JOSH Bennett has continued his red-hot start to the 2013 Australian Country Cricket Championship, picking up his second five-wicket haul in as many games at the tournament in Bundaberg, Queensland.
Fresh off a 33-run first innings win over the ACT in round one, the Bush Blues were faced with a far greater challenge in the form of home side Queensland Country in round two.
But, if anything, it brought out the best the defending champions, and in Bennett.
The former Orange City quick took 7-86 off 28 overs to help bowl out the hosts for 206 in their pursuit of NSW Country’s total of 280, securing a 74-run first innings win and maintaining the Bush Blues unbeaten run leading into two Twenty20 games (yesterday).
Bennett is the championship’s leading wicket taker with 12 scalps in two games, having already taken 5-44 in the Bush Blues’ first clash with ACT in round one.
CYMS batsman and Orange skipper Trent Colley is also in the runs, hitting 30 in the Bush Blues’ first innings and then 31 in the second dig, however, time ran out on NSW’s quest for an outright win with the score at 2-100.
NSW Country has today off before taking on East Asia Pacific in another two-day game beginning tomorrow.
The also unbeaten Victoria Country is shaping up as NSW Country’s biggest hurdle in a bid for back-to-back championships, with the two squaring off in a one-day game on the tournament’s final day next Monday.