T20 drought to end for one

February 15, 2018

Watchful: Katandra 'keeper Luke Nolan and Old Students opener Nick Breslin keep their eyes on the ball.

Cade Mueller has led Kyabram's batting during the Twenty20 competition, including smashing six sixes in his 81 off 55 balls against Old Students.

Twenty20 glory is on the line tonight as Katandra and Kyabram battle in Mooroopna.

Neither side has taken out the Cricket Shepparton limited overs competition before, but that will change for one of the sides.

And the pair enters the decider after strong form in the preliminary rounds. Kyabram has lost just once for the campaign, while Katandra is undefeated.

The Eagles enter the final as favourites with a 4-0 record. They have shown an ability to win in multiple ways, either defending par totals or chasing down monster scores.

The highlight of the campaign was a thrilling one-wicket win against Central Park-St Brendan’s, chasing down a whopping 173 with only a ball to spare.

Vital in that chase was Hadleigh Sirett with a speedy 52, along with Luke Nolan and Jedd Wright; the trio will be the key with the bat again tonight.

But just as impressive has been its ability to defend totals after batting first; Katandra has won defending 119 against Numurkah and 104 against Karramomus.

For Kyabram, its success has been based on batting firepower.

It tracked down Shepparton United’s 6-123 in 16 overs and only needed 12 overs to chase Mooroopna’s 95.

Cade Mueller has been the clear star with 135 runs at 45, his powerful 81 in 55 balls against Old Students including six sixes and showing his ability to bat his side to winning positions.

Kyabram’s Alec Young said the chance to break through for some silverware was exciting for the squad.

‘‘It’s a really good opportunity for us, we’ve never been to the final before, so we’re really excited,’’ he said.

‘‘Obviously we want to win whatever we can; the club hasn’t won anything in A-grade, so a T20 final would be great.’’

Young said it had taken quality in all areas to reach the final, but he expected that same quality from Katandra.

‘‘We’ve just bowled in good areas and restricted sides as best we can,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve had a few good individual innings, Cade has given us some good runs and everyone’s chipped in, so it’s been pretty good so far.

‘‘(Katandra) is good with both; they bat fairly deep and have a few good bowlers for us to deal with as well.’’

●In the evening’s first game, Mooroopna will tackle Invergordon in the lower grade T20 final.

Mooroopna’s highlight was smashing 6-185 against Central Park-St Brendan’s as well as beating Murchison with one ball to spare in round three.

Invergordon slipped up against Pine Lodge, but bounced back in its last preliminary round match against Northerners, belting 5-163 on its way to a 53-run win.


Tonight’s Cricket Shepparton Twenty20 finals

A grade: Katandra v Kyabram, 7pm, Mooroopna Main Oval.

Lower grade: Mooroopna v Invergordon, 5.15pm, John Gray Oval.

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