Centrals unbeaten, shoot to second on ODCA Second Grade Twenty20 standings

BATSMAN'S BUFFET: Centrals stand-in skipper Nick McGrath got pumped, unsurprisingly, on Saturday, going for 28 from his 2.4 overs. Despite his right arm ordinaries, Centrals claimed a victory. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

BATSMAN'S BUFFET: Centrals stand-in skipper Nick McGrath got pumped, unsurprisingly, on Saturday, going for 28 from his 2.4 overs. Despite his right arm ordinaries, Centrals claimed a victory. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

Centrals continued their unbeaten start to the Orange District Cricket Association Second Grade Twenty20 tournament on Saturday afternoon, shooting up to second on the standings on the back of a brutal, unbeaten knock from former first grade skipper Jake Pauletto.

Despite virtually batting on one leg thanks to a blown out knee which has kept him from the paddock all summer, Pauletto went ballistic at Brendon Sturgeon Oval, pumping three fours and seven sixes on his way to 76 not out as Centrals chased down Kinross’ 4-154 with two overs and five wickets to spare.

He was aided capably by Joey Thomas (42), the pair resurrected the red and blacks’ chase after they slumped to 4-27 early on.

Centrals are now just one point behind T20 leaders Orange City, who thumped Cavaliers on the back of a Shaun Churchill (52 not out) half-ton after being trumped by Waratahs CSU, despite Ben McIntosh ripping through the sky blues to take 6-30.

Cavaliers remain third with a win, a loss and a draw under their belts. The maroons, inspired by Stu Middleton’s massive knock of  94 not out, chased down Gladstone’s total of 159 to win their first game in Saturday’s double-header round.

In the other game in reserve grade, Gladstone bounced back from its first loss to knock off CYMS. The green and golds are fifth, and in real danger of missing the T20 finals.

Wanderers went one and one from their two games on Saturday, in the Third Grade T20 competition.

Gav Smith (65) and Kurt Gander (63) both notched half centuries as Wanderers knocked up 4-164 in their opening game on Saturday, against CYMS Bourkes.

Adam Simpson’s (4-16) four-wicket haul helped Wanderers roll the green and golds for 107, 56 of which Luke Schuyler smashed.

SMASH AND GRAB: Kurt Gander whacked 63 on Saturday afternoon, to help Wanderers to a win. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

SMASH AND GRAB: Kurt Gander whacked 63 on Saturday afternoon, to help Wanderers to a win. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

CYMS Fahys avenged their clubmates’ loss though, accounting for Wanderers by two wickets, the winning runs came from the final ball of the game.

That happened in Orange City’s clash against Waratahs too. The sky blues needed one to win from the final ball of the innings and managed it, avoiding a rare tie.

Cavaliers accounted for the Warriors in Saturday’s Centenary Shield game, and the two teams will meet again in the final next weekend as a result.

Craig Buckley (45) and Caleb Toms (43) propelled Orange City to 4-141 but Dave Currall’s innings of 43 and Jason Gangaram’s 41 not out was enough to get Cavaliers over the line.

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