Demons face Strathfieldsaye in fight to reach T20 grand final  

WHITE Hills Cricket Club hasn’t had a lot to cheer about on the field this summer having won just one game in the BDCA regular season.

The young Demons have struggled to bat out their full 85 overs and they lack firepower in their bowling attack.

But in Twenty20 cricket the Demons have thrived.

They won three of their four T20 fixtures to top their pool and set up a home semi-final tonight against the Strathfieldsaye Jets.

Club captain Aaron Monro said the Demons had set themselves for a big T20 season.

“At the start of the season we wanted to take the T20 season very seriously,’’ Monro said.

“The T20 format suits us. We’re a very young side and that’s the type of cricket that generation likes to play.

“The young gus have really stepped up, which is a great sign for the club.”

Leading the new generation of Demons is 18-year-old Rhys Irwin, who is held in such high regard by the club that he was appointed T20 captain this summer.

“Rhys has done an amazing job,’’ Monro said.

“T20 cricket is fast-paced and you have to be thinking all the time, but he’s handled the job very well.”

White Hills’ one win in the regular season was against Strathfieldsaye in December on the Jets’ turf at Tannery Lane.

“We’ll take some confidence from that win, but in T20 cricket anything can happen,’’ Monro said.

“Obviously, (Jets skipper) Ben Gunn is a class batsman and he’ll be the key wicket for us.”

The Jets are always hard to beat in T20 cricket.

Gunn, Greg Lyon and Tim Wood are explosive with the bat and they have a well-balanced bowling attack.

Spinner Liam Smith shapes as their most dangerous bowler.

Bendigo United will start favourite in the other semi-final against Huntly-North Epsom at Harry Trott Oval.

The Redbacks were the only undefeated side in the T20 pool matches.

Skipper Leigh McDermott is coming off two half-centuries in the T20 format and the return of Matt Pinniger has added an X factor to the Redbacks’ batting line-up.

Spinner Pat Naughtin has taken at least one wicket in all four of Bendigo United’s T20 games this summer.

There’s nothing flashy about Huntly-North Epsom’s T20 cricket, but the Power consistently get the job done.

The Power’s three wins from four games were built around a steady bowling attack.

Number one bowler Sam Johnston has been just as affective with the bat in T20 cricket.

Johnston, Chris Guinane and Brannon Stanford have been the club’s leading scorers in the short format.

Tonight’s semi-finals start at 5pm.

The grand final will be played at the QEO next Wednesday night.

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