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T20 thriller sees West celebrate centenary early

By Jason Irvine

The 100-year anniversary celebrations for West Cricket Club started early on Saturday afternoon after grinding out a one-wicket win with 10 balls to spare against North.

In the T20 fixture, North won the toss and put themselves into bat but it proved costly with a lack of bounce on the wicket troubling the batters early. The first two legal deliveries of the day via Laurence Hebbard resulted in wickets, bowling Chase Johnson and Tom Carruthers. There was no hat-trick however, with the next ball allowed to go through to the keeper.

Before North even reached double figures, the side lost another three wickets – including a wicket-maiden for Hebbard in his second over of the day. Shane Staker (26 off 43) steadied things in the middle for

North, forming partnerships with Austin Wilson (one off 18) and Riley Bomford (15 not out off 25), each playing their role in helping Staker take the strike.

North finished their innings with a score of 7/64, however, West’s run chase didn’t start in the way they would’ve liked, but it was in similar fashion to North’s batting innings – a wicket with the second delivery of the day, Michael Maalste bowling Callum Rosewarm.

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After West themselves were down 3/8 after five overs, the middle of the order stepped up with Paddric Attard (10 off 22), Peter Christos (12 off 25), and Matthew Handberg (22 off 26) helping claw the result their way.

But there was a twist in the tale. West, with six wickets in hand, required eight runs for victory, but fell in a heap, losing 5/1. In came Hebbard, and he, along with Austin Ferguson, combined for the final six runs, with the latter hitting a four to achieve the victory.

Following the result, West vice-captain Hebbard said the result could’ve gone either way, such is the swing that the format of the game brings.

“It [T20 cricket] does play on some people’s minds, some people do think they have to get runs a lot quicker but on that pitch we played on today, it was hard to come by runs,” he told the Barrier Truth.

“The early wickets, we had them four for five at one stage, and then it sort of died out, the ball wasn’t doing as much. They had a bit of pressure on them, so there wasn’t very many runs being scored, so [that start] definitely set the tone.

“It was anyone’s game, we were five or four for 50-something, then we ended up being 9/59 so just losing those few extra wickets put a lot of pressure on us. We just had to wait for the right ball.”

North vice-captain Riley Bomford said, “I guess, it’s just a bit of a change in mentality from really being aggressive with the bat, to consolidating, building a platform, giving us something to bowl at which on that pitch, over 60 runs, sounds crazy. It could’ve been a defendable total. It was staying low, wasn’t bouncing much, the wicket was slow, it was hard to score on so, that was our mentality with the bat.

“In terms of bowling, we actually didn’t start too badly, we got two or three pretty early wickets early in the piece. The West batters kind of took away from us as the middle overs went on. For us to take five wickets for one run was a pretty incredible effort. It went from the game being all but over to a genuine chance we might’ve been able to win that game.

“There was a moment there where I think they were about six or seven wickets down, and there was a thought that we could actually do this, we could get on a roll here and take a few wickets and we could win the unwinnable. It’s one of those things, there was a sniff. Alas, that wasn’t the case and the better side definitely won the game.”

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