ACT/NSW Country have claimed the Under 19 Male National Championships title // Brody Grogan
ACT/NSW Country have claimed a four-wicket victory in the CA Under 19 Male National Championships Final, in a rain-affected game against Queensland.
On a wet Adelaide day, ACT/NSW Country won the toss and bowled first at Karen Rolton Oval.
ACT/NSW Country opening bowlers Iain Carlisle and Glenn Winsor quickly got to work, claiming the wickets of Queensland captain Angus Lovell and Ben Maynard to have them in trouble at 2-46 before rain forced the players off the field after the ninth over.
It took all of five and a half hours for the rain to fully clear, as the players returned to the field for a twenty-over game.
ACT/NSW Country were on song from the outset in the field, as some solid bowling yielded excellent results.
Corey Hunter (37) was the only Queenslander to get going with the bat, with his departure along with the run out of the dangerous Josh Kann for a diamond duck in 13th over sparking a collapse.
Kaleb Phillips was excellent with the ball for ACT/NSW Country, taking 2-18 off of his four overs, with his double breakthrough in the 17th over particularly important.
In the end, some excellent death bowling saw Queensland fall to 7-124 off of their 20 overs.
The DLS Method saw the total for ACT/NSW Country to win revised to 131.
In-form opener Blake Nikitaras got ACT/NSW Country off to a flyer in their run chase, taking 15 off the first over to put Queensland on the back foot.
A first-ball wicket to Matthew Willans kept the Queenslanders in the hunt, however the big hitting of Nikitaras kept ACT/NSW Country well above the required run rate from the outset.
In an innings built upon solid partnerships, the ACT/NSW Country batsman all applied themselves, with wickets doing little to hinder the run chase.
ACT/NSW Country enjoyed starts from Matthew Calder (21), Henry Railz (29) and Kaleb Phillips (36 not our), as they got to the total with five balls to spare.
Willans was the pick of the bowlers for Queensland with excellent figures of 2-15 in the side's unsuccessful defence.
Having lost two of the previous three finals, this was a breakthrough championship for ACT/NSW Country, winning the tournament for the first time since New South Wales split into two teams ahead of the 2014-15 tournament.
by Zac Standish