Thursday, October 5, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mackay-Whitsunday senior representative cricket team have fallen short in their quest for the Bulls Masters Twenty20 Country Challenge Cup.
The Nitros bowed out of the trophy race after a heart-breaking four wicket loss to the Central Queensland Seamers in an epic semi-final last weekend at Griffiths Park in Cairns.
It was the Nitros first defeat at the 2023 tournament after posting impressive wins over the Wide Bay Flames, reigning champions Far North Fusion and Darling Downs Suns in the preliminary rounds.
The Fusion get an opportunity to retain the title when they pit their Twenty20 skills against the versatile Seamers line-up in the Challenge Cup Grand Final at the Gabba on December 27.
Far North advanced to the trophy decider after eliminating Sapphire Coast Scorchers by six wickets in their semi-final fixture.
Central Queensland skipper and top all-rounder Joe McGahan received the Dirk Tazelaar Medal for Player of the Tournament after compiling a series high 158 runs @ 39.5 and snaring eight wickets @ 11.
Mackay-Whitsunday were dismissed for 117 in their semi final with Shaun Austin top scoring with 42 runs off 35 balls and clouting five boundaries.
The inspirational McGahan produced a standout performance – grabbing 3-17 with the ball before steering the Seamers to victory by scoring a valuable 27 runs with support from David Heymer (40 not out).
Key Nitros bowlers Isaac Borg and Chris McEldowney continued their fine form, bagging two wickets each as the Seamers (6-118) eclipsed the Mackay-Whitsunday total.
The capable Austin also registered knocks of 33 not out against the Suns and 21 against the Flames and proved a model of consistency.
Other batting highlights for the Nitros were Matthew Wicks’ superb 87 off 44 balls that included six sixes and seven boundaries and Darryn Dyer’s unbeaten 79 off 53 balls.
In Walkerston off spinner McEldowney the Nitros had a bowling trump card.
He finished the series with nine wickets including a haul of 4-6 – combining with Mackay Norths all-rounder Mason Kohler (3-6) to rout Darling Downs for 51 and set up an important fifth round victory.
Central Queensland Seamers captain Joe McGahan received the Dirk Tazelaar Medal for Player of the Bulls Masters Twenty20 Country Challenge Cup tournament in Cairns