Albany cricketers helps deliver country title
WA Country XI have claimed their first overall title at the Australian Country Cricket Championships since 2014 after another dominant display with the bat yesterday against South Australia guided them to a fifth straight win.
After last winning the championship in Canberra in 2014, WA needed a double bonus-point win over South Australia in their third one-day match of the carnival yesterday to clinch the coveted silverware.
WA bounced back from two opening losses in the Twenty20 games, winning their final two games of the shortened format before starting their one-day campaign with a crushing 99-run bonus-point triumph over Victoria.
They secured a second bonus point win on Tuesday when they chased down 148 against Queensland inside 40 overs and then followed that up with a brilliant batting display yesterday to surpass 300.
Batting first WA had another terrific platform on the back of openers Aaron Burrage (87) and Tim Hutchison (49) before Albany vice-captain Zane Marwick produced his best performance of the tournament.
Marwick blasted a superb half century and was stumped in the penultimate over of the innings for 81 off just 67 balls.
Mt Barker’s Jeremy Wood then provided some final-over madness, whacking Matthew McInerney for 21 in the last over which included three fours and a six. Wood was unbeaten on 26 off 10 balls.
WA finished on 6-304, their biggest total of the carnival, and after two early breakthroughs from Liam Renton it was Albany pair Nathan Crudeli and Patrick Butler that destroyed the South Australian middle order.
Crudeli snared three wickets and had an unassisted run-out while Butler removed top order player Ben Parish and then took the final scalp which was caught by Wood to seal the title win,
South Australia were bowled out for 136, giving WA a double bonus point that shot them to 20 points in the overall standings.
With only one round to play today, WA cannot be caught at the top of the ladder and the result also sealed their place in tomorrow’s one-day final.
WA face New South Wales in their final regular one-day game of the championships today and will learn the fate of who they meet in the decider today as well.
Marwick’s form has been outstanding, scoring 213 runs at an average of 35 to be the second-leading run scorer thus far in the carnival while Crudeli has 13 wickets and Butler is also right there with 11.
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