South scores sixth T20 title

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South scores sixth T20 title

Abrilliant evening of T20 cricket occurred in front of an excited crowd at Frew Park on Friday for the Dycer Construction Big Bash finale.

The set up was exciting; the two sides both had milestones to play for.

For South Gambier a victory would mean their sixth title and see them crowned the most successful team in the Big Bash tournament, edging in front of West with five.

For East Gambier it was a chance to claim their first title in the competition.

However, both teams were without key players, for East it was Dion Stratford while Daniel Loupus was missing for South.

The stage was set for a sensational challenge, with South fortuitously winning the toss and electing to bat first.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to be entertained, only waiting three balls for some action as Alex Hentschke was hit by Adam Kuhl for four to open South’s account.

South scored eight runs off the second over, scoring quickly early.

The fourth over brought the first six as Robert Drenthen hit Liam Turley back over his head on the full.

Drenthen won the battle, but Turley won the war with the very next ball Drenthen hitting straight up in the air only to be caught by Zach Jones.

Spinner Ben Hentschke was brought into the attack and found East’s next breakthrough in his first over.

Kuhl was dismissed for 16, bringing Stephen Easterbrook to the crease and it did not take long for him to get off the mark, hitting Hentschke straight back down the ground for four.

The two quick wickets did not slow South’s scoring at all as the two new batsmen got to work instantly.

Their partnership put South in the driver’s seat, hitting Hentschke for 12 in the 13th over.

At the 14th over South found themselves in a strong position of 2/103. The pressure was on East as its bowling had been the side’s strength this season.

Easterbrook was given a lifeline when dropped at the start of the 15th over at long off, off the bowling of Hentschke.

Alex Hentschke came back into the attack and South pressured him straight away as he went for 10 runs.

A four byes followed by a massive six by Easterbrook was followed brilliantly by Emerson Marks with the wicket of Easterbrook.

Easterbrook’s brilliant innings came to an end after 35 balls, hitting four fours and two sixes for his 42.

East tightened its bowling in the last three overs, with only 16 runs coming from them.

South’s innings finished 4/137 with Dylan Clough finishing 40 not out.

East’s bowlers shared the wickets evenly, apart from Marks who claimed two. It was going to be a tough run chase for East with an important batsman missing in a side that had struggled to score throughout the season.

Elwood Geary applied pressure with the ball early with four dots.

With a big run chase ahead of them Jones decided they needed to start scoring as he tried to hit Geary big.

It did not go his way, being caught with the first over of East’s innings finishing 1/0.

The first wicket sparked an awful collapse for East, the third over Marks was caught on three for Geary’s second wicket.

The sixth over was mania, with Drenthen claiming three of the East batsmen’s wickets.

Leigh Von Duve could only score four runs for his time at the crease, Jake Wright’s one would only just outscore Alex Hill who was out for a second ball duck.

East had quickly gone from 2/10 to 5/12 and the game seemed beyond them.

Alex Hentshcke and Ben Hentschke had an incredibly tough task ahead of them.

The pair settled the innings for East as they carried their side to 5/37 at the 10th over mark.

East required 10 an over for the last 20 overs, a tough task no matter the stage of the game, let alone five down with 10 overs left.

They lacked the runs early only scoring 18 from the next three overs, increasing the required run rate to just below 12 an over, but most importantly East started to build a partnership.

Just as they started to score consistently South fought back, dismissing Alex Hentschke for 31 with Geary claiming an incredibly important third wicket.

In the 17th over Hentschke and Little scored 10, thanks to a huge six from Hentscke.

They still required more than 10 an over as the required run rate started to get out of control for East.

With 18 balls left East still required 42 runs, a tough ask but not an impossible one.

Ben Hentscke was looking reliable with the bat and was East’s big hope for an impressive comeback.

Nine runs in the 17th over left East with 12 balls to score 33, Drenthen came back into the attack and East went after every ball.

Hentscke hit his second six of the innings, then the next ball he was caught after going after another big shot.

He was dismissed for what was nearly a match saving 52 off 43 balls, however his wicket meant the game was all but South’s.

There were 18 runs required from the last over and with two fresh batsmen East needed a miracle.

However, with the fourth ball, Opie took his first wicket of the day and the game was won for South.

East’s James Sullivan finished the innings in style with a massive six, but it was too little too late with East’s slow start costing them dearly as South claimed an 11 run win.

With their victory South Gambier claimed their sixth title to become the most successful club in the Dycer Construction Big Bash, moving past West Gambier on five.

East will lick their wounds and will go into the next season looking to go that one step further to claim their first title.

South Gambier captain Robert Drenthen claimed man of the match honours thanks to his 4/30.

Drenthen complemented his team’s ability to rebuild their season after two losses in the first two games including a horrific batting collapse at the hands of West Gambier.

South will now look to do the double as the Barber Shield finals near, eager to add another trophy for the season.

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