Lithgow fall to Bathurst in home Presidents Cup clash

Lithgow's Mick Hutchinson opened the innings with a patient 23 on a bowler-friendly wicket but ultimately his side fell to Bathurst by five wickets. Picture: HOSEA LUY
Lithgow's Mick Hutchinson opened the innings with a patient 23 on a bowler-friendly wicket but ultimately his side fell to Bathurst by five wickets. Picture: HOSEA LUY

Lithgow fell to their second loss of this season’s Presidents Cup campaign against Bathurst on Sunday at Tony Luchetti.

The home side set Bathurst 146 to win on a bowler-friendly wicket and it wasn’t enough as the visitors reached the target with five wickets in hand.

Bathurst are now two wins from two games in their hunt for an eighth straight Presidents Cup title.

Lithgow have made the jump up to the top flight after spending more than a decade in the second-tier Rod Hartas Trophy, and it’s been a tough reintroduction.

They lost their opening match against Blue Mountains and will sit out the next round with a bye.

In Sunday’s game, Lithgow openers Ben Sheehan and Mick Hutchinson made a cautious start with the bat on a tricky pitch.

Sheehan was removed for 8 when caught behind off the bowling of Bathurst spearhead Matt Stephen, beginning what would be a busy day for wicketkeeper Imran Qureshi.

Hutchinson then watched Blake Caldwell (2) and John Cronin (0) edge the ball to Qureshi, both falling in back-to-back Powell overs.

The Lithgow opener’s patient knock ended at 23 runs when he sent a Parsons delivery into the hands of Slattery.

With the score at 4-56 Lithgow’s top scorer Sam Cameron (31) and Andrew Fawbert (20) provided a middle order resistance.

Sam Cameron, pictured batting for Portland, top scored with 31.

Sam Cameron, pictured batting for Portland, top scored with 31.

Fawbert picked up a boundary off Slattery’s bowling but on the next delivery the Lithgow batsman found himself stumped.

Cameron was removed when he punched his shot back into the hands of bowler Broes.

Warren Stevens (17), Connor Brown (18) and Brock Barry (10) helped Lithgow post a competitive score.

In reply Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi and brother Imran top scored with unbeaten knocks of 34 and 31 respectively, taking Bathurst all the way from 5-85 to the target.

LEADING THE WAY: Captain Jameel Qureshi top scored for Bathurst in their five wicket  win over Lithgow on Sunday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

LEADING THE WAY: Captain Jameel Qureshi top scored for Bathurst in their five wicket win over Lithgow on Sunday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

“We batted well to chase that 146 on a difficult wicket. Everyone bowled really well too. Matt Stephen did a great job, so did Ben Parsons, Luke Powell, Connor Slattery and also Nic Broes with his spin,” Jameel Qureshi said.

“That wicket was very tough to bat on and our guys did well to match it with Lithgow in their home conditions. It just took us some time to adjust.”

Lithgow opening bowler Chris Redding sent a scare through the Bathurst camp with the early wicket of Nic Broes (4) before bowling number three Henry Shoemark for a duck.

Redding finished with 3-35 off his ten overs.

Brothers Dave (19) and Wayne Sellers (22) combined to help steady their team’s innings.

However, when both were removed Bathurst were sitting in a worse position than Lithgow for the same wicket at 4-53.

Ryan Peacock added 24 runs to the visitors’ total before he was caught.

The Qureshi brothers arrived at the scene determined to stay out in the middle until the job was done.

Each hit just one boundary on their way to victory.