Cricket North's season got underway with the first one-day games of a highly anticipated summer on display as the forecast rain managed to stay away.
Launceston began their title defence against finals aspirant South Launceston at the NTCA grounds while Riverside hosted Mowbray at home to get their campaign underway.
South Launceston v Launceston
Prior to the game, the two sides came together for a touching moment to remember those that passed away during the Cricket North off-season.
After electing to bowl, the Lions' opening bowler Tom Gray (2-49) got to work early and removed Mackenzie Barker while Jackson Miller's (4-45) two wickets in quick succession had Sean Harris and Angus Foster back in the sheds.
When South Launceston's opening bat Sisitha Jayasinghe was knocked over by youngster Dihan Cloete, the Lions' decision to back their bowlers at the toss appeared vindicated and South appeared in trouble.
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Nathan Philip (99 runs) was joined at the crease by aggressive batter Matthew Fulton as they set about performing a resurrection project to the Knights' faltering innings.
In their 81-run stand, the pair were able to add some substance to the Knights' score as they counter-attacked and spread the field with a series of boundaries before Fulton (33) was removed. Philip was undeterred as he continued to clatter the Lions' attack with some impressive power-hitting, especially down the ground, before exiting at 8-191 and one run short of a well-deserved 100.
Chasing 226 to win, the Lions' chase got off to a shaky start when Graham Donaldson picked up Cameron Lynch for two.
Any suggestion it would mirror the Knights' early troubles were eased when Samuel Elliston-Buckley (54) and Dean Thiesfield steadied the innings with a 74-run stand to lay a platform for victory.
Ben Humphrey has impressed the Lions with his efforts last season and during pre-season and did nothing to dissuade them with a composed 73 to ensure Launceston secured the win.
Riverside v Mowbray
Forget Mambo No.5, it was all about Riverside No.1 as the Blues won the toss and elected to bat against Mowbray.
Mowbray's James Storay had been tipped for a big season and started in rich fashion claiming the wicket of Tom Garwood before Sameera Vishwaranga (2-37) struck twice to leave the Blues with some work to do at 3-34.
The Blues looked like they would struggle to post a competitive score as they lost wickets at regular intervals and struggled to create a partnership to settle the innings.
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Peter New (72) and Cooper Anthes (50) breathed new life into the Blues as they carried their 112-run partnership to the end of the innings to post a competitive total of 6-207.
Mowbray looked good early in their pursuit of the Blues' target as they took command to be 1-103 . Opener Jason Snare (61) looked in fine touch as he found and cleared the rope with ease in an entertaining 93-run stand with Mowbray captain Luke Scott.
The Blues' bowlers, like Ramesh Sundra (1-14) and skipper Garwood (1-27), proved economical and dragged the run-chase deep into the Eagles' innings. Time proved to be the Eagles' worst enemy as they managed 7-203 in a thrilling finish to their opening game.
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