Hemming Heroics Buoy Kookas
Sunday January 11, 2009
IT WAS not quite on the same scale as South African captain Graeme Smith, but Toronto batsman Jeff Hemming showed similar courage to lead the Kookaburras to a crucial win against Merewether at Townson Oval yesterday.Smith stunned cricket fans when he batted with a broken hand and injured elbow in a failed attempt to save the Third Test against Australia last week.Hemming's injury was not as severe, but he did what Smith couldn't and got the Kookaburras home. They are now on top of the table.The former NSW Country wicketkeeper retired hurt before he had scored on the first day after injuring his calf running between wickets.Chasing 185, Toronto were 4-105 at stumps and Hemming was not expected to feature when play resumed yesterday.But the resilient strokemaker came to the crease with the aid of runner at the fall of the first wicket and was unbeaten on 47 when the Kookaburras claimed first-innings points eight wickets down.Neil Crittenden (3-50) and stand-in skipper Graeme White (3-52) were the chief destroyers for an under-strength Merewether.The win moved Toronto to 27 points and above Merewether (25 points) and Stockton (24), who were shock losers to Charlestown at Lynn Oval.Steve Mace produced a wonderful captain's knock as Charlestown recovered from 3-9 to chase down the home side's 255. Mace and wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Macourt combined in 123-run partnership for the fourth wicket.Macourt made a well-compiled 67 which included 11 fours and a six, while his skipper was more subdued and faced 198 balls for his 91 (12 fours) before being trapped lbw by Darren Whittingham.He went with the score at 6-212, but Jwalit Shah got the visitors home, surviving a chance on the way to a quick-fire 41.Whittingham was the stand-out for Stockton, blazing a century before snaring 6-78 from 26.2 overs.Daniel Odd blasted a brilliant century to steer University to a thrilling win against Cardiff-Boolaroo at University Oval.Set 195, Odd strode to the crease with the Students at 3-42. He smashed five sixes and seven fours in a match-turning 116.With victory in sight, he fell to Paul Coleman, leaving the Students needing three runs with a wicket in hand. Matt Ireland (13 not out) hit the winning runs in the next over.Waratah-Mayfield (72 and 9-283) produced a defiant second innings to deny Belmont (7 dec 205) maximum points at Waratah Oval.Tim Rayner (54 not out), Miles Cook (45), Bradley Burtenshaw (41) and Joe Wenta (36) were mainstays for Waratah.Rhys Soper smashed a whirlwind 44 to lead Hamilton-Wickham (134 and 6-95) to an outright win against Wallsend (110 and 117) at Wallsend No 1 Oval.West (197) rolled Newcastle City for 73 in the first innings but had to be content with first-innings points.Trent Nash (5-20) and Paul Lojszczyk (4-11) did the damage early for the Tahs. Joe Kirk (89), Damien Jones (44) and Rob Vitnell (42) made the most of a second chance to bat to steer City to 7-270.