Manager-Coach of the Riverland team at this week’s annual SAPSASA Cricket Carnival Peter Safralidis said before he left for Adelaide that some of his lads were really ‘only starting to learn the game’ so he would have been pleased with the improvement shown by the team over the opening two days.

Day one was tough with Riverland confronted by a strong Barker side that boasted some SAPSASA players and seven with experience with Adelaide District clubs.

In the field to start Riverland bowled and fielded well to restrict Barker to 180 but the effort was not matched with the bat and the reply was disappointing at 48 against some excellent swing and spin bowling.

Stuart Liebich with 2 wickets for 10 runs and a defiant 4 runs from 13 overs at the crease was Riverland’s Man Of The Match. Kade Hilton captured 1/9 from 5 accurate overs while Caleb Crook topscored with 10 and Tyler Hobby also put up stubborn resistance batting 18 overs for 4 runs.

On day two, despite being put in to bat on a wet wicket, Riverland put in a much improved display against Onkaparinga North and in fact was in a winning position until the opponent’s lower order batsmen dug in and got their side home with two wickets in hand.

With the ball seaming about in the wet conditions early in the day Riverland collapsed to 6 for 37 after 20 overs despite Caleb Crook’s fighting 18. Streyaz Mahajan and Lachlan Nitschke then steadied the ship somewhat with a 33 run partnership and a quick fire 20 from Riley Herbert and 11 from Stuart Liebich followed to put the final total at 93.

And that was nearlt enough to snatch victory.

With Riverland showing great enthusiasm in the field and with good catching and bowling Onkaparinga North also collapsed to be 5/25 and then two run outs by Riley Herbert and Mitch Foulds and another wicket sent the score to 8/68. However despite the best efforts of the Riverland side the tailenders held on to win the game for ON by the two wickets.

Kade Hilton again bowled well for 2 for 6 but the star of the Riverland attack was Lachlan Nitschke ,who from 5.1 overs, captured 5 for 18.

Add his excellent, run saving display, in the outfield an Lachlan was a worthy Man Of The Match.