BOTH Kangaroo Flat and Bendigo United will be out to claim their first Bendigo District Cricket Association Twenty20 title next week.
The Roos and Redbacks have advanced to next Wednesday night’s grand final after finishing on top of their pools following the five rounds of preliminary matches.
Tuesday night’s final round was impacted by the rain that fell in Bendigo on Monday, with only one of the four matches – Bendigo United v Strathfieldsaye – at Harry Trott Oval getting a start.
The topic of the Twenty20 format and the re-scheduling of games will be a key point of discussion at the next BDCA’s presidents meeting given how Tuesday night panned out.
The BDCA earlier re-scheduled its washed out matches in round three, which included re-starting two games that had already got under way.
However, with the final set for next Wednesday night at the QEO to coincide with Bendigo Country Week, Tuesday night’s washed out matches won’t be replayed.
Courtesy of its washed out match against Sandhurst and the three points it received, Kangaroo Flat leapt to the top of Pool 1 at the expense of Golden Square, which had the bye.
Its wash-out against Eaglehawk killed off White Hills’ chances of advancing to the final – the Demons had to settle for finishing second on net run-rate to the Roos – while Huntly-North Epsom ended the tournament having played just two games after two didn’t get a start.
“It’s something we’ll talk to the presidents about at our next meeting… the way forward in playing Twenty20 cricket and what are the best options,” BDCA president Wayne Walsh said.
“Do we look at playing more before Christmas and leaving more time after the break to allow for any re-scheduled matches?
“We’ll have those discussions with the presidents.”
Bendigo United needed to beat Strathfieldsaye to qualify for the final, having gone into Tuesday night three points behind defending champions Strathdale-Maristians, which had the bye.
And thanks to a swashbuckling century from marquee player Tom Smyth from Carlton, the Redbacks prevailed by 47 runs.
Opening the batting, Smyth blasted the first century of the tournament this season in the Redbacks’ tally of 5-178.
Smythe made 100 off just 53 balls, smashing 13 boundaries and three sixes before he was out with the score on 145 when stumped by Jack Stubbs off Andrew Stove (1-29).
In reply the Jets were all out in the 20th over for 131, with Greg Lyon top-scoring and Miggy Podosky (3-15) the pick of the bowlers for the Redbacks.
• Final Twenty20 ladders:
Kangaroo Flat – 15
White Hills – 15
Golden Square – 12
Sandhurst – 9
Eaglehawk – 9
Bendigo United – 18
Strathdale – 15
Strathfieldsaye – 12
Bendigo – 9
Huntly-North – 6