Roaring return to form helps Lions take win

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
Anil Sharma skies the ball over point at the tail end of the Baynton Lions' innings.
Camera IconAnil Sharma skies the ball over point at the tail end of the Baynton Lions' innings. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

A return to form for master blaster Muhammad Khan guided the Baynton Lions to their first win of the season over the Pegs Creek Crabs at the weekend.

Having returned scores of 29, 27, 0 and 2 so far in the 40-over season, Khan made a destructive return to form at the Leisureplex, belting 84 runs in humid conditions on Saturday night.

The keeper-bastman came in with his side in trouble, having lost 3-26, and batted well with the middle order to steady the ship.

Muhammad Khan was back to his destructive best on the way to 84 for the Lions.
Camera IconMuhammad Khan was back to his destructive best on the way to 84 for the Lions. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

Crabs bowler Craig Ryan (3-40) took three early wickets to gain the upper hand, but Khan’s heavy hitting and a late cameo from IS Arandara (36) helped build a competitive 217-run target.

The Crabs got off to a good start as openers Grant Butler (30) and Daniel Carse (8) looked to get things moving quickly.

That aggressive mindset proved their undoing though, as Butler fell to a superb outfield catch, then Carse followed after nicking one behind off Sanjay Yadav (3-43).

Pegs Creek Crabs spinner Daniel Carse.
Camera IconPegs Creek Crabs spinner Daniel Carse.

From there it was a tight wrestle as every middle-order batsman made a start, but none could go on to guide the Crabs home.

The final three wickets fell cheaply to see the Crabs all out for 170 in the 37th over.

Shazhad Gondal recorded his best bowling figures of 4-28, including the scalp of Harrison Attard (27) just as he started to look like he could steal victory from the Lions.

It was a similar script for the Dampier Taverners, who defeated Wickham at Windy Ridge thanks to an undefeated third-wicket partnership.

IS Arandara nabs an overhead catch to dismiss Crabs opener Grant Butler.
Camera IconIS Arandara nabs an overhead catch to dismiss Crabs opener Grant Butler.

Wickham won the toss and opted to bat first, setting 172 off their 40 overs.

James O’Brien claimed 3-15 in his first 40-over match, while Daniel Harding (2-22) and David Letts (2-29) bagged two wickets each.

After losing their first two wickets for 42, Bradley Goes (63no) was joined at the crease by skipper Nathaniel Kett (59no).

Like Khan, Goes had failed to make a big impact in the 40-over comp to date, but with Kett the pair piled on 131 to take the match inside 32 overs.

Crabs first drop Jordan Perkusich looks to hit Lokendra Ranawat through the covers.
Camera IconCrabs first drop Jordan Perkusich looks to hit Lokendra Ranawat through the covers.

Wickham’s loss means the Karratha Kats hold on at the top of the table.

The Kats defended 213 against the Rec Club in a 20-over match, shortened because of concerns over car lights at the Baynton oval.

The Taverners move up to third and with three rounds left, both the Rec Club and Lions’ seasons are still alive if they can notch a few more wins.

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