The Championships got back underway on Tuesday and in a Round 4 fixture, the NT squared off against Queensland Country at Harrup Park, Great Barrier Reef Arena in a 50-over contest. And in a masterclass back-to-back winning performance, the Territory broke down the Queenslanders and secured victory by six wickets in a one-sided contest.
Batting first after winning the toss, QLD was in a spot of early bother when Tom Menzies trapped opener Ethan Ramsbotham (5) in front with 13 on the board. Charlie Smith, Charlie Kemp and Sam Elder kept the early pressure on the Maroons and at 6-130 after 40 overs – including a patient 68 from opener Flynn Thomasson – the NT found themselves in familiar territory, needing to maintain the ascendancy by continuing to tighten the screws. However, despite more Menzies heroics, Jem Ryan (36, 35 balls, 3x6) batting at eight returned the favour and carried his team to a moderate 10-183 at the innings break.
A 60-run opening partnership between Harshtik Bimbral (43) and Awad Naqvi (30) set the foundation for the Territory and when Tom Kelaart (52 n.o.) and Sam Elder (38) played anchor roles at three and five respectively, all the ingredients for a successful run chase were on show and at 4-184, the ochre and black men had cruised to a six-wicket victory.
Tom Kelaart played down his role in the victory but couldn’t hide his delight at going back-to-back especially with the NT being the underdog of the tournament.
“It was nice to get another win and especially when all players contributed,” Kelaart said.
“We batted in partnerships with Harshtik (Bimbral) and Awad (Naqvi) up front and them Sam (Elder) and I were determined to add to their good work.
“I love being here and so far, there has been a number of highlights – beating South Australia was special but most of all is that we are underdogs and now we’ve won back-to-back games.”
Match Scores: Northern Territory 4-184 (42.5) (Tom Kelaart 52 n.o., Harshtik Bimbral 43, Sam Elder 38, Awad Naqvi 30; Dylan McAteer 2-37) d Queensland Country 10-183 (48.3) (Flynn Thomasson 68, Jem Ryan 36; Tom Menzies 3- 28, Ellis Sherriff 2-19, Charlie Kemp 2-36, Charlie Smith 2-42).