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'Hollow victory' for Old Students

Old Students have been awarded the points from the Cricket Shepparton Twenty20 match against Central Park-St Brendan's that was abandoned after sprinklers came on mid-match.

PATRICK O'MEARA November 15, 2012 4:19am

Old Students have been awarded the points from the Twenty20 clash with Central Park-St Brendan’s which ended abruptly when sprinklers came on mid-match.

The clash at Students’ home ground Chapman Oval last month was brought to a halt in the 10th over of the Tigers’ innings, with the reigning Cricket Shepparton Twenty20 champs 3-76 chasing 6-153.

As Students all-rounder Luke McPhillamy steamed in from the city end, the sprinklers popped up behind him and began watering that end of the ground.

Students officials tried in vain to find a way to shut off the watering system before the game was abandoned by the umpire about 15 minutes later.

The watering system is controlled by Shepparton High School and runs on timer.

Cricket Shepparton president David D’Elia said after a ‘‘fair bit of deliberation’’ the association’s executive believed under the rules it had no option but to award Students the points.

D’Elia said the Cricket Shepparton rule book states that in Twenty20 cricket if the team batting first has completed its innings, the team that bats second must have faced five overs for it to be constituted a match.

He said the rules then say that if a game is interrupted, which the executive determined unanimously it was, it then reverts to the one-day rule.

That rule pits the best overs of the team that bats first against the completed overs of the team batting second.

‘‘It was a tough decision to make, some might feel a harsh decision, but we have the rule book for a reason,’’ D’Elia said.

‘‘Clubs are happy to follow the rule book when it suits them, but they need to realise that they have to follow it all the time.’’

Old Students president Vince Gagliardi said it was a hollow victory for his club.

‘‘It was an unfortunate situation,’’ Gagliardi said.

‘‘For us, it was an embarrassing circumstance but in the end Cricket Shepparton have made a decision and we will now move on.

‘‘We are happy to get the points, but it is certainly not the way we want to win a match.’’

Central Park-St Brendan’s president Steve Wright said the Tigers accepted the decision.

‘‘We will just accept the umpire’s decision, so to speak,’’ Wright said.

‘‘That is their (Cricket Shepparton’s) call and we will just accept that.’’

The Twenty20 competition is starting to heat up ahead of two double-header weekend’s starting on Sunday.

The competition has this season been divided into two pools.

Pool B — comprising Old Students, Numurkah, Central Park-St Brendan’s, Katandra, Shepparton United and Northerners — will play multiple games at Numurkah Showgrounds on Sunday.

Students, after knocking off United on Tuesday night, are the only unbeaten side in pool B.

Pool A — comprising Kialla, Mooroopna, Tatura, Kyabram and Karramomus — will play multiple games at Shepparton’s Vibert Reserve the following Sunday.

Karramomus and Tatura, who play Kialla at Kialla tonight, are both undefeated.

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