NSW Country has taken out this year’s Australian Country Cricket Championship undefeated, winning its final match by two wickets against Victoria Country to claim the Bush Blues’ first consecutive titles since 1985-86.
Having already secured the championship win with a convincing six-wicket triumph over Northern Territory Country the day before, NSW Country faced its toughest assignment of the championship when Victoria Country hit 9-292 from its 50 overs on Monday.
But in a pulsating run chase led by a knock of 122 from Bush Blues all-rounder Graeme Batty, NSW Country snuck home with just four balls to spare and two wickets still in the shed.
The win maintained NSW Country’s undefeated run through seven games of the 2013 ACCC in Bundaberg.
It was a proud moment for Western Zone stars Trent Colley and Pat Rosser, with Colley celebrating his first title win with the Bush Blues while Rosser, a representative star, soaked up the celebrations after playing a leading role in both the 2012 and this year’s championship wins.
Another Western Zone product, Josh Bennett finished the 11-day championship as leading wicket-taker, nabbing 22 scalps at an average of 13.
After taking three five-wicket hauls throughout the tournament, his first in NSW Bush Blues colours, Bennett finished with best figures of 7-86 and earned a call-up into the Australian Country XI to take on a Queensland Invitational side, a feat also achieved by Rosser.
Rosser hit the most runs of any NSW batsman, compiling 327 runs at an average of 46, including a big 110 off 92 balls against East Asia Pacific.
Colley, CYMS skipper in the Orange District Cricket Association competition, also had a productive championship opening the batting for the Bush Blues, hitting 139 runs with a top of 31 against the new ball.