Northern Territory gained a large degree of credibility, especially at the batting crease, after defeating South Australia by one wicket in their Semi-final Round of the male Under 17 Cricket National Championships being played in Mackay.
South Australia won the toss and elected to bat on the Harrup Park 5 – Roy Trevaskis Oval. The Redback openers steered through the early NT opening bowlers and put on 37 for the first wicket – then up stepped Territory medium pacer, Jai Allman, who together with William Pilkington, they sent the next four batsmen packing to have them 4-61. A solid fifth wicket partnership (66) put the SACAs back on track but it was finally broken by NT skipper, Banjo Waring, and when he later swooped and ran out the next batsman, it looked promising for the NT.
The NT were clever in their bowling mixes and after some stubborn late order resistance by the South Australians, they were bowled out for 228 in 49.3 overs. Centralian, Lucas Nitschke, was instrumental at the end, taking 2-25 including the important wicket of top scorer, Jamison Murphy (83).
In an enterprising opening partnership, Jayllen Naganayagam and Ethan Anderson put on 78 at a run a ball before Anderson was first out with a well compiled 30 – Naganayagam was third out, scoring a belligerent 67 off 56 balls which included 7 fours and 3 sixes.
The NT tail wagged and with Sam Elder (53 n.o.) carrying the major burden, they hung on to defeat the SACAs by one wicket. Off spinner, Sebastian Young, was the main destroyer with the ball for South Australia, taking 5-50 off 15 overs.
A jubilant Waring, said it was an unbelievable win.
“We tweaked the batting order a bit and with Ethan (Anderson) and Jay (Naganayagam) churning out the runs, we knew something special was going to happen,” said Waring.
“Jay was unbelievable, he hit the ball so cleanly and then Sam (Elder) played with such composure in the middle order,
“Earlier the bowlers and fielders also did their job. Before the game we planned to rotate the bowlers – if it wasn’t working for one bowler, we changed it up and got someone else on. I think seven of us had a bowl.”
Match Scores: Northern Territory 9-231 (Jayllen Naganayagam 67, Sam Elder 53 n.o.; Sebastian Young 5-50) d South Australia 10-228 (Jamison Murphy 83; Jai Allman 3-25, Lucas Nitschke 2-25, Banjo Waring 2-31).
Next for the NT is a Final on Thursday.