Tucabia into grand final
THE Tucabia-Copmanhurst White Premier League cricket team got their wish for a dog fight in the major semi-final against Brothers at Ellem Oval over the weekend.
Scraping together a competitive total of 192 on Saturday, Tucabia's bowlers kept Brothers at bay - just.
When the number 11 Corey Bertalli was stumped, Brothers were tantalisingly 14 runs adrift of going straight through to the grand final and just six overs away from drawing the game, which would have forced the same result.
Tucabia set the game up on day one with skipper Matt Pigg scoring 72 and figuring in an 82-run partnership with Bob McKenzie (42) that the captain thought should have set them up for a bigger total.
“At 3/100 or so we should have scored well over 200, but we only ended up with 192,” Pigg said.
“But as I batted out there yesterday, I could tell that anything around 200 was going to be competitive.”
Pigg said the wicket was slow and had variable bounce, which made run-scoring hard.
“Unless you wanted to take a risk there were not a lot of balls you could hit confidently,” he said.
Pigg and McKenzie came together after two wickets fell on 64 in the 33rd over.
“Ray Barnett batted for 33 overs for his 22 and did everything we asked of him. It was an important innings for the team,” Pigg said. “But when he was out, Matt Blanch was out for a duck next ball and Bob and I had to put our heads down.”
Pigg enjoyed a massive slice of luck when he was dropped on 49 at square leg from a top-edged sweep off the bowling of legspinner Jarrad Lynch.
Brothers skipper Brad Robertson led from the front with the ball, claiming 4/36 from 14.3 overs and taking the two key wickets of Barnett and Blanch.
Bertalli also made an early breakthrough and was tight, taking 2/25 from his 13 overs.
Brothers' run chase started in disastrous fashion late on Saturday when a fired-up Chris Adamson rediscovered the pace of his youth and blasted through the sibling opening partnership of Ryan and Jarrad Lynch.
“The Brothers guys were coming up to me at the end of the day, saying they can't remember Ado bowling so quick,” Pigg said.
It was a pattern repeated throughout the innings, said Brothers' top scorer Mick Summers, who held the innings together with 76.
“Every time we looked like getting in front a wicket would fall,” he said.
A fighting eighth-wicket partnership between Adam Dewberry and Peter McNamara (20no), threatened briefly to turn the game Brothers' way.
But the end came swiftly when Tom Cootes had Dewberry caught at slip and bowled Paxton two balls later. Adamson continued his brilliant season, taking 5/34 and Pigg bowled a marathon 27.3 overs to take 2/32.