Albany crash out of cup contention
Albany Cricket Association’s hopes of reaching the final of the Belt Up Country Cup have ended abruptly, thrashed by Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association in round two at Forrest Park in Bunbury on Sunday.
Needing a win to stay in the hunt for a berth in the final at the WACA later this month, Albany batted first and never recovered from a disastrous top-order collapse when they lost five wickets inside the first 15 overs.
The Whalers fought their way to 9-153 but it was always going to be a difficult total to defend and Bunbury made light work of the chase, winning in very comfortable fashion to secure a place in the grand final.
Led by opener Jono Whitney, Bunbury cruised to victory with more than 14 overs to spare and only three wickets down as they swiftly ended Albany’s hopes of making the top two.
A washout against Bunbury in their final qualifying game of last season’s Country Cup competition left the Whalers with one win and unable to make the final, finishing third, three points behind the second placed WA Invitational XI.
Albany will now face Peel Cricket Association in a fortnight in a dead rubber as they look to avoid finishing winless and at the bottom of the table.
Whalers skipper Mitch Green said their performance with the bat was not good enough.
“Losing five wickets up front doesn’t help at all,” he said.
“Dalli (Aidan Dallimore) and Wazza (Warwick Durack) batted really well and gave us a tiny bit of hope, but 150 just wasn’t enough to challenge Bunbury, who had a pretty decent team in.
“We are no chance of the final now but Peel are zip and two as well and we certainly don’t want to come last and lose all three.”
Fast bowler Jacob Wintle helped destroy his former association, snaring key pair Green and Jeremy Wood in a terrific opening spell.
The Albany skipper made 93 in round one of the Country Cup but was out for a fifth-ball duck when he was bowled by Wintle.
Wood made eight before he also fell to Wintle and Albany slumped to 5-31 when Jacob Templeton bowled both Nathan Crudeli (1) and Ryan Kinnear (6) and then opener Coen Marwick’s patient 57-minute stay at the crease ended on 14 after being trapped in front by Clint Hewson.
The Whalers were able to steady thanks to a vital 59-run partnership between all-rounder Durack and wicketkeeper Dallimore.
Durack hit two fours and one six in an entertaining knock of 44 from 81 balls but Templeton was the man again to land the breakthrough for Bunbury.
Albany were 5-92 after Ted Batchelor’s brief innings but Dallimore dug in and a late cameo from youngster Aubin Spurr ensured the Albany bowlers would have some sort of target to defend.
Spurr made 35 from 34 deliveries and Dallimore finished unbeaten on 36 from a marathon innings of 102 balls.
Albany reached 9-153 at the close of their 50 overs as Templeton (4-24) and Wintle (3-26) were the key strike weapons with the ball.
Whitney was the anchor of Bunbury’s successful run chase as he crafted an impressive half-century and was well supported by classy right-hander Tom Buchanan.
Albany made two early breakthroughs, Marwick snaring both Justin Woods (10) and John Richardson (1) to leave Bunbury 2-41, but Whitney and Buchanan added 72 runs to effectively end the contest.
Whitney finished 86no from 99 balls, which included 11 boundaries, while Buchanan (41 from 63 balls) and Blair Malatesta (11 not out) helped Bunbury reach victory in the 36th over.
Marwick returned figures of 2-38 from nine overs and Spurr was the other wicket-taker but he was expensive, going for 52 runs from 7.2 overs.
Courtesy of their win in the other round two fixture, the WA Invitational XI also booked a place in the final as centuries from Calum How and Aaron Burrage led them to a dominant 92-run win over Peel.
Green said it was important the association continued to look for the next generation of players to play representative cricket.
“We are in that transition phase, having lost Zane (Marwick) and a couple of older guys retiring like Tonks (Craig Tonkin),” he said.
“It’s important we find that next crop of players.
“We want to keep blooding the kids and help get our team stronger for country week.”
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