Albany win title in trouncing
Albany Cricket Association has finished dominant winners of the F-section title at senior country week cricket, after thumping Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association in Friday’s final in Perth.
Albany’s fourth side had an incredible week at the annual tournament, wining all three qualifying games and then thrashing Esperance CA 4 by 106 runs in Thursday’s semifinal to secure a place in the decider.
Made up predominantly of Narrikup players, Albany batted first and set an imposing total of 3-295 on the back of a superb 154-run third-wicket partnership.
Jeremy Watson scored a century and combined with skipper James Morris to take the game away from Bunbury and Districts.
Watson was unbeaten on 129 and Morris added 69 as their combination pushed Albany past 200 for the first time in the week.
All three dismissed Albany batsman surpassed 20 and the victory target of 296 proved far too difficult for their opponents.
Early breakthroughs from Phil Pearce and Josh Wesson got the ball rolling for Albany and that pair proved the heroes as they snared the first eight wickets.
Albany knocked over their tail quickly to skittle Bunbury for just 49, handing them an incredible 246-run title triumph.
Pearce finished with 5-22 from a devastating 10-over spell while Wesson was also terrific with 3-10 while Bruce McDonald took the final two scalps without conceding a run.
Watson was the F-section leading run scorer, his 256 runs coming at an average of 64 while Rodney Light (146 runs) and Morris (131) enjoyed strong tournaments.
Pearce was the leading wicket taker in the division, snaring 15 scalps at 5.8 while Wesson (11 wickets) and Morris (nine) were close behind.
Meanwhile Albany’s second XI, playing in A-section were relegated after a winless week.
Albany fielded two teams in the top division but the Albany 2 side endured a tough run, losing their first three qualifying games.
In their classification game on Thursday, Albany 2 were bowled out for 147 against West Pilbara 1 with Englishman Riecko Parker-Cole top scoring with 64.
West Pilbara chased down the target in the 34th over with Albany taking only two wickets, sending them to Friday’s relegation game.
Albany 2 batted first in the 7v8 playoff and a patient half century from Dan Robson plus 41 from Parker-Cole helped them reach 163 all out.
Peel lost only two wickets as they finished 2-165 from 39.3 overs to easily win and relegate Albany’s second XI back to B-section.
Parker-Cole had an outstanding week for Albany 2, scoring 170 runs at an average of 34 while also picking up 9 wickets at 23.8.
Albany’s third team finished in sixth place in D-section, avoiding relegation after beginning with consecutive losses.
A 184-run stand between Matt Heberle (93) and Nic Barrow (94) helped Albany crush South Midlands CA 2 in their last qualifier on Wednesday.
In Thursday’s semifinal Albany needed a win over Collie CA 1 to avoid the relegation match and English spinner Hasnain Nawaz’s outstanding efforts with the ball ensured they would.
Nawaz made his opponents look silly, snaring 8-15 from 14 overs to help dismiss them for 60, guiding Albany to a 65-run win after Matt Heberle’s 42 was the top score with the blade.
Albany met Bunbury and Districts 3 in Friday’s classification game but were restricted to 4-95 in the Twenty20 which Bunbury were able to chase down in the 18th over for the loss of four wickets.
Heberle (153 runs) and Barrow (148) were the D-section top run scorers and Nawaz was the competition’s leading wicket taker with 18 scalps at an average of 7.28.
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