Redlands continued their impressive start to the season by chasing down the Sunshine Coast’s total of 269 with less than four overs to spare, only a day after compiling 3-420 against Wynnum/Manly to cap off an outstanding weekend for the competition’s form (and only unbeaten) team.
The Scorchers were lifted by half-centuries to veteran allrounder Kobi Griggs (53) and newcomer Harry Clark-Burnham (51*) in support of Alecz Day (pictured), the former Peter Burge Medallist blasting 91 from 86 deliveries to catapult his team to a more-than-competitive total.
In reply, the Tigers looked in trouble with the early departures of Bulls players Jimmy Peirson and Sam Heazlett, before a 153-run partnership between the in-form Liam Smith (72) and skipper Simon Milenko saw them to relative safety.
The former Bulls and Tasmanian allrounder was brutal with his legside strokeplay, hitting 17 boundaries (including five sixes) on his way to a rapid 105 from 79 balls.
Day again proved hard to get away with 2-36 from 10 overs to be the pick of the Sunshine Coast bowlers.
Across at the Gold Coast’s Bill Pippen Oval, the Dolphins defended 205 with a devastating bowling display, compounding Western Suburbs to a collapse of 8-51 en-route to being bowled out for 156 in reply.
Queensland allrounder Michael Neser starred with 59 and 4-41 to guide the Dolphins to victory, ably assisted by Dolphins captain and Bulls left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann (41* off 43 balls and 1-42 off 10) and Tasmanian recruit Kyle Wisniewski’s 3-27.
Rookie Bulls quick Blake Edwards continued his red-hot start to the season with the ball for Wests, taking 3-41 to have 12 victims this season at 20.25, along with evergreen veteran Steve Paulsen’s 3-24.
For Wests, Steve McGiffin (57) and Isaiah Snell (52) provided plenty of resistance but Snell’s dismissal at 3-105 sparked the collapse, Bulls fast bowler Xavier Bartlett removing Paulsen next ball to leave the Bulldogs reeling.
At Graceville, the Vikings overpowered a persistent Toombul, who posted a defendable 7-204 from their 50 overs.
Pranav Susarla’s patient 51 was the cornerstone of the Bulls batting approach, erring on the side of caution before attempting to pick the scoring rate up later.
The Norths chase began with a bang, Josh Brown hammering 28 from 21 balls in the powerplay before being trapped in front by former Queensland fast bowler Ronan McDonald.
However, his dismissal was to be the last for the Vikings as captain Nathan McSweeney joined incumbent Test opener Joe Burns in the middle on their way to an unbroken 165-run stand, as victory was achieved in the 32nd over.
Both batsmen displayed their vast array of strokes, with an abundance of straight drives and sweeps the hallmark of their partnership.
Burns finished with a run-a-ball 92, while McSweeney was only slightly more circumspect with 70 from 77.
However, it was the upset of the day at Ashgrove’s Peter Easton Oval that had people talking after an astonishing display of hitting by first-year Bulls squad member Jack Wood.
Coming in at a precarious 4-100 against a Valley attack featuring the likes of Jack Wildermuth, Mark Steketee, Andrew Gode and Cameron Boyce, the Hornets right-hander smashed 128 from just 78 balls (clearing the pickets eight times) including some monstrous lofted drives straight down the ground.
His efforts lifted Ipswich to 299, Steketee (2-44) and Gode (3-65) the Diehards’ best with the ball.
Valleys opener and Bulls squad member Lachlan Pfeffer then promptly continued his superb run of form, top-scoring with 59 before falling to Wood’s left-arm wrist spin.
The left-hander now has 499 runs at 124.75 from five matches for Valley this season, 179 runs clear of his nearest competition in fellow Bulls wicketkeeper Peirson.
Jack Beath (49 off 34) and Nick Stevens (45) provided middle order support for Pfeffer, but consistent wickets from the Hornets saw the total too great, Valley bowled out for 264 in the 47th over.
Wood topped off a superb all-round performance to finish with 3-42, ably assisted by Sean Lutter (3-50).
Redlands will now host the Gold Coast, with the Tigers bolstered by a batting order consisting of Heazlett, Smith, Milenko, Leigh Drennan and James Bazley, while the Dolphins will be without Kuhnemann, Neser and Bartlett.
A mouth-watering clash between Norths and Ipswich will make up the second semi-final.
Kookaburra One Day Semi-Finals, Sunday 11th October
Redlands v Gold Coast, Peter Burge Oval
Northern Suburbs v Ipswich, TBA