Bonus points have Thunder, Snakes poised for one-day decider
CRICKET: Caboolture and Tewantin-Noosa have all but booked their appearances in the SCCA One-Day final after bonus point wins in round 10, leaving only Caloundra with the possibility of a miracle finish to join the decider.
The Snakes ended Gympie's hopes by running down the Gold's 6/235 in 39.1 overs at Grant Road, gaining the vital bonus point after Snakes' skipper Glen Batticciotto notched up his third consecutive century, and fifth for the season.
Ashley Sippel had set up the visitors' innings with 66 at the top after he was joined by Josh Brady at 2/26. Brady batted to the last ball of the 46th over for 84, leaving Jake Vidler and Brycen Mitchell to entertaining runs off the final overs.
The run-out of Matt Schubert at 4 spoiled the running start the Snakes would have liked, but a hot day on a hard pitch continued to torture the bowlers as Batticciotto dominated the 4/238 innings with 134. Veterans Andy Shablon and Shaun Savage provided a bat and ball cameo after the outcome was reduced to whether the Snakes would gain the bonus point or not.
Tewantin-Noosa did exactly what was needed to push for its first OD Final appearance in 20 years to gain two bonus points over Yandina at Read Park.
Sam Baker provided a steady 57 opening to lead into Ben Gear's onslaught of 117 from 103 balls, then at 173 Andy Kratzmann closed the deal with 64 off 41 deliveries to post 6/292, a bridge too far for the Pioneers.
Codey Rzeszkowski gave his pacemen the day off as he mesmerised the visitors' top order with 5/26 after Cody Pyne and Dean Kenny had resisted Scott Aufderheide and Tom Freshwater for ten overs and 40 runs. His third ball had Kenny stumped, then with Tom Stewart he reduced the visitors to 7/85 and the others tidied up to close the game at all out 120.
Jake Dennien picked up 2/8 to reach 20 wickets so far.
Bowlers toiled hard on Kev Hackney Oval as batsmen found timing and patience difficult while both sides struggled to produce the runs the weather and ground suggested. The Lighthouses reached 177 from a precarious 7/120, rescued by Liam French in just his second Division 1 fixture with 59, as Matt Jackson kept his patience and line with 4/31.
The Swans had a horror start with Callum Stitt bowled by Dan Cummins second ball, and floundered to 3/15 when Michael Greene bowled James Chaplin in the 12th over. Blaine Schloss had the patience to bat the day out for 60 runs as wickets fell with Greene gaining his best return of 4/28 when he wrapped up a tail needing quick runs, the end coming at 152.
A steady 8/207 from Glasshouse was enough to overcome Nambour at Glasshouse Oval, with four 30-odd scores from the top order boosted by 41 from Steve Heise. Ash Renouf and Kobi Griggs did the grunt work for seven wickets, then Heise reduced the Cutters' reply from 0/30 to 3/32 in 11 deliveries. The situation worsened to 7/68, stretched to 126 by Steve Dodd and Renouf as the Rangers gained their bonus point, and Heise pouched 4/15.