Chase for a finals berth remains alive
CRICKET: Nambour have announced an unlikely bid for a finals berth with an upset outright win over Gympie, as the SCCA Division 1 competition hits the straight with just two rounds remaining.
The Cutters started the day at the Gold's new home, Spencer Oval, needing something special. The home side, at 3/97, had made inroads towards a chase of 162 with Josh Brady at the crease, and Ash Sippel, another powerhouse, available for day two.
The fourth ball of the day from Nick Wallace found the edge of Nathan McClintock's blade for the ideal start, and the tally had risen to 108 when the skipper gained the prize of Brady in a similar fashion to start the 29th over. At the other end Kobi Griggs bowled Jake Vidler to maintain the Cutters' quest.
The 35th over turned the game. Sippel fell third ball to Griggs, who then bowled Karl Leupold. Hadyn Mitchell survived the lbw appeal next delivery, but lost his stumps on the last ball of the over to reduce the Gold to 9/ 123, the closing total when Wallace claimed Brycen Mitchell.
After 16 years and 46 matches in a Nambour career that has bookended 130 Scorchers games, the final stat of 5/53 becomes Griggs' best local figures, giving the Cutters a lead of 39, a lead extended to 179 after a hectic 40 overs in the middle.
Griggs struck a telling blow with the bat as he was dismissed caught and bowled in the rush, his straight drive shattering the middle finger of Lewis Waugh's right hand, removing the Gold skipper from play.
Wallace then offered the home side a challenge - 180 runs in 32 overs. Gympie never refuses any contest but were slowed first over when strike weapon Steve Brady, record holder of one-day scoring with 177, was caught off Griggs. Without Waugh as the stabiliser, Josh Brady played a lone hand, 64 from 52 deliveries, and the Gold needed just 30 with four overs left, but were seven wickets down.
Nine balls remained when Gympie were all out 157, keeping the Cutters hopeful that the lotto marbles fall the right way.
Maroochydore and Glasshouse protected their positions at three and four against Yandina and Tewantin-Noosa respectively. The Swans restored batting confidence in an 8/267 hit-out against Yandina, with an unlucky Luke McInnes falling for 97 cutting his hopefully century-making stroke to point, while the Rangers' bowling was all over a disappointing Thunder as the home side fell for 109, a far cry from the 192 set, providing a dampener to Jarrod Officer's 200th game.
The home bowling kept morale up by dismissing Glasshouse for 113 batting again, giving both sides food for thought about finals runs on testing tracks.
Caboolture guaranteed a home final with an outright win over Caloundra by batting on to 260, well ahead of the visitors' 98, though the Lighthouses resistance in their second dig extended to 174, courtesy of 82 from Dan Cummins. This made the Snakes bat again, though just for two overs, to claim maximum points.