ADAM Carter proved to be the finisher for Rup-Minyip on Saturday, as the Blue Panthers claimed two A Grade Twenty20 victories in the Horsham Cricket Association.
Playing just his fifth and sixth games of the season, Carter blasted Noradjuha-Toolondo to all corners in game one, before steadying the ship with a cool-headed innings against Colts in game two.
Noradjuha-Toolondo were in a promising position at Dudley Cornell Park in the early afternoon, setting Rup-Minyip a formidable target of 158 from 20 overs.
Tidy top-order batting from Mark Mbofana (39) and Brayden Ison (28) had the Blue Panthers back in the hunt, before Ison departed at 4-116, bringing Carter to the crease.
Alongside Dan Schaper (12 no), Carter (38 no) upped the anti, belting four sixes and guiding the side to a six wicket victory in the 18th over.
"It was probably fairly lucky hitting really," Carter said of his innings.
"I think we needed around eight an over when I got out there. There wasn't much time to get my eye in, so it was sort of just a matter of closing your eyes and swinging.
"They batted quite well and getting to 158 was always going to be a bit of a battle. Lucky enough we got there with an over to spare for a pretty good win in the end."
Carter said it was an evenly-matched and enjoyable contest.
"The format I thought was definitely good fun," Carter said. "It was some really good Twenty20 cricket played by both sides.
"It was a good, evenly matched contest."
The Panthers also did things the hard way against Colts later that afternoon.
Rup-Minyip looked set for a regulation victory after young duo Blake Turner and Bailey Young combined for seven wickets to help restrict Colts to 9-94.
But some overly relaxed middle-order batting had the side at 6-69 before Carter came to the crease.
"It can be hard with those smaller run chases sometimes. You take your foot off the pedal a bit, guys relax and the game can turn pretty quickly," Carter said.
"But we had plenty of time, so Bailey Young (16 not out) and I didn't have to take any risks. He found singles, I hit a couple of boundaries and we got there alright in the end."
Carter finished 23 not out as the side claimed victory with three overs to spare.
The duo of wins catapulted Rup-Minyip to the top of the Twenty20 ladder with one weekend of the shorter format remaining. The Blue Panthers are also at second place on the combined ladder.
Carter has been in-and-out of the side this season, but said he enjoyed playing his part on Saturday.
"I've been a bit on-and-off with work and family commitments - around that December and early January it can be hard to get out on the park," he said.
"But it's an enjoyable group of guys and a good side at the moment. Hopefully it is a good back-half of the season."
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