Souths the kings of Twenty20

David EckhartNorth West Telegraph
Winning T20 team South Hedland.
Camera IconWinning T20 team South Hedland. Credit: Sophia Constantine

The two dominant clubs in the Norwest Crane Hire Port Hedland Cricket Association met, again, in a final — this time for the Ray Stoddart Shield, the trophy for the best team in Twenty20 cricket for the season.

Wanderers and South Hedland met five weeks ago in the 40-over final, with the “green machine” taking the spoils on that occasion.

Both teams were without key personnel for the T20 final.

South were without captain Nanu Kalzee, his prolific opening batting partner Abu Rafferty and frontline bowler Joel Agland.

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Wanderers were without skipper Lee Irwin, as well as left-arm slow bowler Josh Standen and teen sensation Zoe Britcliffe.

In fact, the Wanderers only had nine players from their club available for this final fixture of the season.

Wanderers’ stand-in captain Billy Cousins won the toss and chose to bat first on a humid evening, with a very damp outfield — the result of almost 300mm of rain in the days leading up to the match.

Cousins and Chris Wichura put on an opening stand of 89 for the Wanderers before Cousins top-edged South’s leg spinner Inayat Zaman high overhead for keeper Avneil Swami to safely pouch. Wickets then fell at regular intervals, until the eighth and final wicket fell for 138 off the final ball of the 20th over.

Souths’ response was calculated and purposeful, losing just four wickets in the chase for 139 runs.

After steady partnerships between Izzy Kalzee and Av Swami (35 runs), Kalzee and Aaron Andrich (53), and Andrich and Adrian Wight (34), the Southerners achieved victory in the 19th over.

Veteran swing bowler Martin Ross was named player of the match for his three wickets for eight runs from three economical overs. The PHCA trophy night will be held on Saturday to close the season.

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