Victoria has secured its first National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) title, defeating New South Wales by 18 runs.
Victoria won the toss and elected to bat first, but an impressive run out in the second over removed Daniel Mock (2) to give New South Wales the early momentum. The Vics struggled to overcome the early bowling efforts from Djali Bloomfield and Ben Patterson, leaving them reeling at 5-74 in the 21st over.
With their backs against the wall, Victorians Clayton McCartney and Nick Boland came together at the crease to mount a comeback, putting on a 73-run partnership before Boland was dismissed for 21. McCartney then put on a 51-run partnership with Joshua Eaton (18) before he was finally dismissed by Ben Mitchell for a wonderful 114 from 109 balls, the first century of the 2017 NICC, with his side at 7-198 at the end of the 45th over. A handy run a ball effort late in the innings from Wade King (13*) helped Victoria reach 8-228.
The Victorian bowlers picked up where the batsmen left-off. Nick Boland put an early dent in the NSW's run chase, snaring 3-44, including the key wickets of Damien Duroux (21) and Brendan Smith (4) to have New South Wales at 3/65 in the 14th over.
NSW's Nathan Price and Jonte Pattison then proceeded to build a carefully crafted 64-run partnership that shifted the momentum back in favour of NSW. The partnership was broken by Tom Collett (3-29) who claimed Pattison's wicket before also dismissing Harrison Kelly (3) and Marty Jeffrey (1) shortly thereafter. Price's partnerships with Ben Mitchell (19 off 26) and Ben Patterson (20 off 18) helped to keep NSW in with a chance of chasing down the target. But eventually the NSW captain held out in the deep by Daniel Mock for 78 off the bowling of Boland.
The title win was the first for a Victorian men's team at the National Indigenous Cricket Championships and the significance of the moment was not lost on Victorian captain Ben Abbatangelo when he spoke after the match.
"There have been a lot of people that have shared the experience on the journey and I think we are just really fortunate to be reaping the rewards at the end of it, and I think as a program and as a state we just want to remember what that feeling feels like," Abbatangelo said.
"It means the world to everyone that's here wearing the Big V. We put grade cricket aside, we put a lot of things aside, work aside to be here and represent our state and represent ourselves so it means everything to us."
The Victorian women's Indigenous team finished their tournament with one win and four losses.
About the NICC
The National Indigenous Cricket Championships are held in conjunction with the Imparja Cup, which involves more than 500 players competing in Major Centre Men, Community Men, Community Women and Schools Divisions.
14 FEBRUARY, 2017 |