2nd Grade all-rounder Nick Bonner erupted back into form on Saturday, putting his 5 ducks for the season well behind him with a thrilling last ball century. 2nds captain Brodie Elliott reports.
By Brodie Elliott
A scintillating last ball of the day century from Nick Bonner has seen Collaroy 2nd Grade well set in their two dayer at Cromer Park against Cromer. Captain Brodie Elliott won the toss in hot and dry conditions and did not hesitate in electing to bat. With a breeze picking up across the oval the Cromer opening bowlers made early inroads into the Collaroy top order, having the top 3 for just 30 runs.
However, a stabilising partnership from Ryan Dunn and Kavin Moorthi valued at 56 brought the game back into the balance. Second drop Dunny found himself at the crease in the 6th over and was able to adapt into more of an openers role as he dug in for 30 overs and made 28 runs. He was joined by Kavin in the 15th over who played a controlled yet attacking innings, waiting for overpitched deliveries to smack back over the bowlers’ heads and short pitched to pull to the leg side boundaries. He was out undeservingly 5 runs short of his half century but along with Ryan set a solid base for the rest of the middle and lower order to flourish.
With the departure of Moorthi and Dunn, Sam Steindl and Nick Bonner joined in the middle and saw 2nds to tea with the score at 5-105. The game felt in the balance with most of the team agreeing a score of 180 would be par on the ground. Continuing after the tea the boys got to it. Sam Steindl made a solid contribution with a return to form posting a score of 22 but was out 6 overs after tea caught at midwicket. Bonner at this stage was beginning to find the middle of the bat and transitioned into one of his ridiculously destructive moods. His only problem was going to be finding a partner at the other end which was solved when Harrison ‘Flaffy’ Dunn strode out to the middle with the score at 7-163.
The pair combined for one of the best partnerships of the year, posting 95 from the last 20 overs of the day. Flaffy worked hard to get the destructive Bonner back on strike as 2nds looked to up the run rate, hitting some nice shots of his own and finishing 21 not out at stumps. However, it was Nick Bonner who stole the show for the day as he bared no remorse in ‘clubbing’ the tiring Cromer bowling to all parts of the ground and racing past his half century. As the onslaught continued it became apparent that Bonner was a possibility of reaching triple figures. But, time was running out in the day’s play, the equation eventually reaching 17 runs in the last 5 minutes.
This practically left two overs for Bonner to make the runs he needed and this looked unlikely when he hit a single off the first delivery from the second last over of the day. Faffer then was bowled two widish yet questionably legal deliveries preventing him from getting bat to ball and Bonner back on strike. The next ball the pair ran a quick bye, which allowed Bonner to pull a ball for 4 the next delivery. Credit to the current scorer at the time, Tom Carden, who dropped the scorebook as the ball rolled across the boundary and raced 40 gut wrenching meters to retrieve the ball and throw it back in to the field of play. This ensured that another over would be bowled before 5:30pm as Bonner took a single from the final delivery of the second last over, leaving him 11 runs short of his ton.
Bonner took two 2s of the first two deliveries of the last over. However, things looked bleak as he was unable to get bat to the next two deliveries, leaving the equation at 7 off 2 balls. A cheer then erupted from the watching Collaroy 2nds camp as Bonner smacked a 6 over midwicket leaving him 1 run to get on the final delivery of the day. The whole field came in to put pressure on the quick single. Bonner though was able to push the final delivery right of mid-on to scamper through for a quick single and raise the bat for his 2nd century to the delight of the team!
This left the score 7-258 with 2nds declaring and set to hit the field next weekend, looking to make quick inroads into the Cromer top order. Report on the conclusion of this match to come next week. Congratulations to Nick Bonner on his second century for the club! With runs now to his name for the season, the nickname ‘Ducky’ maybe more likely alleviated by the lower order hitter.