A valiant Queensland Country Brahmans fell at the final hurdle in their bid to defend the Toyota Australian Country Cricket Championship T20 title in Western Australia on Sunday.
Playing in front of a strong crowd at the Wonthella Oval in Geraldton, the Brahmans stumbled after they were set a tough target by New South Wales in the tournament’s T20 final.
Young NSW star Caleb Ziebell hit a sparkling 110 not out from 60 balls, including five fours and six sixes, to lead his team to 3/190 after NSW won the toss and elected to bat.
In-form skipper and Gold Coast batsman Jimmy Spargo (36 from 35) and Atherton opener Gerard Fox (36 from 21 including three sixes) gave the Queenslanders an early chance to chase down the big total but they were eventually skittled for 151.
Central Queensland allrounder Jason Seng was the pick of the Brahmans bowlers over the T20 phase of the championships, finishing second on the T20 leading wicket-takers table.
Seng, a late injury call up to the Queensland team, took 10 wickets in his five matches, including a best performance of 3/9.
The Brahmans will have a point to prove as they enter the one-day component of the titles, which finish on Saturday.
The Queensland women are also on target for a strong result after winning three of their first four matches in the tournament.
The Brahmans bounced back from an eight-wicket loss to Victoria Country in their first T20 match to chalk up strong wins over Western Australia, Northern Territory and East Asia-Pacific.
Wheatvale top-order batter Carly Cooper, Townsville’s Stephanie Baldwin and Gold Coast indoor cricket ace Amy Riddell have all been in strong form.
The women’s semi-finals will be played on Friday with the winners progressing to Saturday’s final.