Grampians Cricket Association’s senior representative side claimed a thrilling one-wicket victory to finish as undefeated champions at Bendigo’s country week Friday.
The GCA team held its nerve to defeat the Bendigo District Cricket Association in sweltering conditions at Tannery Lane, Strathfieldsaye.
The Grampians side qualified for Friday’s final after four comprehensive wins from Monday to Thursday placed them atop the division three ladder.
Grampians skipper Jarrod Blandford’s luck at the coin toss continued, winning his fifth coin toss from five games for the week.
The game was brought forward to 9am and cut down to 35 overs per innings with a forecast top of 43 degrees predicted for Bendigo.
Even with the earlier starting time, the temperature had already reached 27 degrees before the first ball was bowled.
Matt Heffer and Jack Ganley got the innings off to the perfect start for Grampians, removing Bendigo’s two opening batsmen to have their opponents 2-26.
Bendigo’s middle order rallied as the total blew out to 147 from the allocated 35 overs.
Lachie Oddie picked up three crucial wickets while captain Blandford stepped up to claim two scalps to keep the score reachable.
The heat continued to intensify for Grampians’ batting innings, which got off to a horrible start.
In-form pair Chris Jerram and Nic Baird fell for zero and eight respectively and Grampians top-order began to show signs of weakness for the first time all week.
When Blandford fell for just four his side was left struggling at 4-32.
Matt Heffer scored a handy 12 in a 39-run partnership with opening batsman Tom Hannett who was able to keep scoring as he lost partners.
A quickfire 21 from Jack Ganley got the Grampians right back into the match, with Hannett continuing to score.
Hannett eventually fell for 60 but he left his side in a good position at 7-120, requiring 28 to win.
The wickets continued to fall as the Grampians edged closer to the total.
With just one-wicket in hand in the final overs, Michael Harricks (12*) and Brad Slorach (8*) were able to steer the Grampians to a special victory.
More to come.
Chris best bowler of the week
Bendigo DCA 8-147 (35 overs) def by Grampians CA 9-148 (35 overs)
- Lachlan Oddie 3-34
- Jarrod Blandford 2-17
- Tom Hannett 60 (78 balls)
- Jack Ganley 21 (13 balls)