The Tasmanian Under 17 squad has endured a difficult opening to its National Championship campaign on the Sunshine Coast.
Winning the toss and electing to bat against NSW Metro in their first game of the tournament on Monday, Tasmania compiled 9-170 from their 50 overs.
Lewis Drury led the way with 46 at the top of the order and was ably supported by Joshua Henley who hit 38.
NSW Metro’s batsmen fired in reply, chasing down the total with 13.4 overs to spare. Samuel O’Mahony, William Collins and Samuel Lewis-Johnson all picked up a wicket for Tasmania.
In their second match, the Tasmanian side lost the toss and bowled first against the CA XI yesterday. The top order batsman of the CA XI got off to a flying start and were 1-110 after just 13 overs.
Staring down the barrel of a big total, Tasmania’s bowlers mounted a fightback in the second half of the inning - taking the last eight wickets for just 67 runs to restrict CA XI's total to 271.
Caedance Kuepper was the pick of the bowlers with 4-37, with Lewis-Johnson (2-24), Caleb Oakes (1-28), Henley (1-37) and O’Mahony (1-55) also claiming wickets.
Deteriorating pitch conditions meant Tasmania struggled to keep wickets in hand early in their run chase, eventually bowled out for 135.
Lewis Drury was again prominent with the bat, top-scoring with 35. Mitchell Owen also contributed 22 runs before the innings came to a close in the 37th over.
Cricket Tasmania Talent Manager Ben Rohrer said it was a learning curve for Tasmania’s young players.
“It was a tough day for the lads. The wicket got slower and lower throughout the day and unfortunately we couldn’t take full advantage of the new ball,” he said.
“Hopefully it was a good learning experience for the boys as they were shown how to bowl on those types of wickets.”
Rohrer said despite the loss, there were some individual performances from Tasmanian players attracting attention from other teams.
“The big win for the day was the bowling of our three spinners (Collins, Kuepper and Curran), with all three being spoken about by other teams,” he said.
Tasmania’s squad will enjoy a day off today, before taking on South Australia tomorrow which have had a win and a loss through its first two games of the Championship.
You can follow the Under 17 National Championships at www.nationalchamps.com.au.