Back (L-R): Thomas Cull, Matthew Nitschke, Tarquin Kloeden, David Fitzsimmons, Reece Pruis, Darren Sterling, Shaun Butterworth
Front (L-R): Andy Wilson, Matthew Knight (c), Brett MacTavish, Steve Wilson
ALSC B Grade def Desi Avengers by 7 wickets @ Dog Park
Desi Avengers 125 (S Butterworth 4/28, M Nitschke 2/23, D Sterling 2/26)
ALSC 3/126 (S Wilson 40, A Wilson 36)
Finishing top after the minor round and winning our semi-final a fortnight ago meant nothing when play began Saturday afternoon in the Grand Final. We were taking on Desi Avengers who had inflicted pain on us multiple times and the only time we have been close to beating them was the semi-final in Div 2 last year when we threw away victory.
We lost the toss and were sent into field. This was disappointing as I wanted to bat first as we had not batted first in the three games we played them this season and they had not scored less than 200 each time.
We got off to a great start with Darren Sterling taking an early wicket and keeping the run rate down with them being 1/15 off 8 overs. Their other opener then decided the run rate was to slow and took 20 runs off one over.
We took our second wicket when the score was on 45 and then got the big breakthrough, dismissing their opener that was cutting loose when the score was 54 (he made 42) and suddenly we felt we were right on top. We got another quick one and at drinks they were 4/65. Shaun Butterworth picked up those three big scalps.
We dropped off a bit when we first came out from drinks but the fall of the fifth wicket gave us a chance to have a chat and pick up the intensity again. We took wickets regularly after that, with the bowlers bowling an excellent line and length forcing the batsman to play loose shots. At 8/105 we were well on top and we just had to knuckle down and take the final two wickets quickly which we have struggled to do in the past.
Thankfully on this occasion we did, and we had rolled them for 125 with a few overs to spare. An excellent effort by the bowling attack and in the field had put us in a great position to bring home the win. Butters was the destroyer taking 4/28 (backed up by some brilliant catching), with all the other bowlers doing a great job. Matt Nitschke bowled in two over spells picking up 2/23, Sterling put in another solid effort with 2/26 off his 8, Tarquin Kloeden again tied down the batsmen taking 1/19 off 8 and Reece Pruis bowled well into the wind, taking 1/29 off 5 (20 of which came from that one over!).
We sent out the Wilson’s to begin the run chase and they made an excellent start getting to 20 after 6 overs. From there they got a little tied up by the bowling and the run rate dropped off the next 12 overs before Steve released the shackles with a pull shot for 6. At drinks we were in a good position having not lost a wicket with 52 on the board. There was 74 required with 20 overs to go and 10 wickets in hand.
Steve compiled a great 40 before we lost him with the score on 70. There was a dubious run out decision given for our next wicket with 84 on the board and then Andy departed for 36 when we were on 104 and the equation was down to about 4.5 runs per over.
Tarqs and Dave Fitzsimmons were at the crease and those of us watching were all thinking we just needed either of them to knock a couple into the trees which they are more than capable of doing. They took a different approach however and continued to push the ball around taking runs at every opportunity. They never let the run rate get to more than a run a ball, and with two overs to go we were within 4 runs of victory.
Tarqs was ready to finish this with the next ball, smashing it over mid-on’s head, four bounces and over the boundary. We had done it!!! We finally knocked off Desi Avengers and what a great time to do it in a Grand Final! Tarqs finished 15* and Fitzy 13* in a partnership of 22 to get us over the line with 11 balls to spare.
A great way to end another successful season. Thank you for everyone that came out and supported us, it was great to see so many people out there on the day. Well done to everyone on bringing home another premiership for the Doggies!