SCORECARD: Western Australia 190 (Connolly 68, Patel 3-18, Sherriff 3-31) def NSW METRO 189 (Miller 71)
Western Australia has been crowned the Under 17 Male National Champions for 2019-20 after a thrilling one-run win over NSW Metro at Harrup Park, Mackay.
A dramatic final two overs from Nathan Bothma and Hayden Stumpers saw three NSW Metro wickets fall for five runs, handing victory to WA by the narrowest of margins.
The win handed the state its first Under 17 Male title since 2010-11.
Electing to bat first in the first ever day-night Under 17 final, WA captain Cooper Connolly earned himself player of the match honours with 68 batting at first drop to guide his side out of a precarious position.
After being reduced to 4-58 via the leg spin of Yash Patel (3-18), Connolly and Aryan Varsani (28) steadied the ship for WA, guiding them out of trouble and to a competitive 190 in front of a growing Harrup Park crowd.
The NSW Metro reply began on productive terms as top order batsmen Ryley Smith (27) and Lachlan Shaw (25) formed productive partnerships with opener Corey Miller.
At the final drinks break, NSW Metro appeared to be in control of the run chase at 3-119 after 33 overs, needing a further 72 for victory from 17 overs to take out the title.
But WA, undefeated leading into the match, had other ideas. A brilliant spell of 2-39 from 15 overs from spinner Sharad Jessani stifled the run rate and, as wickets fell, put the game back in the balance.
Incredibly, when rain forced a dramatic delay at 6-156 in the 44th over, the match was tied on Duckworth Lewis par scores
But the tide turned after the resumption when Miller fell for 71, leaving NSW Metro needing 22 runs for victory with three wickets in hand.
Yianni Theodorakopulous’ (27) rearguard was halted by Bothma in an inspired double-wicket penultimate over, leaving six runs to win from the final over.
Stumpers maintained his cool and, with just one run to play with, produced a superb piece of fielding off his own bowling to secure the title for his side.
Western Australia was presented with the Parish Cup, named after the late Robert James Parish who served two terms as Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board from 1966-69 and 1975-80.