After starting the Jimboomba Times Division 2 Last Man Stands Beaudesert Winter competition in fine form the Ray White Marsden – Alan Kuss Sales Group backed Yarrabilba Cane Toads have suffered a number of narrow losses, and a few thumpings, but a big Bonus Point win over the Odd Bunch has kept their finals hopes alive with just one round to go.
With twelve teams contesting the Division Two competition, after next weekend they will be split into the ‘Top Six’ and the ‘Bottom Six’ – the bottom six effectively break off to form Division 3 for the finals series, while the top six stay in Division Two for the finals – prior to the weekend the Yarrabilba Cane Toads were precuriously positioned and needed to chase wins in their next two games to ensure their fate was in hteir own hands.
Loosing the toss and being asked to bat first provided skipper Callum Whiting the opportunity for those who hadn’t seen much time in the middle an opportunity, knowing that it could be key in the fast approaching finals series, and took that opportunity to open the batting with Evan Gudge and Justin Taylor.
With a slow outfield, due to the amount of wet weather in the region, the players were forced to earn every run they got with only the best timed of shots reaching the cones, the experiment to open with Gudge didn’t work however with the makeshift opener bowled by Brett Hayward for nine from 10 deliveries.
Christopher Prothero joined Taylor and the pair ran hard in the middle, rotating the strike and eventually taking the advantage of the bad balls that were provided to them. Both batsmen looked to be comfortable before a brilliant delivery by Craig Stace knocked Prothero over, his innings of 35 from 21 however did include three boundaries and a six, and helped lift the Cane Toads into a promising position.
In-form Big Hitter Gavin Andrews came to the crease and had a rare failure with the bat, caught by Hayward off Mick Mckay for just a run-a-ball five. Taylor was caught soon after by Harding for 24 from 25 deliveries that had the potential to halt the chase for runs.
But a strong backend to the Cane Toads batting line up including Callum Whiting (20 from 13), Mitch Le Prou (17 from 16) and David Sheehan (27 from 17) helped lift the Cane Toads to a competitive 142 for 6 from their 20 overs.
It was however in the field that the Yarrabilba Cane Toads have displayed the biggest improvement over their last 12 months and it was on display during their bowling and fielding efforts as the Odd Bunch chased.
Stace provided a solid backbone, backing up his 2 for 29 with the ball, as he opened the batting with Brett Hayward. Neither David Sheehan or Mitch Le Prou were able to get the early breakthrough for the Cane Toads, although were inexpensive in their two overs each both going for just ten runs at an economy of five.
It was however the introduction of Christopher Prothero for the Cane Toads that turned the game on its head, with Prothero getting the wicket of Hayward caught by Gavin Andrews in the deep – Hayward out for 16 from 13.
Just two-balls later a mix up between Leith Carroll and Craig Stace, coupled with a great Jonty Rhodes-esq fielding effort by Prothero who threw down the stumps saw Leith dismissed for a duck.
Gavin Andrews, disappointed with his batting effort, then turned into ‘The Gavinator‘ we have all been hearing about recently with the ball and ripped away the chances of the Odd Bunch.
Craig Stace was run out by Andrews just prior to reaching his 50 (out for 48 from 41), bit it was the wickets of Hamish Carroll (4 from 5), James Dumbrell (2 from 6) and Mick Mckay (0 for 1) in quick succession all to Andrews ended the match as a contest.
Late hitting, and hard running by Luke Harding and Kylie Stace, inched the score towards a losing bonus point allowing the Odd Bunch to salvage something from the game but they were to fall short when Stace was run out by the second piece of brilliant fielding by Christopher Prothero.
Luke Harding was the Last Man Standing before Andrews picked up his fourth wicket when Harding was caught by Mitch Le Prou – ending the Odd Bunchs’ innings on 98 and securing a crucial bonus point win by just two balls. The Cane Toads 44-run victors.