Cricket Shepparton’s Twenty20 competition started with a bang on Thursday night as players across the region embraced the game’s shortest format.
Old Students and Tatura were almost unable to be split after the A-grade contest, with the former winning a final-ball thriller by a solitary run.
Tatura won the toss at Kialla Recreation Reserve and sent the Students in to bat, reducing the home side to 3-22.
But a swashbuckling 56 not out from Harwinder Singh, which included one four and four sixes, helped steer the Students to 8-127 in their 20 overs.
Jess Petherick was the pick of Tatura’s bowlers with 3-29, while Michael Archer’s 2-22 was also impressive.
Archer then got his side off to a great start with 24 at the top of the order before Connor Hayes (35) and Hamish Roberts (36) gave Tatura every chance of victory.
It was not to be though as Ranji Thirachchelvan (2-28) held his nerve in the final over, with Waqar Ali (2-11) and Connor Hangan (2-19) also claiming two wickets.
At Vibert Reserve, Karramomus felt the full force of marquee Northerners guns.
Geelong Cricket Association import Tom Milnes smashed 81 of the 5-134 total as the Jets batted first, with County cricket star Ryan Sidebottom finishing unbeaten on 28.
Sidebottom then helped rip through the Bloods with 3-11 from four overs — backed by brother Trent (2-18) and Mark Nolan (2-23).
The home side still came extremely close to success though, falling just three runs short on the back of a knock of 42 from 31 deliveries by Nathan Laffy.
Club legend Chris Keady, playing in just his third match of the season, led the way with the ball earlier for Karramomus by snaring 2-16.
In other matches Katandra defended a total of 119 against Numurkah, while a Cade Mueller 54 led Kyabram to victory against Shepparton United.
Central Park-St Brendan’s and Mooroopna had the bye.