It once hosted a touring Zimbabwe cricket team featuring names such as Grant & Andy Flower, Paul Strang and Guy Whittle in a thrilling One Dar Match against a Queensland side featuring the likes of Matthew Hayden, Martin Love, Andy Symonds and Stuart Law – but for Doug Watt Oval in Beenleigh 2020 is the year it hosted the Yarrabilba Cane Toads first ‘home game’, a game which featured an unbeaten 177 from Mitchell Le Prou and the associations first win.

25-years after the full strength Queensland side knocked the visitors over for 165, before successfully chasing down the target with eight overs to spare after 51 (91) from Matthew Hayden, and 48 (65) from Martin Love, in front of 6 100 spectators on the 4th of January 1995 – it was a near full strength Yarrabilba Cane Toads side, who just seven days earlier, had been all out for 36 who came up trumps in round 7 Logan District Cricket Association action.

Doug Watt Oval, more commonly known as Dauth Park, the home of the Beenleigh Buffaloes AFL side, the Beenleigh Pirates Cricket Club and one of the leading community clubs Club Beenleigh, was earlier this year named as the ‘home ground’ for the Yarrabilba Cane Toads 1st Division side – a week after the Yarrabilba Cane Toads suffered a humiliating loss – bowled out for 36 against the Logan Village Cricket Club – their first visit to the 2020/2021 home ground saw a change of fortunes with the side registering not only their first win of the season but recorded the associations first ever win in any form of cricket.

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An unbeaten 177 with the bat by Mitchell Le Prou, an innings that included 17-boundaries and 10 sixers – each one seemingly bigger than the last, helped the Cane Toads to 2 for 312 from their allotted 40 overs after skipper Nick Feros won the toss and elected to bat first getting first use of the cricket associations ‘home pitch’.

Carl Purvis (13 from 23) opened the batting alongside young up-and-coming star Shaun ‘Pup’ Love the pair taking their time to feel comfortable in the middle, registering the highest opening partnership for the Yarrabilba Cane Toads with 46, before Loganholme skipper Matt Warner, who toiled hard all day for his side, was rewarded with some tight bowling picking up Purvis.

Mitchell Le Prou joined Love at the crease with the pair soon finding ease with the scoring finding the boundaries and running hard between the wickets saw the pair make history for the club bringing up the first century-strong partnership.

The pair looked to be racing each other to their half centuries, first it was Love who brought up his second half century in three weeks, followed soon after by Le Prou. However, soon after the pair brought up their half centuries Love’s innings of 59 from 93, was brought to an end when he was trapped in front by Aaron Pratten (1-22 from four overs).

With the 123 run partnership between the two set batsmen looked to lift the spirits of the fielding Cobra team. Those spirits would soon be broken as Mitchell Le Prou and Phillip Knowles continued where the previous pair had left off and continued to ensure the scoreboard workers continued to earn their pay packet.

As the extras continued to rack up, making an already hot afternoon in the field feel even hotter for the visitors, it was the devastating runs coming from the bat that would break the hearts of a younger Loganholme side. As the Absolute Physio & Rehab Yarrabilba Cane Toads soared past their previous highest score of 200 – against the same opponent in round two – lunch goers at Club Beenleigh soon begun filtering onto the patioed area that overlooks the playing oval to help a rise in the atmosphere around the ground.

While well short from the 6 100 that turned out to watch the touring Zimbabwean team against the Queensland team 25-years earlier the buzz, mumours and excitement did build and could be felt by all those around the field as Knowles and Le Prou became the new record holders of the highest partnership in club history, set in the previous partnership of the game (Le Prou/Love), with the duo notching an unbeaten 143.

Knowles, although ending unbeaten on just 23 from 29, played an integral role turning over the strike quickly to give the more powerful Mitchell Le Prou off the leash as he not only brought up his century but went on to bring up an unbeaten 177 runs from 95 deliveries including 17 boundaries and a lazy 10-sixes that helped the Cane Toads to an imposing 2 for 312 from their allotted 40 overs.

Aaron Pratten finished with 1 for 22 from his four overs. While Warner bowled through at eight overs, 1 wicket for 50 runs.

The Cane Toads, although excited about the blistering batting they had just witnessed, were reminded that only half the job was done. They still have to defend the total and if they could score over three hundred it means the team they have become closest to beating all season can do the same.

Excitement that a first win was on the cards grew when a wild in-swinger by Shaun Love on the first ball of the fielding innings to Albie Toa snuck through the defense of the opening batsmen who had not been out in his last six innings and snapped middle-stump.

A 44-run partnership between Liam Eastwood and Giurdeep Singh was brought to an end when first Simeon Roberts had Eastwood caught by Carl Purvis for 16 from 15 deliveries, before also picking up the scalp of Singh who was dismissed for a run-a-ball 29 after being caught brilliantly by Shaun Love to reduce the Cobras to 3 for 51.

When Jos De Waard picked up Robert Cole, trapping the batsmen in front for 13 from seven deliveries the spirit of the Cane Toads on the field lifted with the atmosphere, Manjinder Singh was caught by AJ Baker for 48 from 26 to be skipper Nic Feros’ fourteenth wicket of the season.

It had left the middle order with a lot to do if they were to get close to challenging the score.

Aaron Pratten did his absolute best bringing up a half century, which included seven boundaries, however with wickets falling at seemingly regular intervals at the opposite end, Warner (4 from 7) and Aaron Machielsen (0 from 3), the task had been made much harder with a view switching to hold out for the time rather than chasing the score for the visitors, for the HOME side it was about stamping their mark on a historic win for the club.

The coup de grĂ¢ce moment for the Loganholme Cobras came when Mathew David trapped Jason Appleby PLUMB in front for 34 from 29 with the visitors bowled out against a 10-man Cane Toads outfit for 218 after 29.2 overs.

Just as it had done 25-years earlier when the boil over of Queensland’s win over Zimbabwe, the on looking crowd – although much smaller – cheered for the home side racking up their first win of the season, and the associations first win in any format, by 98 runs. Jos De Waard rewarded for his sharp bowling with 2 for 26 from five overs.

Shaun Love (2 for 43), and Simeon Roberts (2 for 46) were the other multiple wicket takers while Mathew Davis (1 for five), AJ Baker (1 for 27) and Nic Feros (1 for 64) also contributed with wickets with obvious Man of the Match Mitchell Le Prou proved he was human completing two overs for eight runs but remaining wicketless.

The Yarrabilba Cane Toads are back in action this coming Saturday at Beaudesert’s Everdell Park against the Greenbank Lumberjacks.

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