Orange has set up a mouth-watering final round clash with Bathurst in the new Mitchell Twenty20 competition after the Blue Baggers thumped the Blue Mountains by seven wickets on Sunday.
Orange’s bowlers did the job, restricting the mountain men to 9-97 from their allotted 20 overs before Centrals power-hitter Dean Turner went about chasing that total quickly.
Turner whacked 41 in quick time while Nathan Gander fired 23 late in the innings to rocket Orange to a confidence-boosting triumph at the Bathurst Sportsground.
It was a tough weekend for the Blue Mountains, who suffered a 75-run loss to Bathurst in its opening clash on Sunday morning.
But the Blue Mountains’ pain is easily Mitchell’s gain, with the inaugural Twenty20 competition securing a dream Orange-Bathurst showdown in March.
Bathurst knocked over Orange in the final of this summer’s President’s Cup, smashing 5-321 in a mammoth opening innings to take away any chance Daryl Kennewell’s side had of winning before they’d picked up the bat.
Now, Kennewell was keen to get one back on his side’s old Mitchell sparring partner.
“We’re after a bit of redemption,” Kennewell said after the win.
“Bathurst is a tough side, no doubt about that, but if we can take the same group we’ve had here today and add another big hitter, then we’ll be tough as well.
Bathurst is a tough side, no doubt about that, but if we can take the same group we’ve had here today and add another big hitter, then we’ll be tough as well.
“We’re keen to get into it.”
Kennewell was the pick of the Orange bowlers in the route, picking up 3-17 to help restrict the Blue Mountains to just 97.
Fellow Centrals seamer Zac Reimer was also in the wickets, claiming 2-23 while former Western Zone quick Jackson Coote returned figures of 2-16.
“Everyone did their job,” Kennewell said.
“And chasing those smaller totals, you’ve got to go after them and Boundy and Deano did that for us.
“It’s really pleasing for us to come out and play like we have. We’ll take plenty of confidence out of that.”
In Bathurst’s clash in the morning, destructive half centuries from Henry Shoemark (59) and Derryn Clayton (53) helped Bathurst on their way to a total of 196 at the Sportsground.
The Blue Mountains chase never got momentum going. Despite a determined knock from Alex Crowther (41 not out) the visitors were left on 5-121 at the end of their 20 overs.
“It was a good win. To score 196 in a Twenty20 is always handy. That’s more than we could have asked for,” Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi said.
“Batting was perfect. Bowling, we bowled well. Our catching let us down a little bit but overall it was a good win.”
The final will be played next month.