Brothers take out grand final
A MAJESTIC unbeaten maiden century by Andrew Lancaster sparked scenes of unbridled jubilation among Brothers players as they celebrated victory against Westlawn in the Premier League grand final.
As Lancaster was being chaired off Ellem Oval by his teammates you could hear the champagne corks popping as Brothers’ players and supporters came to realise a 16-year drought had finally been broken.
Lancaster’s match-winning 108 which included 11 fours and four sixes was a master-class in batting.
After a shaky start Lancaster tamed the Westlawn bowlers with sublime stroke-play and power hitting, but more importantly it was the deliveries he let go through to the keeper which frustrated the Westlawn attack.
Lancaster was swamped by loyal Brothers’ fans after the match and appeared numb and overawed by all the attention.
A number three batsman Lancaster was demoted down the order to number six by his captain Brad Robertson which in the end proved to be a master-stroke.
“Andrew has batted at three all season but I thought he might be better suited to coming in down the order,” Brothers captain Brad Robertson said.
“Andrew likes to play his shots so we talked about it during the week and his innings today proved he is suited to coming in a t five or six.
“He never looked like getting out...it was a sensible knock.”
Earlier, after winning the toss Westlawn were in a sound position on day one at 5-137 before a major batting collapse saw them dismissed for a modest total of 140.
“It was as if they were playing twenty20 cricket. You don’t go out in grand finals and bat like that. Rohan Hackett and Jason Chevalley were the only two batsmen who played sensibly,” Robertson said.
Robertson (4-18) and Sam Jackson (4-35) were the pick of the Brothers’ bowlers and took full advantage of poor shot selection by the Westlawn batsmen.
The game was still in the balance early on day two with Brothers 3-80 but after Robertson fell for a well constructed 40 Westlawn suddenly got a spring in their step.
And when Troy McLaren edged one through to the keeper off Matt Lobsey it was game on. Sensing a big innings was required for victory Lancaster took up the challenge to guide his side to a memorable win.
It was a sweet victory for Brothers captain Brad Robertson who copped plenty of stick during the week.
“I’ve got mixed emotions at the moment. It feels good to see our guys stand up, put the verbal comments behind us and produce the goods on the day,” Robertson said.
Robertson’s decision to promote himself up the order showed his side he is prepared to lead from the front, and in doing so answered his critics.
Westlawn captain Brendan Purser who was the first to congratulate Lancaster after his maiden ton said poor batting and dropped catches cost them any chance of victory.
“I think we dropped 10 catches and Robbo (Brad Robertson) at least five times. We showed no application with the bat which was crucial...we needed to bat with more patience,” Purser said after the match.
Brothers’ batsman and opening bowler Mick Summers got one over his work-mate Purser dismissing the talented batsman with an outswinger.
“I got BJ (Brendan Purser) to look for the drive and he chased the bait and got caught,” laughs Summers.
“I’ve got mixed emotions at the moment. It feels good to see our guys stand up.”