First half of season draws to close for Central and West

In the final game of the season before the Christmas break, Central and West battled in a game that went down to the wire and ended in a stalemate, with both sides sharing the points after a drawn result on Saturday afternoon at Jubilee Oval.

Late bowling in the second innings ensured West wouldn’t finish the first half of the season with its first loss, therefore remaining undefeated with six wins and one draw, so far with the second half of the season to come in the new year.

Central, after breaking a four-game losing streak last week, go into the break off the back of a win and a draw.

The game went to the final over with West needing one wicket for victory, and Central looking for a single run. Tight bowling from West, especially by vice-captain Peter Christos (3/22) at the death denied the chance for Central to run a quick single, with Christos taking two of the final three wickets of the game – the other being Central’s equal top-scorer Jarred Paull (33 off 51) being run out.

West elected to bat first and put up a score of 7/118 from 40 overs with Christos (24 off 65), Liam King (21* off 36) and Tom Burke (18 off 30) leading the way with the bat. Jarred Paull (3/21) and Adam Rhodes (3/15) took three wickets each for Central.

In response, Central opener Tristen Smith (33 off 64) started well and even when he got out, stepped in, and stepped up. However, with the score at 7/118 heading into the final stages of the contest, Central lost its next three batters to be resigned to a tied match.

West captain Mackenzie Attard said it was a hard wicket to bat on in the early stages in the first innings.

“I think our first 15 overs only came with 20-something runs and a couple of wickets as well so it was pretty hard to bat early on. The boys said it was doing a little bit out there,” he said.

“Towards the end of the day though, it looked to quicken up and get a lot flatter while the ball didn’t end up doing as much for the Central innings.

“It came down to a great finish, came down to the last over. We needed one wicket and they needed one run and we got the wicket so it ended in a draw.

“Casey Ferguson, he bowled absolutely brilliantly. He bowled seven overs straight, I think he ended up picking up two wickets. He was very good. He hasn’t started off the season the best with the ball but he’s getting back to his best form so he was unreal. Also, Matt Handberg and

Adam Perry, they were both brilliant with the ball as well.”

Central captain Scott Mateer reflected on the result and the efforts by his team to almost get the win.

“[It’s] certainly a first for me, never been involved in a tie,” he said.

“We’re happy to take points off West and certainly looking at the positives but hard not to feel like we’ve missed an opportunity. Didn’t have any nails left by the end that’s for sure!

“Jarred Paull was outstanding, exceptional with the ball, bowling four maidens and taking three wickets, and it restricted West to an attainable total. [He] played a controlled innings with the bat and nearly got us over the line.”

When the season resumes on January 14, Central and West do battle once again in a T20 fixture at Alma Oval from 6:30pm.

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