A top of the table win to the Desert Blaze and first win to the City Cyclones has kept the Cricket 365 competition well and truly alive heading into the final round.
The Cyclones managed to get themselves out of early trouble to win and end their four-game winless streak in the campaign.
The Blaze ended Storm’s four-game winning streak to keep the top spot on the ladder alive heading into the final round.
The Storm and Blaze are equal on 16 points and will be hoping for wins and enough percentage to finish on top of the ladder.
The Tide and Cyclones are equal on four points and will be battling for third spot on the ladder to avoid a bottom-placed finish.
The Blaze will play the Tide and the Storm will take on the Cyclones in the final round of the One-Day tournament.
Round 5: Northern Tide vs. City Cyclones at Cazalys Arena
The Tide got off to a flying start having the Cyclones at 5/37 in the ninth over of the match, although, momentum swung the way of the Cyclones as they fought back well to post a total of 8/237 after 50 overs.
Cyclones all-rounder Jackson Edmondstone was the match saver, top-scoring with an outstanding 89 off 102 deliveries to help bring the Cyclones back into the match.
Another spinning all-rounder in Ryan McElduff made a superb 47 contributing to the brilliant 122 run partnership with Edmondstone to keep the game alive and take the Cyclones to 6/159 after being 5/37.
With the ball, Matt Hammond (3/33 off 10 overs) and Noah McFadyen (2/59 off 10 overs) did a fine job for the Tide at the start taking two top-order wickets each.
In the second innings, the Cyclones dominated with the ball through Jack Edwards (3/24 off six overs) and McElduff (3/46 off 10 overs) to bowl the Tide out for 165.
The highest scorer with the bat for the Tide was Anthony Adlam with 34.
This match marks Cyclones' first win for the tournament, keeping them in contention to finish the One-Day campaign in third position.
To finish third, the Cyclones will need to beat the Storm or rely on the Tide to lose and finish with a lower percentage than them.
Round 5: Southern Storm vs. Desert Blaze at DXC Arena
The Blaze were put under pressure early when the Storm goes off to a flying start taking 35 runs from the first six overs.
Shortly after, the Blaze brought the game back in their favour taking 3/5 thanks to Hayden Kerr (3/44 off eight overs) securing the wickets of the Storm’s top three batters.
Kerr was glad to have an impact on the game playing in foreign conditions with a new team.
“I’m just happy to contribute and it’s a good learning curve coming up here to Darwin in different conditions,” Kerr said.
“I have never played here before so I’m really enjoying it so far and it’s nice to contribute.”
The Blaze then carried on and continued to take wickets through Chris Tremain (2/27 off 8.1 overs) and Corey Rocchiccioli (2/41 off 10 overs) to keep the Storm to an achievable total of 208.
Top scoring for the Storm was Ash Chandrasinghe with 35 while Brodie Symonds (33) and Conor McInerney (31) contributed through the middle of the innings.
The Desert Blaze started the innings strongly through Jack White (59) and Hugo Burdon (40), putting the Blaze in a comfortable position with a 110 run partnership to take the team past 100, just one wicket down.
Wickets then gradually fell for the Blaze thanks to Blade Baxter (3/52 off 10 overs), giving the Storm a chance to pull off a miracle victory.
Needing eight runs for victory with two wickets in hand, the Blaze managed to work through the nerves thanks to Kerr steering the team home with a handy 38 not out.
Rocchiccioli hit the winning runs with an elegant drive through the covers for three.
The win places the Blaze on top of the One-Day ladder, equal on points with Storm but better on percentage heading into the last round of the One-Day tournament.