The Orana Outlaws didn’t have it all their own way on Sunday but in the end it was a fairly comfortable seven-wicket win over the Central West Wranglers at Dubbo’s No. 1 Oval.
After winning the toss and batting in the Plan B Regional Bash opening round, the Wranglers were flying at 1-81 in the tenth over but man of the match Wes Giddings (3/15) and Ben Patterson (2/16) slammed the brakes on and instigated an almighty collapse of 9-25 to roll the Central West for just 106.
The Outlaws were always in control in the run chase and some lofty hitting from Mitch Bower (37 not out) helped seal the game in the 14th over.
“Really pleased with how we fought back. They were on top early,” Orana coach Jason Ryan said.
“To fight back and get the win with six overs to go is a really good result for us.”
Wranglers captain Jameel Qureshi was noticeably disappointed after the match, with his side falling away badly after being in such a promising position.
“It was a tough day and our batting let us down, that’s all there is to it,” he said after the Wranglers fell at the first hurdle for the second straight season.
“It’s very disappointing when you’re 80 or 90 after nine or 10 overs but that’s Twenty20 unfortunately.”
Wranglers marquee man Ben Trevor-Jones lived up to the hype early and after losing Josh Toole (4) he made 24 in an impressive 60-run stand with the hard-hitting Henry Shoemark (35).
But Shoemark’s dismissal was the catalyst for the collapse with Giddings taking two wickets in one over before Patterson got in on the act with some genuinely quick bowling.
No other Wranglers player made double figures as Marty Jeffrey (2/8) finished off the tail.
“We were under the pump, they took 20 off one over there and were 50 off 5 overs so were in a position to really fly but Wes and Patto really pulled them back,” Ryan said. “They got some wickets, held the runs and got us back on the front foot.”
Giddings (27) and Jordan Moran (12) then set the platform with an opening stand of 40 before Ryan Peacock removed both and also Anthony Heraghty (6) to give the Wranglers a sniff.
But marquee captain Nathan Pilon (25 not out) used all his experience to guide his side before Bower came out and smashed his side into the second round.
“We bat really deep so you expect the class of those blokes to shine through on a day like today and even if you lose an early wicket or two, like we did, you’ve still got heaps of batsmen in the shed,” a satisfied Ryan said.
The Outlaws play the South Coast Crew at Bowral on November 6 with the winner to advance to the semi-finals at the SCG.