A thrilling final-over win saw Queensland Country win the inaugural men’s T20 competition at the 2017 Commonwealth Bank Australian Country Cricket Championships in Wollongong today.
With two teams tied on six points heading into today - QLD Country and East Asia-Pacific - and two more teams just a game behind, QLD Country needed to defeat Western Australia Country in their fifth and final T20 match for the tournament.
WA Country ensured QLD Country had to work for the win, setting it 148 to win.
Captain Jono Whitney (48) and Corey Rutgers (41) laid the platform for WA Country’s strong total, combing for a 82-run opening stand.
QLD Country, led by James Spargo (59 off 39 balls) and guided home by Sean Fitzsimmons (45* from 24 balls), won with just two balls remaining.
In the morning’s other men’s T20 matches, South Australia Country eased their way to a 30-run win over East Asia-Pacific in Port Kembla.
A consistent bowling performance restricted East Asia-Pacific to 9-105 off its 20 overs after SA Country had posted 7-135 on the back of another half century from South Australian under-19s representative Ben Pengelley (61 off 42).
At Keira Oval, New South Wales Country held its nerve to record an exciting two-run win against Victoria Country.
NSW Country posted a modest 108 all out, but managed to restrict VIC Country to 7-106.
Pat Darwen was the star for NSW Country with 27 and 2-21 from four overs. For VIC Country, Lee Stockdale was superb in a losing side, making 34 and collecting fantastic bowling figures of 4-15 off four overs.
In the morning matches in the women’s matches, the NSW Country continued its unbeaten start by recording a last ball victory over East Asia-Pacific.
Set 104 to win, NSW Country hit a four off the last ball courtesy of Amy Riddell. It had required 11 off the final over in what was a great fightback.
SA Country thumped WA Country by 67 runs, with Cara Fiebig picking up a hat-trick to help dismiss WA Country for just 50.
QLD Country notched an important 32-run win over the Northern Territory, as Eliza Flynn claimed remarkable figures of 6-4 off 3.1 overs.
In the afternoon, East Asia-Pacific cruised to an eight-wicket win against NT, while in the night matches, WA Country was batting first against QLD Country, while NSW Country was batting first against VIC Country.
Matches continue tomorrow in Wollongong in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
For fixtures, results, ladders and statistics throughout the 2017 Commonwealth Bank Australian Country Cricket Championships, head to www.countrychamps.com.au
Scores in brief
WA Country 6-147cc (J. Whitney 48, C. Rutgers 41, C. Stanger 4-23) def by QLD Country 5-151 (J. Spargo 59, S. Fitzsimmons 45*, J. Crudely 2-20)
SA Country 7-135cc (B. Pengelley 61) def East Asia-Pacific 9-105cc (A. Garlick 3-18)
NSW Country 108 (L. Stockdale 4-15) def VIC Country 7-106cc (L. Stockdale 34)
East Asia-Pacific 5-100cc (N. Ovasuru 35, K. Oala 31) def by NSW Country 7-103cc (L. Griffith 34*, A. Edgar 30, P. Siaka 3-17)
QLD Country 8-114cc (B. Stray 2-17) def NT 82 (E. Flynn 6-4)
SA Country 2-117cc (B. Perry 45*) def WA Country 50 (C. Fiebig 4-3, incl hat-trick)
NT 8-59cc (S. Jimmy 3-10) def by East Asia-Pacific 2-60 (P. Siaka 21*)
by Jack Clifton