Vics, NSW rule again

THE Victorian boys and New South Wales girls teams both kept their unbeaten records intact in round four of the School Sport Australia 12-and-Under Cricket Championships across Bendigo on Thursday.

In the boys, Victoria cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Queensland at Dower Park.

Victoria answered Queensland's 6-171 with 2-172, led by classy knocks from openers Patrick Rowe (68 off 114, seven fours) and Dominic Bandara (60 n.o. off 139, four fours).

Earlier, opener Harry Austin carried his bat in the Queensland innings in making 76 n.o. off 152 balls (three fours).

• Northern Territory recorded an 84-run victory over the Australian Capital Territory at Golden Square to notch up its first win of the carnival.

ACT - which remains winless - was dismissed for 129 batting first, having one stage been 1-73.

The ACT innings, in which opener Julen Sanchez (30 off 56) top-scored, included seven run-outs.

NT's Nelson Sonntag helped guide his side to 9-213 off its 50 overs in reply with a blistering knock of 72 off 60 balls, laced with eight fours.

• South Australia kept itself in with a chance of jointly-winning the Ricky Ponting Shield with Victoria by defeating New South Wales by four wickets at Tannery Lane.

New South Wales recovered from a precarious 5-47 to post 158, with the revival led by Jack Cooper (32 off 54, six fours), Yushan Gunewardhane (26 off 52, four fours) and Connor Blaxall (23 off 27, three fours).

A half-century from opener William Montgomery (54 off 114, five fours) helped set up South Australia's reply of 6-160.

New South Wales' Joshua Moors produced the game's best bowling figures of 3-31 off seven overs.

• In the girls, New South Wales defeated Victoria by nine runs in a low-scoring contest at Canterbury Park dominated by the ball.

NSW's score of 84 batting first proved enough as it bowled Victoria out for 75.

Only four players scored in double figures in the match - NSW's Rachel Trenaman (43 n.o. off 53, six fours), who is the competition's leading run-scorer, and Mariam Bank (15 off 94) and Victoria's Teagan Brett (36 off 61, five fours) and Annabel Sutherland (10 off 41). 

Trenaman capped a fine game for NSW by taking 3-14.

• Victoria Invitational won its first game with a 35-run triumph over the ACT at Bell Oval.

The ACT compiled 5-113 off its 35 overs, with opener Bethany Sibly (30 off 67) leading the way.

Victoria Invitational was in trouble in its run-chase when it crashed to 3-12, but fought back superbly to post 8-148.

Imogen Barlow (28 off 41) was the best of the batters for Victoria Invitational as she helped steer the side out of trouble.

• Queensland kept its Grahame Barrett Shield hopes alive with a commanding 110-run win over South Australia at Harry Trott Oval.

Queensland was on the backfoot early at 3-19, but bounced back to amass 7-167, which included an unbeaten half-century from Courtney Sippel (50 n.o. off 57, six fours) and 44 off 60 (five fours) from Annie Wikman. 

The game looked set for an early finish when SA crashed to 7-28 in its innings.

However, the lower-order showed plenty of resistance to bat out its 35 overs and score 9-57. Only Taylah Lewis (11 off 24) scored in double figures.

The championships finish on Friday.

Round five games: Boys - Queensland v NSW (Weeroona Oval); Northern Territory v South Australia (North Bendigo); ACT v Victoria (QEO).

Girls - NSW v South Australia (Golden Square); Victoria v ACT (Kennington); Victoria Invitational v Queensland (Strathdale).

Meanwhile, if two teams are tied at the top of the ladder on equal points after round five, they will both be declared winners.

However, in a quirk, the team that gets to hold onto the shield for the next year will be decided by the toss of a coin.

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