Burrabadine skipper Matt Fiction won the toss, he had no hesitation in batting first. It proved this may have been an error of judgement early on when opener Angus Norton was trapped in front for just one.
Ben Patterson blasted 28 from just 8 deliveries and was looking very dangerous before he departed to a smart catch from skipper Andy Watson off the bowling of Mallinson.
Hood, Seiffert and Kirk all made impressive 20s but no one was able to go on and make a big score with the innings closing at 9-155 from the hosts ten overs.
Riding Mill had the wobbles early in the run chase with off-spinner Elliott Diamond picking up two wickets in his only over.
However, Andy Watson and Ali Raza built a strong partnership and set things up beautifully before they were both dismissed by Ben Patterson making 37 and 23 respectively.
Kev Frazer and Lance Mallinson both held their nerve to see the visitors over the line with 3 balls to spare with Frazer finishing 26 not out off just 8 deliveries and Mallinson not wasting any time with a rapid fire 14 not out off just three balls.
The Riding Mill lads had no time to rest on their laurels with their next fixture getting underway against the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI.
Nina Stevens won the toss and opted to send Riding Mill in which was not looking like the best decision when the visitors charged to 0-43 off the first two overs. Gary Fisher was able to get the first breakthrough which helped to put the breaks on.
Scott Dickson was the star for Riding Mill setting the innings up with a scintillating 67 off just 22 balls before he fell to a smart catch behind the stumps by Tim Ludeman off the bowling of Tabbernor.
The skipper Nina Stevens brought herself on to bowl and found herself on a hat trick before Lance Mallinson took to the hat trick ball hitting it out of the virtual stadium for 6. He repeated the dose the following ball and finished with a very valuable 31 off just nine balls. A very imposing total of 6-169 had been set leaving the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI with the task of hitting 17 an over to win.
Riding Mill had been outstanding in the field in the opening fixture and this early tour form continued with Liam James and Cameron Longstaff both effecting run outs early on to have the home side on the ropes early.
Tim Ludeman and Nina Stevens consolidated the Cricket Library Podcast XI innings with Ludeman making a polished 52 off 19 balls before falling to Burns who also knocked over Nina Stevens for a blistering 30 off 9.
None of the other batters were able to get going and when Scott Dickson backed up his splendid work with the bat taking two for nine, the game was all but over. There was some tidy batting at the close from Gary Fisher and Nicola Browne but it was not enough to get their team over the line.
Riding Mill will hope to continue their good form when the tour continues later this week against Dubbo CYMS before heading south on the weekend to face off against the Wagga Wagga RSL Bulldogs.
Patron of the Cricket Countdown, Nina Stevens has been rewarded commitment to inspiring a love of cricket with the honour of being named captain of the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI for the historic dice cricket fixture with Riding Mill Cricket Club this weekend.
The Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI boasts International & First Class cricket experience with the likes of Daryl Tuffey, Tim Ludeman, Nicola Browne selected in the line up alongside some very seasoned club cricketers and podcast listeners.
While both sides boast plenty of talent, the Riding Mill team much more seasoned in dice cricket than the hosts. The big question will be how quickly the tourists can acclimatise and if there are any virtual jet lag related concerns for the squad.
The game will get underway at 7am on Sunday morning in Australia with fans in the UK following along at 10pm Saturday night.
You can learn more about Nina’s passion for cricket by listening to her interview on the Cricket Library Podcast last year.
In a last minute bid to strengthen their bowling stocks for the highly anticipated match against Riding Mill Cricket Club, the selectors have called former NZ International Nicola Browne into their XI. It is expected that she will take the new dice with fellow former Kiwi International Daryl Tuffey.
Nicola Browne was a seasoned campaigner for NZ playing across all three formats and having success with both ball and bat taking over 100 wickets for the White Ferns and scoring over two and a half thousand runs across her 181 game International career.
She is the final big name selection in the XI with the full line up to be announced very soon.
After much deliberation at the selection table, the Burrabadine XI has been finalised for the dice cricket virtual tour opener against Riding Mill Cricket Club. The side has not had the fanfare of the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI but boasts some high quality players.
Resident cricket librarian Matt Fiction who is best known for the highly popular Roadside Reviews segment will captain the side. He has a wealth of dice cricket experience that he will bring to the virtual table and is expected to lead the team with distinction.
One of the marquee signings is Andrew Ellis who we assured has been picked in the team on merit and not simply due to the fact that his brother hosts the Cricket Library Podcast. In fact there is some speculation he has a point to prove having being omitted from the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI.
Andrew is best known for his work making Ellis Guitars and feels more comfortable playing dice cricket as the chances of him injuring a precious strumming fingers are greatly reduced.
The tour is gaining momentum rapidly and all and sundry are eagerly anticipating the opening fixture at 6am Sunday morning in Australia and 9pm (GMT) in the UK.