ON a day that belonged to the bowlers it was the Dubbo lineup who proved too strong, beating hosts Bathurst by four wickets in Sunday’s Western Zone Premier League opening round meeting.
Bathurst’s representative season got off to a poor start at Scots when they won the toss but were rolled for just 112 runs.
Dubbo had some hiccups in their chase but, led by Ben Patterson’s 46 runs, they never looked unsteady as they chased the total down with more than 17 overs to spare.
Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi had spoken about the need to avoid a “sluggish” start in the lead up to the game but unfortunately his team couldn’t overcome that tendency.
“There was some pretty ordinary batting. There was a little bit in the wicket, but both teams batted on it. It’s early in the season and we just weren’t focused enough,” he said.
“When you make a mistake with the bat you’re out and you can’t go again. When you make a mistake with the ball you get to bowl again.
“There’s still positives to take away from it even though we didn’t play our best cricket. A few blokes got starts but just didn’t go on with them.”
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Bathurst were in trouble when they lost their first two wickets for just three runs.
Qureshi (11) arrived at the crease with Adam Ryan (27) and the pair worked together to try and stabilise the hosts’ innings.
When Ryan mistimed a shot down the ground and pushed the ball straight to Tom Atlee at mid on it triggered a mini collapse.
Bathurst fell from 4-55 to 7-76 due to a mixture of impatience and poor running between the wickets.
Imran Qureshi (17) and Sam Macpherson (20) had promising moments but couldn’t go on to build significant stands.
Trent Smith led the way with the ball for Dubbo taking 3-27 off six overs.
Dubbo were more impressive in their start with the bat.
Corey McDean (27) and Brock Larance (12) may not have produced earth shattering totals but they provided a far more steady start than what the hosts went through.
Steve Skinner (3) and Tom Nelson’s (0) quick dismissals gave Bathurst some hope but that was snuffed out once Patterson arrived on the scene.
Patterson would be the last Dubbo batsman dismissed, leaving the chase at 6-103 and with the result virtually secured.
His innings included four sixes.
Nic Broes (2-25), Ben Mitchell (2-32) and Matt Stpehen (2-33) shared the wickets evenly between themselves.
It’s a repeat of last season’s opening round result where Dubbo proved too good for Bathurst.
Both clubs enter the competition as defending champions after last year’s grand final ended in a tie.
“We’ve been notoriously slow starters so we have to do something to try and fix that,” Qureshi said.
“I’m not too worried about what Dubbo did today. I still feel that there’s positives for us to take out of it.”
Bathurst’s next WZPL game will be away to Parkes on Novemeber 18. Dubbo plays host to Orange on the same day.
Next match for Bathurst will be their Presidents Cup contest with Blue Mountains on November 11.