By Jonty Ralphsmith
Parkfield skipper Stephen Cannon has helped give his side the upper hand against Parkmore at Frederick Wachter Reserve.
Parkmore found scoring difficult all day against the visitors, bowled out for 157 off 78 overs after the visitors boldly chose to bowl first on a typically docile deck.
The decision paid off, with runs difficult to come by as the bowling attack extracted spice, particularly before tea.
Cannon, bowling in tandem with seamer Sanjay Kahawatte, bamboozled the Pirates batters during a 14-over spell of 3/30 either side of the first drinks break.
With clouds overhead bringing movement into the game, Cannon beat Pirates opener Kyle Gwynne with his first two deliveries after the opener absorbed the opening spell reasonably comfortably.
The following over, he found Ammar Bajwa’s leading edge, Roshane Cooray lunging forward to take a one-handed blinder at mid off.
“It was absolutely sensational,” Cannon said of the catch.
“He was never going to get there.
“And I was like ‘that would be right, Bajwa gets a chance, he can potentially take the game away from us now’ and there’s a big dive, his hand snuck under the ball.
“You just saw his hand gliding on the grass,
“It was an absolute screamer.”
Later that over, Theekshana Hettiarachchi got off the mark with an edge between slip and gully as Cannon’s hand grenades proved unplayable.
Two of Cannon’s wickets came from batters trying to hit against the swing and seam.
“I got it to swing and it was seaming away as well so, with that in mind and knowing the situation they were in, we just put three slips in and a catching cover,” Cannon said.
“An 8-1 field asked them to hit against the swing and seam.
“That was the plan and to always be on a length, (asking batters) ‘are you driving, are you not’.”
With Kahawatte keeping it tight at the other end, the bowling partnership offered no easy scoring opportunities, save for the occasional short ball that sat up in the wicket.
The ground-fielding backed up the strong bowling which brought energy in the field, with just 38 runs conceded in the first 24 overs.
Cannon got Hettiarachchi with the first ball after drinks and it was a procession of dismissals until tea as the bowlers continued to pop it off a good length.
The usually free-scoring Jaime Brohier was the only batter to show resistance, digging in for 53, but he too was the victim of excellent fielding.
After being dotted up and spending plenty of time at the non-striker’s end during a 10-over period, he took on Travis D’Souza’s arm and came off second best, run out for 53.
Kahawatte continued to impress with the ball, finishing with 3/24 off 14.4 overs against the breeze as batters looked to relieve pressure against his disciplined lines, while D’Souza’s flight netted him two wickets.