Zinger victory scored at Hamilton

Zinger victory scored at Hamilton

The Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association has continued its winning ways in the KFC Festival of Cricket, being named champions 2023/24.

The Mount Gambier side travelled to Hamilton on Sunday to take on South West, after finishing top of its pool.

The festival comprises eight teams, with seven from western Victoria and one from Mount Gambier, split into two pools of four.

Each team plays three matches, with the top of both pools meeting in the championship grand final.

The Mount Gambier team comprised captain Robert Drenthen, Jack Mullan, Wilba Rowland, Jayden Prior, Emerson Marks, Stephen Easterbrook, Nick McInerney, Alex Hentschke, Michael Waters, Jack Miller and Isaac Mulraney.

After inspecting the pitch and winning the toss Mount Gambier opted to bat first on Sunday, to make the most of conditions.

Captain Drenthen opted to mix up the batting lineup in a bid to put pressure on the Victorians.

“Getting some runs on the board in a final is always the best option, so we chose to bat first,” Drenthen said.

“I opened the batting and moved Wilba Rowland to three and Jack Mullan and I got away to about 25 and then Wilba came in at three and did what Wilba does and hit the ball around the park, he made 20 odd.

“Then we had a bit of a collapse and lost about five for six runs, but we limped our way to about 9/100 when Stephen Easterbrook came in and together with Isaac Mulraney they put on a few for the last wicket to get us to a respectable total of 131.

“We were confident enough that we had the bowling to defend it.”

Drenthen said Hentschke and Waters opened the bowling and immediately unsettled South West.

“Alex bowled superbly, for his 9.5 overs he took 3/32,” he said.

“Michael Waters got an early wicket and then we made a change to Isaac Mulraney who bowled probably the best spell I have ever seen him bowl, he really bowled tight lines and length to put them under pressure.

“Then defending Bill Whitty champ Nick McInerney did what Nick McInerney does and cleaned up the tail.”

Mount Gambier bowled South West out for 110 to claim the championship.

Easterbrook top scored with the bat with 29, with Rowland notching up 23 and Waters 21.

Hentschke led the way for the bowlers, snaring 3/32, with McInerney taking 2/14 and Mulraney 2/31.

Drenthen said the Mount Gambier side was yet to lose a match in the festival, after making it to the inaugural grand final last year which was cancelled due to pitch problems.

“Our rep side is a very good side, we have played a lot of cricket together and it gels really well,” he said.

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