New South Wales remain the dominant force of the Imparja Cup, with both the Men’s and Women’s teams remaining undefeated after day four of competition.
Day four began with a lopsided NSW and ACT match in the Men’s State and Territory competition at Albrecht Oval.
Taking the opportunity to bat first having won the toss, NSW compiled a steady yet not unattainable 7-119 in their allotted overs.
ACT, justifiably pleased with restricting NSW to a manageable total, could only manage 73 in reply. Lain Beckett (4-12) and Nathan Price (2-6) undid the batsmen from the nation’s capital.
A finals berth was on the line in clash between Victoria and Western Australia at Larapinta Oval on day four.
Despite a solid 41 from Nathan Gardiner, Victoria could only manage 8-94 in their 20 overs, which WA easily chased down for the loss of only five wickets. WA captain Michael Bailey again starred with the bat, notching 56.
Queensland, continuing to play catch-up after a slow start to the competition, were at their best against South Australia at Traeger Park, reaching the 6-187 – highest team total of the competition of the week. Big hitting left-hander Bradley Stout blazed an entertaining 79 in the total.
The youth of SA put up a fight, but were no match for the 2012 runners up. Eventually dismissed for 91 in the 20th over.
Tasmania looked fresh coming off their win in the heritage round the previous evening as they took on SA in the day’s second round of Men’s matches.
Under the scorching sun at Albrecht Oval, the men from the Apple Isle posted 8-119, a total SA fell 45 runs short of.
A quartet of bowlers shared the SA wickets with Connor Bramich (2-7), and Steve Schunmann 2-8) finishing with the most accomplished figures.
NSW looked impatient in the heat of middle of the day in Alice Springs in their second match of the day against NT at Larapinta Oval, dismissing the locals for 36 in the 12th over.
A collection of impressive NSW bowling figures accompanied NT’s menial total. Harrison Kelly (4-9) and Daniel Caldwell (2-1) the best for NSW who easily reached the target before the end of the third over.
WA showed signs of fatigue following their crucial win over Victoria in the morning, dismissed for 67 by Queensland at Traeger Park in their second fixture of the day.
The team from the Sunshine State continued their strong run home in the tournament, easily reaching 2-70 in 11.5 overs. Glen Martin and Mark Thompson starred for Queensland with the ball, taking 4-18 and 3-6 respectively.
Victoria bounced back from their disappointing defeat against WA in the day’s night fixture, restricting an outgunned ACT to 51 and passing the total with nine wickets in hand.
In the Women’s competition, the make-up of the semi-finals was the script for the day in the final round of preliminary matches.
The NT received a boost to their impending finals campaign, smashing their way to 6-130, thanks to a sensational 44 not out from Pennyrose Wiggins.
They were equally as dominant with the ball, dismissing WA for just 34, helped along by 3-2 from Wendy Maxwell, 3-11 from Cam Gray, and 2-1 from Sandy Warner.
It was a much tighter affair in the other Women’s game. The Invitational XI made what seemed like an attainable 7-74 against NSW at Albrecht Oval, as Roxsanne Van-Veen took 2-6 in a ruthless spell.
But the Invitational XI weren’t intimidated by their fancied opponents, coming within inches of inflicting NSW’s first defeat in years. The Blues eventually edged past the total nine wickets down with two overs to spare.
The NT women will take on the Invitational XI in semi-final one at Traeger Park, while NSW will face WA in the second semi-final at Albrecht Oval.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 21 February, 2013 11:34PM AEST