BLACKHEATH-DIMBOOLA has been crowned Horsham Cricket Association Carr-McRae Twenty20 Cup champion for 2013.
The Bulls entered Sunday night’s grand final against Horsham Saints at Horsham City Oval as underdogs, but set themselves up for victory with a strong batting performance.
After winning the toss, Blackheath-Dimboola elected to bat first and the decision paid immediate dividends.
Openers Tom Magee and Lachlan Watts put on a 74-run opening stand, which was finally broken when Magee was bowled by Ross Frew.
The pair scored almost 60 runs from the first six overs.
Magee’s quick 40 runs and Watts’s 52 took the pressure off the remaining Bulls batsmen, who were able to swing freely at the ball.
Travis Hair was unbeaten on 30 at the end of Blackheath-Dimboola’s innings, taking the side to 4-186.
Saint Clint King, 2-27, was the only multiple wicket-taker.
Blackheath-Dimboola’s Elliot Braithwaite, 16 runs, said the team felt confident after batting.
“I think batting first, to get anything more than 150 we felt like we would have a good chance of defending that,” he said.
“The openers were probably the key to the whole innings because they made runs – which allowed everyone to keep playing shots.”
The Saints were left a daunting run chase that immediately started on the wrong foot.
Opener Mark Crafter was removed for nine runs. Several Saints batsmen, including Clint King, Brad Sproule and Ross Frew were removed after catches on the boundary.
Ben Sawyer made 45 to be the best of his side’s batsmen but the Blackheath-Dimboola bowlers, led by James Lawson with three wickets, kept the Saints on the back foot.
Bulls Braithwaite and Chris Ross claimed two wickets.
Craig Klemm scored 22 and Trent King made 19 batting at number 11, but the damage had already been done.
King said the Bulls’ high total put the pressure on his side from the start of its innings.
“They got off to a great start in their first five overs and they put us on the back foot,” he said.
“We dropped a couple of catches and some half-chances.
“From the start we had to try and replicate what they did and be aggressive – and from the start it just didn’t go our way.”
Braithwaite said he and his team-mates were ecstatic to win the grand final, especially as the team had endured a lack of finals success in past years.
“We knew the Saints were probably the benchmark of the Twenty20 competition throughout the season so to come out and bat like that was good,” he said.
“Our longest form of the game hasn’t been too good this year but we’ve had good form in one-day matches.
“Hopefully we can take some good form into the rest of the season.”