Top-two finish bridge too far for WA Country XI

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Nathan Crudeli, pictured earlier this year, was again impressive with bat and ball for WA Country XI.
Camera IconNathan Crudeli, pictured earlier this year, was again impressive with bat and ball for WA Country XI. Credit: Big Shot Photography

WA Country XI have fallen short in their bid to finish in the top two and progress to the finals of the WACA Premier T20 competition, after losing both their matches on Sunday.

After a win over Perth in their first two games of group D last week, the WA Country outfit needed to beat both Claremont-Nedlands and Midland-Guilford if they were to make next month’s quarterfinals.

Albany and District Cricket Association players Nathan Crudeli (Mt Barker) and Coen Marwick (Railways) were part of the WA Country XI team. They faced Claremont-Nedlands on Sunday morning at Lilac Hill and were set 164 to win after former Perth Scorchers batsman Nick Hobson blazed 91 runs from 59 balls, clearing the rope six times.

He fell nine short of a century, removed by Bunbury quick Jacob Wintle, formerly of Katanning, in the closing stages of the innings.

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Crudeli finished with 2-24 from his four overs, snaring Brad Hope for four and then bowling Jacob Whitaker for 17, while Marwick chipped in with 1-24 after dismissing Cameron Steel on 27.

Michael Tassone (33 runs off 28 balls) and Bevan Bennell (74 off 48) got WA Country XI within sight of victory but their middle order stumbled as they fell 24 runs short in the end.

Crudeli batted at No.7 and faced just the one ball as WA Country finished 5-140 from their 20 overs with Albany product Harry Crane taking 2-16 with the ball for Claremont-Nedlands.

In their second fixture of the day, the WA Country XI bowled first against Midland-Guilford and were set 161 to win.

Austin Thomas (65 off 46) and ex-Scorcher and Melbourne Renegades batsman Tom Beaton (49 off 36) ensured Midland-Guilford made 8-160 batting first.

Crudeli snared 2-21 from his four overs while Marwick was expensive with his two overs costing 21 runs.

Crudeli was promoted to No.6 and blasted 38 from 34 balls but his side fell 23 runs short despite contributions from Eastern Goldfields’ Matt Carter (23) and Peel’s Josh Rudge (19).

Marwick was dismissed for one as WA Country finished 9-138 in reply.

WA Country finished with one win from their four qualifying matches in the competition.

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