NSW Metro, Victoria Metro and Victoria Country lead the way after the opening rounds of the 2019-20 Under 19 Male National Championships in Perth.
All three sides are unbeaten after winning their respective matches on Monday and Tuesday, with a mixture of high-scoring encounters and low-scoring thrillers taking place.
Here is a wrap of all matches from the opening two rounds.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA VS VICTORIA COUNTRY
SCORECARD: South Australia 150 def by Victoria Country 8/153
Victoria Country opened their Under 19 Championships account with a tense two-wicket victory over South Australia.
Impressive spells from Cameron McClure (4-33) and Mitchell Davey (3-23) restricted South Australia to 150, with Josh Hoffman top scoring with an even 50.
In response, Thomas Jackson hit 53 before a collapse of 5-17, sparked by William Bowering (3-24), left Vic Country in strife at 8-133. But Nick Gladman and Cameron McClure kept their cool to guide their side home in the 43rd over.
QUEENSLAND VS CRICKET AUSTRALIA XI
SCORECARD: Queensland 199 def by Cricket Australia XI 7/200
The Cricket Australia XI fired the first warning shot of the Champs by downing Queensland on the opening day.
Hunar Verma’s 4-18 cut a swathe through the Queensland line up, but Hugo Burdon’s 81 and a rear-guard from Ryan Walker (23 not out) and William Prestwidge (16) steered them to a defendable target of 199.
Top order contributions from Isaac Higgins (33), Ryley Smith (41) and captain Cooper Connolly (38) set up the run chase for the CAXI, as they ran down the target with three wickets and 27 balls to spare.
VICTORIA METRO VS ACT/NSW COUNTRY
SCORECARD: Victoria Metro 7/241 def ACT/NSW Country 205
Half centuries to Stephen Mihelakos-James (67) and Kyle Viccars (57) set up a 36-run, opening day win for Victoria Metro over ACT/NSW Country.
Recent Sheffield Shield debutant Jake Fraser-McGurk was also among the runs as Vic Metro set the reigning U19 Champions 242 to win.
Sustained pressure from William Lovell (3-32) and Fergus O’Neill (3-30) restricted ACT/NSW Country’s momentum and, despite a fighting half century to Henry Railz (57), they fell 36 runs shy.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA VS TASMANIA
SCORECARD: Western Australia 197 def by Tasmania 4/198
Strong performances from Caedence Kuepper and Mitchell Owen guided Tasmania to a comfortable six-wicket win over Western Australia in round one.
Kuepper ripped through the WA middle order, claiming 4-25 and restricting the home side to a below-par 197.
Tasmania’s reply was controlled by Mitchell Owen’s flowing 93 not out, coming off just 89 balls with 10 fours and two sixes. He and Nicholas Davis (54 not out) combined in an unbeaten 125-run, fifth wicket stand to see off the target with more than 10 overs to spare.
NSW METRO V NORTHERN TERRITORY
SCORECARD: NSW Metro 5/296 def Northern Territory 264
NSW Metro defeated a gallant Northern Territory in a high-scoring encounter to kick off their U19 campaigns.
Half centuries to Jack Attenborough (77), Lachlan Hearne (79) and Zeeshaan Ahmed (57) saw NSW Metro to amass a round-high total of 5-296.
Northern Terrority never surrendered in reply, with determined knocks from Daniel Mylius (57) and Jet Liebke (54) keeping them in the hunt. But a late collapse of 6-19 in the search for quick runs halted their charge, ultimately falling 32 runs short. Hayden Goulstone did the bulk of the damage, taking 4-31.
NSW METRO V QUEENSLAND
SCORECARD: Queensland 142 def by NSW Metro 3-143
NSW Metro remained unbeaten with a dominant Round 2 victory over Queensland on Tuesday.
Hayden Goulstone’s form with the ball continued, with the off spinner’s 3-24 reducing Queensland to 6-69 early in their innings, before they recovered to post 142 all out.
The NSW Metro reply was never in doubt, with Dhruv Kant (52 not out) and Zeeshaan Ahmed (56 not out) combining for an unbeaten century stand to guide them home with 15.4 overs to spare.
VICTORIA METRO V WESTERN AUSTRALIA
SCORECARD: Victoria Metro 9-243 def Western Australia 90
Victoria Metro also maintained a 100% record through the opening two rounds of the U19 Championships courtesy of a 153-run victory over hosts Western Australia.
A fluent 95 from opener Dylan Brasher, supported by captain Wil Parker’s 52, allowed Vic Metro to pile on 9-243 at Abbett Park. Ethan Carrington (3-53) and Caiden Eaton (3-41) were among the wickets for WA.
The home side’s reply never gained momentum, with Bailen Clarke (4-26) Parker (3-18) ripping through WA’s batting order to deliver a huge win for Vic Metro.
ACT/NSW COUNTRY V VICTORIA COUNTRY
SCORECARD: Victoria Country 6-268 v ACT/NSW Country 9-248
The battle of the Country outfits fell the way of the Vics, with Patrick Rowe’s 135 not out setting up a 25 run win.
Rowe blazed eight fours and three sixes in his run-a-ball knock, guiding Vic Country to an imposing 6-268.
ACT/NSW Country’s reply was hampered by the fall of consistent wickets as run rate pressure told. Josh Staines (56) and Henry Railz (48) were gallant, but ultimately the run chase fell 20 short.
NORTHERN TERRITORY V TASMANIA
SCORECARD: Tasmania 172 def by Northern Territory 9-174
Northern Territory has triumphed in a low scoring Round 2 thriller against Tasmania to pick up their first win of the Championships.
Coby Edmonstone’s 4-27 put the brakes on Tasmania’s innings as they scraped to 172 in their allotted 50 overs.
Jet Liebke (69) made it consecutive half centuries at the top of the NT order but Tasmania remained in the hunt as he gradually ran out of partners.
At 9-140 the match looked Tasmania’s for the taking, but NT captain Adi Dave (30 not out) and Brendan Haylett (14 not out) had other ideas, steering their side home in a nerve-wracking 34-run tenth wicket stand.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA V CRICKET AUSTRALIA XI
SCORECARD: Cricket Australia XI 172 def by South Australia 3-175
South Australia cruised to their first victory of the Championships, downing the Cricket Australia XI by seven wickets.
U17 player of the tournament Cooper Connolly continued his form with 58 not out, but wickets around him at regular intervals saw the CA XI bowled out for 172. Kyle Brazell was the pick of the bowlers with 3-11.
South Australia’s reply was clinical, with Mitchell Fuss (54) and Thomas Kelly (57 not out) steering them to a comfortable victory in the 39th over.