Penola took the first step to Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association Twenty20 glory with 33-run win over Mil Lel in the opening Semi Final at Frew Park on Sunday. The Eagles reached the clash after topping a competitive Pool 1, while Mil Lel was a surprise finalist from Pool 2.
Batting first, Penola gave a glimpse of things to come as openers Jack Schulz and Jack Mullan put the foot down. The pair were flying at more than 10 runs per over before Mullan was caught at long off for 35.
Thanks to Logan Gibbs and Darcy Williamson, the home side managed to slow things down and the six tight overs resulted in the dismissals of Raymondo Stanton and Schulz. But the fightback was only temporary as Mark Smith (57) and Michael Waters (41) put the Eagles’ sprint back on track.
After initially dropping the ball into gaps, the duo played their shots with some maximums landing on the highway. A 91-run partnership motored Penola to an imposing 3/175, while Williamson was the top bowler with 2/27.
The tall target proved too much for the more inexperienced Mil Lel team. However, the batsmen fought hard in home conditions and did not give up on the run chase despite losing a couple of early wickets.
Led by an unbroken 57 by captain Jack Miller, Mil Lel compiled 6/142 from its 20 overs, but fell short of the ultimate goal.