Sport

ACT Premier Cricket: Grand final evenly poised with Weston Creek striking late on day one

Weston Creek Molonglo claimed the key wicket of Wests/UC opener Matt Gilkes 10 minutes before stumps on the opening day of the Douglas Cup final to leave the match evenly poised.

Wests/UC will resume on Sunday at 3-104 with captain Joe Cooke 38 not out and Adam Hewitt yet to score, needing another 142 runs to claim the first innings lead in the three-day clash.

Gilkes batted superbly to reach 51 before Sam Taylor held a sharp catch at point off the bowling of leg-spinner Mac Wright (1-4) late on Saturday afternoon at Chisholm Oval.

Earlier, Harry Medhurst belted 98 off just 94 balls and shared a last wicket partnership of 62 to spark a lower-order revival and help Creek post a competitive total of 245.

Sam Skelly (3-52), Ben Oakley (3-54) and Ethan Bartlett (2-48) combined to slow Creek down after opener Blake Dean (57 off 47 balls) got them off to a flyer.

"We've still got a lot ahead of us and they've got a good bowling line-up, it's definitely very even," Oakley said.

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"Blake's a very dangerous batsman at the top of the order, he's got us a couple times.

"He batted very well and fortunately for us we were able to take his wicket and drag things back from there."

Dean and Corey Ryan (34) gave Creek a solid platform with a 76-run opening partnership before Wests/UC started to make in-roads.

Medhurst came to the crease with Creek at 5-121, but continued to play his natural game despite wickets falling at the other end.

He fell just two runs short of a much-deserved century with Oakley picking up his wicket to end the innings.

"That doesn't bother me to be honest, it was all about scoring runs for the team," Medhurst said.

"I trust all our batters, even Djali (Bloomfield) at No.11, so we were able to keep putting pressure on them.

"There was a fair bit of (movement) in the pitch. The boys played well early on and stuck it out.

"We just played a few silly shots."

Wests/UC made a nervous start to their run chase with veteran batsman Darren Richards dismissed in the first over for a second-ball duck off Bloomfield (1-17).

Medhurst (1-34) knocked over Blake MacDonald for 12 to have Wests/UC in trouble at 2-29 before Gilkes and Cooke steadied the ship with a 69-run partnership for the third wicket.

Wright struck late in the day to coax a false shot out of Gilkes after the teenager showed terrific poise to reach his half-century.

"It was a really good innings and he showed a lot of maturity, just a little bit unlucky not to put the bad ball away," Oakley said.

"That's cricket, he'll learn from it.

"We'll go into tomorrow morning on a level playing field."

DOUGLAS CUP GRAND FINAL: Weston Creek Molonglo 245 (H Medhurst 98, B Dean 57; S Skelly 3-52, B Oakley 3-54) v Wests/UC 3-104 (M Gilkes 51) at Chisholm Oval. Play resumes at 11am on Sunday.

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