Wanderers, Port vie for title glory

David EckhartNorth West Telegraph

Port Hedland Cricket Association’s 35-over season is one match away from the decider after Port Hedland outplayed Mines in the semifinal at Kevin Scott Oval on Saturday night.

The weather conditions in the lead-up to the match were considered “iffy” as a tropical low tracked down the West Kimberley coast.

The game began under overcast skies as PHCC’s Glenn Robertson won the toss and chose to bat first.

Port openers Sam Mason (20) and Arron Hamilton (26), got off to a flier, rattling up a half-century partnership in just seven overs.

The introduction of Eithan Hennessey to the Mines bowling attack paid dividends immediately in the eighth over as he managed to upset Mason’s castle. Darren Beach (4-24) was introduced in the ninth over and, with Hennessey (4-17), drove a wrecking ball through the strong Port line-up — from 0-50 in seven overs to 8/87 at the 20-over mark.

A patient rearguard partnership between Chris Briody (12) and Bryce Watson (28) added 52 runs for the ninth wicket before Robert Bigmore (2-5) wrapped up the last two wickets in eight deliveries, leaving the Port side all out for 132.

Mines’ reply began poorly as 14-year-old Jarrad Ams dismissed Mines skipper Taurean Williams in his opening over, and quickly had two wickets when Nick Witham was caught by keeper Kobus Wessels for a duck.

John Case (11), Neil Smith (13) and Troy Morrissey (11) chipped away at the target before Ams (5-24) reduced the Miners to 5-45, including a blinder of a catch from Jarrad O’Dea to dismiss Tracey Pickett from the last ball of Ams’ seven-over spell.

Port captain Robertson (4-17) increased the pressure further, dismissing the next four Mines players, all but ending the resistance when last man Beach joined Bigmore with the score at 9-51.

When Beach was dismissed, the Port bowlers had completed the rout in the 24th over. Young Ams was the vital difference with the ball and was judged the most influential player on the result, taking home the pink bat from the McGrath Foundation as player of the match.

Port now meet Wanderers in the final under lights at Kevin Scott Oval on Saturday night.

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