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Harvey-Benger Cricket Club begins 2023-24 BDCA season with dual wins in senior grade competition

Rowan MorrisonHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey-Benger Cricket Club's second grade team for 2023-24.
Camera IconHarvey-Benger Cricket Club's second grade team for 2023-24. Credit: Harvey-Benger Cricket Club/Supplied/Supplied

Harvey-Benger Cricket Club have started their 2023-24 campaign in the Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association in perfect fashion, with both seniors men’s sides registering round one victories.

Before the season, second grade captain Anton Fimmano was excited about the upcoming season.

“We’ve seen fantastic numbers at training and I’m expecting a lot of growth from the team this year. This season is a great opportunity for us,” he said.

Harvey-Benger fourth grade captain Rowan Morrison and second grade captain Anton Fimmano at the club's season launch.
Camera IconHarvey-Benger fourth grade captain Rowan Morrison and second grade captain Anton Fimmano at the club's season launch. Credit: Harvey-Benger Cricket Club/Supplied

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It was a sentiment echoed by returning fourth grade captain Rowan Morrison.

“I’m excited at the direction the club has chosen to take, involving more of the juniors players in the senior teams,” he said.

“Obviously the potential for a three-peat is motivating too!”

In the opening weekend of matches, Harvey-Benger’s second grade side recorded a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Leschenault at Leschenault Recreation Park on Saturday.

After captain Anton Fimmano lost the toss, the side found themselves in the field.

Brandon Hughes-Philpott set the tone early. The bustling left arm quick from Caverswall Cricket Club in Stoke was unlucky in not making a breakthrough, finishing with 0/15 from nine overs.

He was ably supported by young up and coming seamer Joryn Scarlett-Fucile (2/27) who made two early breakthroughs including that of the impressive Nico Le-Roux.

Matt Chave (1/16 off nine overs) and Francois Roelofsz backed up the good work by the openers and restricted the scoring whilst also taking crucial wickets. Roelofsz finished as the pick of the bowlers with 3-23 from his allotted nine overs.

Mahdi Saleem (2/14) from Downend Cricket Club in Bristol combined well with Matt Cooke to clean up the tail to see Leschenault bowled out for 139.

In reply, Harvey-Benger started reasonably well until Fimmano was dismissed for three. Saleem came to the wicket his first innings in Australia and was able to put together a solid 40-run partnership with Haydn Jones before he eventually holed out on the boundary for a well compiled 27.

Chave and Jones came together and were in complete control with a 70-run partnership to see Harvey-Benger home with a bonus point victory. Jones was the pick of the batters with 64 not out alongside Chave with 25 not out.

The second grade team host Donnybrook next Saturday in their first home game of the season.

Harvey-Benger’s fourth grade side were also victorious on Saturday, defeating Leschenault by 20 runs at the Harvey Recreation Ground.

Julian Frederiksen, Eli Underdown, and Brady Oxford played with the fourth grade seniors team on Saturday.
Camera IconJulian Frederiksen, Eli Underdown, and Brady Oxford played with the fourth grade seniors team on Saturday. Credit: Harvey-Benger Cricket Club/Supplied

Winning the toss and electing to bat, Harvey-Benger began cautiously. Captain and opening batter Rowan Morrison (42) anchored the innings, combining with club legend Matthew Oxford (19) to create a platform to build from.

After the loss of several quick wickets, the big hitting Rob Fitzgerald came to the rescue. Fitzgerald blasted 50 not out from just 21 balls to guide the home team to 158.

In reply, Leschenault lost four quick wickets to start their innings. Opening bowlers Fitzgerald (2/13) and David Cooper (2/20) both did the damage in the early stages.

After losing their first seven wickets for less than 50 runs, Leschenault responded with a partnership between Ben Nunn (30) and Jordan Harrison (38) that saw the score reach 120.

The partnership was broken by a moment of inspiration from Scott Fowler, creating a between the legs run out off his own bowling.

Blain McCavanagh (2/36) finished the Leschenault innings off with a fine caught and bowled effort to wrap up the victory.

The side will look to make it two from two when they play away from home at Dardanup next weekend.

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