Act of good sportsmanship pays off for victorious HybridsBy Shaun Connor
A true act of good sportsmanship has landed the Deniliquin District Cricket Association one-day cup fair and squarely in the hands of the Hay Cricket Club.
Not content with winning the one-day final by wash-out two weeks ago, the Hybrids offered to play the game on Saturday — an offer that Mathoura was more than pleased with, according to DDCA secretary Brad Todd.
‘‘Hay decided that they wanted to play and Mathoura jumped at the chance,’’ Todd said.
‘‘There is no actual rule for the postponement of the one-day final as it used to be played on a Sunday. And generally there isn’t any weekends free for it to be played due to the draw.’’
Played on Saturday at the home of the minor premier, the Hay Cricket Oval, the Hybrids were led to victory by a smashing 65-run effort from opening batsman Ben Holmes and a fiery four wicket performance from allrounder Jason Bunyan, who was named man of the match.
Holmes, speaking as the club’s president, said he was pleased his side was able to play for the right to call itself the one-day premier.
‘‘We approached Mathoura and they were keen to play.
‘‘We didn’t really want to claim the title without playing for it,’’ Holmes said.
‘‘It was really good to play; it was a good game and the wicket came up real well (after last week’s rain).’’
Holmes said it was Bunyan’s bowling which proved the turning point in the game.
‘‘He (Bunyan) knocked over four of their top batsman which sort of set up the win.
‘‘Mathoura didn’t really have all that much depth because a few guys didn’t qualify and they ended up batting one man down.’’
For Hay the only change in the side saw B grade batsman Ian Bunyan come in for opening bowler Bill Auldist, who was unavailable, while Mathoura’s captain-coach Scott Vesty was unable to make the trek to Hay.
He was replaced by Callum Harding-Davies.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Holmes and fellow opener Scott Wall got off to a firm start.
The pair played it safe for the first dozen overs, putting on 29 runs before Wall (14) was caught and bowled by Jesse Mitchelhill.
As Holmes continued to display textbook stroke making, Luke Arandt demonstrated more of a defensive role and only managed to make nine runs from his nine overs at the crease.
He was caught by Harding-Davies from a Brendan Unwin delivery to have Hay 2/49 after 21 overs.
As the halfway mark of the innings came and went, the Hybrids decided to pick up the run rate and within six overs they had lifted their game from 2.3 runs per over to 4.03.
Dean Edge (9) didn’t last long but skipper Mick Howard (20) consolidated well with Holmes to post a 50-run fourth-wicket stand.
Paceman Brodie Unwin eventually forced Howard to steer one straight to Mitchelhill, only to bring Jason Bunyan to the crease.
Bunyan picked up where Howard left off, smacking two boundaries and two sixes for a quick 27.
But in the same over that he was hit for two sixes, Mitchelhill snared Bunyan and the Hybrids were 5-155 after 33 overs.
The wicket of Bunyan triggered a middle-to-lower order collapse as the next five Hay batsmen only lasted five overs.
Ian Bunyan (0), Glen Caldow (2) and Evan Pocock (2) could only muster a combined four runs, while the man doing all the damage, Holmes, was clean bowled by Brodie Unwin.
Shayne Kennedy (5) was the final wicket, caught by Dan Tayles off a wily delivery from spinner Andy Randhawa.
Harding-Davies (2-19) was the best with the ball for Mathoura. He didn’t concede a single run until his fifth over, while Mitchelhill (2-41) was also impressive.
In reply, Mathoura were pretty much on the back foot the whole way with both openers, Brendan Unwin (19) and Dan Tayles (0) gone within nine overs.
Allrounder Jason Bunyan claimed them both and then charged in to remove Brodie Unwin (9) and Mitchelhill (0) in the space of another six overs as the Cutters crumbled to 4/42.
Wickets continued to fall at consistent rate despite the best efforts from a determined middle order.
Harding-Davies (13), Trent Starkey (12) and Beau Duggan-Hulands (21) all managed to hit a flurry of fours but once they were all out Mathoura was stuck at 7/88.
Randhawa (21 n.o.) and Jaydan Turner (5) boosted the total up to 115, but it wasn’t enough. Spinner Scott Wall eventually wrapped Turner on the pads for a successful LBW appeal and the final was all over.
Bunyan was sensational with the ball for Hay.
He finished with 4-12 off eight overs, including three maidens, while Kennedy had 2-31 and Brad Pocock 1-16 off six overs.
The win made it back-to-back one-day titles for Hay, which is also the two-day title holder, and it was the Hybrids’ third 40-over premiership in six years.
■ Scoreboard on page 15.
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