Superb 7/50: Brothers in box seat for final win
CRICKET: A career-best 7/50 by Brothers bowler Chris Smith has given his team a comfortable foundation to launch for victory in the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association first division grand final.
Smith's accurate line and length deliveries helped dismiss minor premiers Laidley for 153 late this afternoon at Baxter Oval, after Brothers had earlier made 280.
Brothers wicketkeeper and loyal clubman Luke Dixon top scored with a patient knock of 77 off 134 balls to help his team to what appears a competitive first innings total.
Brothers finished the day with a lead of 129 runs and having nine wickets in hand after losing opener Michael Ridgewell for two.
Ridgewell was trapped lbw by Laidley spearhead Ben Gibson during the testing four overs Brothers had to survive to complete the second day's play.
However, it was the spell of Smith which set up Brothers' commanding position heading into the second weekend of the four-day final.
The former Ipswich Logan Hornets cricketer collected seven wickets a week after he snared six scalps for Brothers in their hard-fought semi-final win over defending premiers Centrals.
"That's the best of my career,'' Smith said of his latest effort with the ball. "They were coming out all right.
"I was just trying to bowl full.
"After the new ball got scruffed up, it started swinging both ways so I just used that to my advantage.''
Having played cricket for 20 years, he praised the fielding and catching of his Brothers teammates for contributing to his impressive tally.
Among the superb catches was a diving effort by Dixon to dismiss Gibson for a duck as Brothers took charge of the game.
"Shardie (club stalwart Mark Sharrad) took a cracker too,'' Smith said.
"We held our catches. That's why I reckon we hauled in these big guns.
"Everyone chipped in. You can't really take wickets just that one end.
"Richo (captain David Richardson) bowled tight.''
Smith has found his best form at the right time, having missed the early one-day games for Brothers.
Laidley's top five all reached 20 without anyone digging in to match the earlier commitment of Brothers' batsmen Dixon, Mitch Weatherhead (63 of 183 balls) and Taylor Peach (40 off 51 balls).
Smith said the 127 run first innings lead was handy.
"That ended up being a good first innings total,'' Smith said ready to enjoy a well deserved cold drink. "Hopefully we can pile on a few on Saturday and bowl them out.
"Don't let them off - that's the plan. Don't give them a sniff.''
In the Second Division grand final at Walker Oval, South East Redbacks have a 52 run lead heading into the second weekend of play.
The Redbacks were bowled out for 188 in 50.3 overs before Laidley made 221 at Ray Walker Oval today.
Batting a second time, the Redbacks reached 3/85 at stumps.
Laidley won the opening Third Division final by 52 runs on Saturday to lead the series 1-0.
After posting 164, Laidley bowled out Redbacks White for 112 in 29.5 overs. Josh Dean snared 4/31.
Fassifern won the their opening game of the Fourth Division grand final. Fassifern dismissed Springfield for 109 before losing five wickets in their successful run chase.