by Pat Drew
CRICKET: Gympie is the first team into the final of the Caloundra Events Centre T20 competition after a low-scoring tussle against a determined Caloundra at Henzell Park on Tuesday evening.
On a wicket where varying pace and bounce made runs a struggle for either side, the Gold used a winning call to bat first and reached 9/116 after its allotment, then held the home club to all out 101 with four deliveries unused.
Unbeaten finalists last year, Gympie was expected to progress untroubled to the top of Pool B after a narrow win over Glasshouse in the opening fixture, but the gallant Lighthouses made the visitors fight to the finish.
Gold openers Lewis Waugh and Ashley Sippel were cautious starting against the bowling of Damien Smith and Sam Harrison, needing their combined experience of 150 Division 1 games to counter a moving ball where full deliveries kept low. When Harrison got one through Sippel's defence in the 6th over the tally was 20, and the Gold's match plan revised down to survival when Waugh and Jarrod Sippel departed in the next two overs for a predicament at 3/27.
Andy Batten wisely held the fort through to the 17th over, departing at 30 in a worrying 8/92, leaving the bowlers to add what became a match-winning 24 to reach 116.
But Caloundra had to work with the same conditions, and had seen the dangers of indecision. Mitch Elmes lifted the pace with three boundaries from his first eight balls faced, and was joined by captain Al Kristensen after Damien Evans departed in the third over.
Elmes was gone at 1/25, then Lachlan Glew in the same over to Leo Cartwright's spin. Harry Clark-Burnham joined his captain for a 30 run hit-out that lifted the total to a winning rate at 55 in the 8th over, a dream ruined when the final delivery of Trevor Brady's over found Kristensen's stumps.
Confidence followed the skipper off the field as the Lighthouses collapsed to 9/68 in the next four overs, with two run-outs a panic symptom as Troy Ashton entered the attack, reaping 3/5 from his first three overs. The game looked as good as finished, yet Clark-Burnham (31) and Sam Harrison hung in, taking the unlikely quest to the final over and the home tally to three figures.
Cartwright and Ashton, with 3/12 and 3/18 respectively, turned the match, but Caloundra can gain a lot from the effort, again demonstrating that T20 matches don't need high scores to be absorbing.
SCCA DIVISION 1
CALOUNDRA EVENTS CENTRE T20
GYMPIE V CALOUNDRA HENZELL OVAL
Waugh L. ct Evans b Glew 19
Sippel A. b Harrison 3
Brady T. b Glew 13
Sippel J. ct Smith b Harrison 2
Batten A. b Powell 30
Ashton T. run out 5
Vidler J. ct Clark-Burnham b Cockram 7
Reid A. b Cockram 2
Mitchell B. ct & b Powell 15
Cartwright L. not out 9
Shepperson D. not out 4
FOW: 20, 24, 27, 44, 64, 71, 85, 91, 109.
Bowling: Smith 4-0-25-0, Harrison 4-0-11-2, Glew 4-0-15-2,
Cockram 4-0-29-2, Powell 4-0-31-2. Overs: 20.
Elmes M. b Cartwright 17
Evans D. ct Batten b Mitchell 2
Kristensen A. b Brady 28
Glew L. b Cartwright 0
Clarke-Burnham H. b Cartwright 31
Cummins D. b Ashton 4
Powell J. run out 1
Aldous J. b Ashton 0
Smith D. run out 1
Cockram J. ct Vidler b Ashton 0
Harrison S. not out 8
FOW: 17, 25, 25, 55, 60, 63, 63, 66, 68, 101.
Bowling: Mitchell 4-0-19-1, Reid 4-0-20-0, Cartwright 2.2-0-12-3,
Vidler 1-0-9-0, Brady T.4-0-21-1, Ashton 4-0-18-3. Overs: 19.2
WON BY GYMPIE