Albany’s last-ball heroics help avoid winless cup campaign
Two wickets in the final over has delivered Albany a long-awaited victory in their Country Cup campaign, avoiding finishing at the bottom of the table without a win after their dramatic one-run triumph over Peel.
Chasing 227 for victory, Peel put themselves in a strong position after impressive half centuries from Kaine May (84) and Matt Jenkinson (58).
Peel required 13 runs to win from the final two overs with the 49th over bowled by Nathan Crudeli going for seven runs.
That left Coen Marwick to try and defend six runs in the final over of the match at Turf North, both teams desperate to avoid a winless campaign.
Marwick’s first three balls delivered a leg bye, a single and then a dot before Mitch Brown found two runs from his fourth ball.
Attempting a single, Brown was run out by Crudeli on 10 to leave Peel needing two runs to win from the last ball.
With Daniel Abel on strike, Marwick executed a perfect yorker that crashed into the stumps as Albany won by a single run in the round 4 fixture. Despite the match being a dead rubber with Bunbury and the WA Invitational XI already qualified for the final, there were a number of positives to come from result according to Albany captain Mitch Green.
Country Cup debutant Matt Wolfe played a fine innings with the blade, his unbeaten 64 helping Albany to their strong total of 7-226 while young quick Noah Middleton played a vital role in the middle overs.
“The key things to take away are Noah, who is a 16-year-old kid playing Country Cup and he performed well in every game.
“Ryan (Kinnear) and Noah bowled really well in that middle period, I think Noah bowled four overs in that period for seven runs which was crucial. Matt debuting and making 64 not out, he looked quality and really up to the standard.”
After the early losses of Green (8) and Jack Dawson (12), Albany got their innings back on track after they chose to bat first with Marwick crunching 50 from 74 balls.
His departure allowed Wolfe to join experienced batsman Nathan Dovey at the crease, the pair putting on 92 runs for the fourth wicket to swing the game back in the hosts favour.
Dovey was dismissed for a well compiled 57 but Wolfe ensured the runs ticked over, hitting four boundaries and a six in his terrific 79-ball innings.
Former Albany cricketer and Country XI skipper Tim Hutchison picked up two wickets.
Hutchison made 23 when he opened the run chase but May and Jenkinson quickly put Peel in the box seat.
Their 110-run partnership got Peel within striking distance before they both fell in the space of a couple of overs.
Peel were three wickets down when Daniel Jones injured his hamstring and retired hurt before Crudeli and Marwick took a wicket each to leave them 5-198.
Abel (18) and Brown (10) got Peel very close to victory but Albany held their nerve in the thrilling final over.
“I thought it was a good score in the conditions and we bowled OK early,” Green said.
“We had a good period through the middle and those run outs to Nath and (Marcus) Mellon pulled it back a bit because they were cruising.
“They needed 50 off the last eight and Nath and Coen did the job. It’s reward for effort for the guys who made themselves available, I think there was a handful that played all the games, and we set up a couple of people to play country week.”
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