ATW rules as Brothers collapse
BROTHERS paceman Matt Turich bowled his heart out, claiming five wickets from a marathon 32 overs on day one of their Bundaberg Division 1 two-day clash with Across The Waves (ATW) on Saturday.
But ATW, who lead Brothers by 13.02 points on the ladder, again showed why they are favourites to complete back-to-back titles, batting out their 85 overs to finish at 9-280 and ensure they will retain No. 1 position even if the Brethren do beat them on the first innings.
It was the "same old story" for Norths in the other top grade match of the round, doing well to bowl Country/Wests out for 197 but then crashing to 5-75 in reply.
ATW started badly, with Turich dismissing Callum Stitt on the fourth ball of the innings, then Ian Botha bowling the big hitting Sean Stuchbery to reduce them to 2-11.
But Brothers' problems started when Botha suffered a hamstring injury in his next over, forcing him off the field, and they fielded for the next two hours with just 10 men.
However in perfect batting conditions, ATW's depth came to the fore, led by in-form first drop Brendan Prossliner, who again oozed class before being bowled by Turich for 79, falling short when seemingly set for a century for the second week in a row.
Numbers four Curtis Janke and five, Australian schools representative, Matt Fulton dug in for 39 and 50 respectively, but both fell to Turich, who also bowled No. 6 Matt Gavin.
Brothers captain and spinner David Boge, who sent down 31 overs, claimed the next three wickets to have ATW at 9-248 after a collapse of 6-64.
But No. 7 Shaune Achurch and tail-ender Mitchell Waters frustrated Brothers for the last 15 overs, adding a valuable extra 32 runs, with Achurch the dominator in his unconquered 45.
Against ATW's much-vaunted attack, Brothers will have to bat very well if they are to be a chance when the match concludes this Saturday but Boge said they were very capable of achieving victory if the pitch conditions were the same.
Meanwhile, Country's top five gave them a solid foundation with Scott Irwin (22), captain Phil Proctor (35), Steven Nichols (17), Daniel Faulkner (22) and a vintage Andrew Gear (64) all among the runs.
But their bottom order surrendered meekly and a collapse of 7-39 left them vulnerable.
Seamer David Randall claimed the first three wickets for Norths but opener Paul Jagger continued his fine form, being the pick of the bowlers with 3-43.
But batting has been Norths' achilles heel all season, and they again struggled, with Shaun Rose their only top order batsman remaining after Gear also struck twice with the ball.