Forestry back in the game as reigning premiers take down Manjimup by 10 runs

Braden GibelliniManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Forestry's Mat Johnston swings hard at the ball.
Camera IconForestry's Mat Johnston swings hard at the ball. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Reigning premiers Forestry recovered from an opening round loss to bounce back with a 10-run win over Manjimup at the weekend.

As the grey clouds loomed over Collier Park and threatened to halt play throughout the day, Forestry won the toss and elected to bat.

With the elite running pair of Sam Vellios (21) and Mat Johnston (48) the home team got off to a great start against some impressive line bowling from Dan Jones and Dane Raper.

Manjimup's Dane Raper takes his run up.
Camera IconManjimup's Dane Raper takes his run up. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

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Rain halted play for half an hour and when the game got under way it was restricted to a 40-over match with a maximum of eight overs per bowler.

The stop in play produced huge dividends for Manjimup, with captain Joe Parkinson (2-46) coming on to bowl and removing Vellios in his first over.

Duncan Wells (33) came to the crease, playing shots all over the park before holing out to the bowling of massive summer addition Ben Lagana (1-31).

Manjimup's Ben Lagana took one wicket .
Camera IconManjimup's Ben Lagana took one wicket . Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Some lower order hitting from big recruit Connor Ipsen (32) moved their total past 130.

Shaun Hodgson (10) then joined Johnston at the crease and appeared to be batting for rain as he faced a mountain of dot balls.

When he tried to up the tempo, a tight run saw the end of a great innings by Johnston with the home side finishing up 6-170.

Following a short rain delay, the game restarted.

Some fantastic bowling from the big quicks Ipsen (1-11) and Kayne Aitken (1-11) put Manjimup on the back foot.

When Aitken removed Lagana first ball the home team looked to be well in control of the innings.

Braden Gibellini (3-21) and Wells (3-53) continued to put pressure on Manjimup before the massive partnership of Raper (29) and Cameron Harris (55 not out) got the game back on track.

Rain looked set yet again to cause an end to a fantastic game of cricket but a long discussion between umpire Anthony Stubberfield and the two captains Kallan Fall and Parkinson guaranteed there would be a result.

With 55 runs needed off five overs it was looking like Manjimup would get across the line after some massive striking from Harris.

Man of the match Johnston (0-22) bowled an unplayable over in the 39th going for just two runs, leaving Hodgson (0-40) 21 runs to play with in the last over, which was still a big ask.

Some electric fielding by first gamer Ben Farquhar in the last saw Forestry emerge winners by 10 runs — a great example of the “spirit of cricket”.

Next week Manjimup look ahead to face Bridgetown in Bridgetown, whilst Forestry are up against an in form Northcliffe at Collier Park.

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