All-rounder Koskela plays key role for Cavaliers
By Adam Hicks firstname.lastname@example.org WES KOSKELA scored 84 runs and snared four wickets to help Casino Cavaliers to a four-wicket victory in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League semi-final against Southern Districts at Oakes Oval, Lismore, at the weekend.
The Cavaliers won the toss and bowled Souths out for 230 on a Saturday pitch, moist from over-night rain.
Umpires postponed the match for 45 minutes after opener Anthony Nind was hit in the cheek in the third over.
Nind required four stitches but came back to post 24. Richard Nind managed 48 and Paul McLean top scored with 75 before they both fell to the bowling of Koskela.
Al Nowlan chimed in with 3-47 and Mark Mison claimed 2-51 as Souths' last five wickets fell for 50.
A left-arm orthodox spinner, Koskela also took two catches at first slip to add to his figures of 4-49 from his 19-straight overs.
In reply, Casino openers Myles McDowell and Trent Bennet combined for a 79-run partnership before off-spinner McLean captured both wickets.
That brought Koskela and Sam Irvine to the crease who combined for a match-winning 124-run partnership.
Casino lost six wickets en route to 231 with Irvine posting 52, McDowell 42 and Bennett 38.
Craig Bateman took 2-29 and Jake Nind captured 2-37. Casino captain Mal Hancock said it was a good reverse in form for the Cavaliers' top order which had failed in their past two matches.
"We were expecting to chase 300, but the pitch had a bit in it so 230 was a pretty good score," Hancock said.
"They (top order) were due for a turn around in fortune. Their ability was never in question they just had a couple of bad weeks.
"Wes was a standout this weekend. He had a top innings today but especially with his bowling.
"Richard and Paul batted well and got through the new ball and laid the foundations for a big score and Wes got them both and came back through the middle order."
Hancock also said the team's enthusiasm at mid-week training showed in the field.
"We were a bit more enthusiastic at training and had a good hit out through the week," he said.
"We held most of our chances. We put one down but held the rest and that had been a problem through the year.
"Winning the toss was certainly a big influence on the game.
"I don't think anyone was keen on batting first. We were going to send them in no matter what and I'm pretty sure they would've opted to bowl."