It was upsets galore in the Victoria East and West Zones over the weekend in the NICL.
In a huge upset for the NICL in Victoria, Frankston Sharks have taken out the Victoria East Zone title after overcoming the undefeated Croydon Raiders 71-63 at Springvale on Friday evening.
Heading into the match, the Sharks were up against it without a ball being bowled, missing key player Clive Rose. Despite this, batting first Frankston managed to post a competitive total of 71. Brendan Rose top-scored with 18 runs in a third pair partnership of 31 with Cam Dinger. Travis Baker and Kieran Perkins both took multiple wickets for the Raiders.
In response, Croydon started their innings positively; Travis Baker (18 runs) and Kieran Perkins (19) lead the Raiders to 41 at the halfway point. However, it was four wickets in the 10th over to Luke Dinger that completely shifted the momentum back to Frankston. With Croydon's third pair amassing -10, it left Justin Perkins and Michael Sullivan with 42 to win in the final four overs.
Croydon made steady progress, but left themselves 23 off the final over to win. Yet with the first five deliveries of Jarrod Munday's over going for 19 runs, Croydon remained alive still. A run-out on the final ball of the match however sealed victory for Frankston.
Despite the loss Croydon will still qualify for the NICL Finals Series in September alongside Frankston, with Victoria East gaining a wild-card team entrant spot as the host zone for the finals.
In another shock result, Hoppers Crossing will meet Northcote Knights in the West Zone Grand Final this Friday night, after a narrow 13-run victory over Melton Falcons.
Batting first, Melton made a strong start with a 30-run opening stand led by Grant McDonald (28 runs). The total advanced to 40 at the halfway mark, but a flow of wickets in the second half of the innings significantly halted the Falcons' progress to a total of 30. Anthony D'Angelo (4 wickets), Nathan D'Antonio (3 wickets) and Trent Lawford (2 wickets) led the resurgence for the Hurricanes.
In reply the Falcons came out firing with the ball, taking 6 wickets inside the first 5 overs. Under pressure the Hurricanes held firm as Nathan D'Antonio (16 runs) and Trent Lawford (13 runs) led the way past the Falcons total. Dave Simpson and Brad Jones took 3 wickets apiece for the Falcons.
The winner of this Friday's West Zone Final between Northcote Knights and Hoppers Crossing Hurricanes will join Frankston and Croydon in the NICL Final Series which will kick off on Friday 1st September at Springvale Indoor Sports Centre.
For full fixtures, news, results and match replays of all live-streamed matches head to www.nicl.com.au or subscribe to the @CricketAusIndoor Facebook page.
Article image courtesy of Chloe IP.
15 AUGUST, 2017 | Indoor Cricket