AFTER second in 2009 and 2010, Edenhope posted an exciting victory over Wando Vale in the Casterton and District Cricket Association T20 final last Saturday.
Edenhope Captain Theo Zaxos out-thought the opposing batsmen throughout the carnival with his clever use of slow bowlers. His bowlers pitched the ball up and batsmen were encouraged to loft the ball over the infield only to present multiple opportunities to a bunch of enthusiastic fieldsmen.
This was the pattern in Edenhope’s games against Pigeon Ponds, Merino and Wando Vale. Edenhope now joins Pigeon Ponds, Dergholm and Casterton on the Jimmy O’Brien CDCA T20 Memorial Shield. Runners-up Wando Vale proved to be a worthy finalist after impressive preliminary round victories against Dergholm and Casterton.
All venues on Friday night and Saturday attracted good patronage from the Cricket and local communities. There were many outstanding individual performances with bat and ball. These included Brad Talbot (C) 128, Troy O’Connell (WV) 101, Anthony Close (PP) 89, Toby Murrell (WV) 5-1, Peter Staude (PP) 4-14, Joe McArlein (C ) 4-15, Ben Geary (E) 4-16, Will Smith (E) 4-18, James Thorn (M) 4-19,and Brett Holmes (M) 4-32 .
Game 1: Casterton 7-190 d Merino 123
Casterton overpowered Merino through some fine hitting from Brad Talbot (128) and Rick Killey (36). The Maroons posted a competitive 7-190, with Brett Holmes the best of the Merino bowlers with 4-32.
Merino responded with 123 with Brett Holmes (52) and Robert Joliffe (20) the pick of the batsmen. Joe McArlein snared 4-15 and Issac Forbes (2-8) were the Maroons main wicket-takers.
Game 2: Wando Vale 4-175 d Dergholm 99
Dergholm batted first and scored 99 with Andrew Plummer (28), Leonard Dixon (17), and Ken Dixon (12) the best with the bat. Multiple wicket takers for the Vale were Troy O’Connell (2-7), Mitchell Baugh (2-10) and Garry Carlin (2-21)
In reply, Wando vale amassed 4-175 with Troy O’Connell was the star with the bat with 101 retired.
Game 3: Edenhope 9-179 d Pigeon Ponds 135
Pigeon Ponds batted first and made 135 with major contributions from Ben Peucker (28) and Andrew Close (27).
Best with the ball for Edenhope were Will Smith (2-16, Chad Eastwood (2-17) and Alan McIntyre (2-22). Edenhope had little trouble in passing this total with Ben Geary (55) and Brent Cranage (44) well on top of the bowling.
Best with the ball for Pigeon Ponds were Murray Staude (3-23) and Ash Simons (2-27).
Game 4: Edenhope 111 d Merino 8-65
Merino batted first and was in early trouble against the crafty Edenhope slow bowlers and ended its allotted overs with 8-65 with Aaron Robertson 20 not out. Ben Geary (4-16) and Chad Eastwood (2-11) did the damage. Edenhope innings struggled early but prevailed at the end of its 20 overs with a score of 111. Ben Geary (24) and, Chris Oliver (21) steered their team to victory. James Thorn got the bowling figures for Merino with 4-19.
Game 5: Pigeon Ponds 5-188 d Dergholm 45
Pigeon Ponds scored 5-188 thanks to Anthony Close (89), Joel Staude (33) and Murray Staude (26no).
Dergholm replied with 45 due to good bowling from Peter Staude (4-14) and Murray Staude (2-12).
Game 6: Wando Vale 106 d Casterton 67
Wando Vale batted first and made 106 through the batting efforts of Toby Murrell (22), Lionel Balzan (21) and Garry Carlin (13). Daniel Toma (3-15) and Matt Killey (2-35) were the best of the Maroons’ bowlers.
Casterton struggled to get near its target and was dismissed for 67 with Brad Talbot (36) and Daniel Toma (11) the only two batsmen to reach double figures. Toby Murrell was the destroyer with 5-1 and the one run was a wide. Others to do well with the ball for the Vale were Lionel Balzan (3-20) and Stefan Thistelton (2-19).
Final: Edenhope 7-91 d Wando Vale 90
Wando Vale began the batting and Lionel Balzan (6) was the first to go, one of a Wilbur Smith foursome, with the score on 13. Stefan Thistelton (26) and Toby Murrell (12) added 29 for the second wicket before also falling to Smith.
Back-up bowlers Chris Oliver (3-19) and Brad West (2-17) then chimed in with valuable wickets as the Wando Vale innings teetered on the brink. Mark Widdicombe (11) added valuable runs for the Vale in a moderate team total of 90 runs in 16 overs.
Wilbur Smith took 4-18 for Edenhope. After an opening partnership of 12, Edenhope lost five quick wickets to be struggling at 5-30. Troy O’Connell took 3-9 from his four overs, including the wickets of Wilbur Smith (15), Theo Zaxos (0) and Ben Geary (0) in one over.
Stefan Thistelton added valuable support with 2-17. Chris Oliver (26) and Chad Eastwood (20 not out) then got together in an Edenhope rescue partnership. The pair added 40 valuable runs for the sixth wicket and steered Edenhope to victory in the 18th over for the loss of seven wickets.
In a keenly contested game, it was the Edenhope slow bowlers who triumphed over the Wando Vale batsmen. To their credit, the Wando Vale fast bowlers stuck to their task and almost stole the game.