Coffs Coast halted by 10th wicket Newcastle partnership
AFTER accounting for the Northern Rivers Rocks and having the Newcastle Blasters 9/60 chasing 101, the Coffs Coast Chargers could have been forgiven for having one eye on the Plan B Regional Bash twenty20 semi-finals and another trip to the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The one thing they couldn’t account for was the talent of former Grafton cricketer Aidan Cahill, who formed a final-wicket partnership with Mitchell Lole (29) to hold out the Chargers’ attack and score an unbeaten 29 to take out the win and see Newcastle through to the next stage of the competition.
Aiming to build on their first victory of the day over Northern Rivers, the Chargers batted first against Blasters but struggled to build momentum. With wickets falling regularly Callan McKiernan (28) led the way with the bat, while Blasters skipper Nicholas Foster (4-9), Angus McTaggart (2-11) and Cahill (2-14) proved difficult to get away with the ball as the Chargers reached 9/101 off their 20 overs.
In reply Newcastle got off to a shaky start losing early wickets, with Ben McMahon (3-11) and captain Richie Gallichan (3-16) doing the damage with the ball, until Lole looked to almost play a lone hand. With wickets falling all around him Cahill came to the crease with Newcastle at 9/60 facing an almost impossible path to victory, however the pair put on an unbeaten partnership of 47 runs to snatch a one-wicket win with seven balls to spare and progress through to the semi-finals at the SCG.
The Chargers began their campaign on Sunday in winning fashion at Wayne Richards Park in Port Macquarie with a comfortable 91-run win over Northern Rivers Rock.
Losing the toss, Chargers were sent in to bat and lost an early wicket when Luke Cox (0) was dismissed before the ship was steadied by Alec Baldwin (35), captain Richie Gallichan (28) and Ben McMahon (40), finishing their 20 overs with a total of 8/161.
In reply Northern Rivers struggled to build partnerships with only Alec Williams (23) and Terry Murphy (10) passing double figures in their innings of 70 from 17.4 overs as Gallichan (2-23), Blake Austin (3-7) and Trent Mitchell (3-5) made inroads with the ball.
The Blasters ripped through Macquarie Coast Stingers in their first game. Michael Rees (33) top scored for the Stingers as they were bowled out for 94 off 19.5 overs with Bradley Aldous (2-14), Cahill (2-15) and Joshua Geary (2-20) the pick of the bowlers.
Nathan Hudson (39no) and Ben Balcomb (27no) put on an unbeaten 60-run 4th wicket partnership to guide the Blasters home in the 15th over.