CRICKET: Dawson Valley Taipans pulled off a lucky escape on Saturday night, slithering out of Monto's grasp to claim the Callide Dawson T20 trophy after successfully defending a 100-run total.
Played under lights, the final saw more than a few batsmen fail to make their mark, with only four breaking in to double figures in what is traditionally a slug-fest.
Dawson Valley captain Simon Green won the toss and elected to bat first, making use of the remaining afternoon light on what at first looked like a batsman's wicket.
But thanks in no small part to Shane Carter's lethal 3-9, the Taipans were soon struggling at 5-30.
A sixth-wicket partnership from Cameron Hourn (27 not out) and Ross Clancy (7) steadied the ship, guiding the Taipans to 8-100 after 20 overs.
"That partnership gave us a bit of hope and helped us get to that final total,” Green told the Central Telegraph.
"Going in to their innings, we thought 'We've got nothing to lose' so we gave it our all.”
The attacking attitude paid off, with Monto suffering a similar collapse to the Taipans.
"When they got to 5-35 I thought, it's a level playing field - we kept the pressure on and capitalised on the situation they'd created for themselves.”
Despite some last-wicket resistance coming from No. 6 Shane Carter (38 not out) - this time with the bat - the Taipans ripped apart the Monto line-up and finished the day with a run-out to stop Monto short at 91.
Green said the win would be a confidence boost for the team going into their final two games of the regular season, the team needing to win just one of those games to guarantee themselves a grand final berth.
"We'll have to get back into the 40-over format, but most of the guys in our team have been in a few seasons now so they're pretty used to being in this situation,” he said.
"We're pretty confident we'll be able to secure our spot.”
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