Captained by Isaac Higgins (Glenelg), who last week took home the Peter Wang Award at SACA’s Dansie McCauley Medal night for his superb Premier Cricket season, South Australia performed well in Mackay under the coaching panel of John Palmer and Shannon Tubb.
Commencing with a strong eight-wicket 50-over victory against NSW, South Australia’s future stars produced several noteworthy contributions throughout the week-long tournament.
Chasing the required runs in the opener with 16 overs to spare, Zac McCabe (Glenelg) and Carl Arnold (Sturt) were the standouts with the blade, finished unbeaten on 46 and 66 respectively.
This followed a brilliant innings from the bowling unit of James Reuther (West Torrens), Seb Young (Sturt) and Patrick Weckert (Woodville) that saw the trio collect a combined eight wickets as NSW were bowled out for just 153 in beneath a bright northern Australian sun.
ACT/NSW Country awaited in South Australia’s second fixture, and after choosing to bat first, the east coast side compiled a healthy total of 9/259 from their allotted overs, with Campbell Thompson (East Torrens) and Higgins the pick of the bowlers.
Hamish Case (Tea Tree Gully) and Harry Matthias (Sturt) produced admirable displays in South Australia’s pursuit, but ultimately the southern-staters were unable to reel in the total.
Rounding out the third round for South Australia was a thrilling Twenty20 clash against Northern Territory that saw the latter compile a four-wicket win with just eight balls to spare.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Reuther and Young top scored as South Australia set 95 for victory, and despite Thompson and Higgins each collecting a pair of wickets, Northern Territory were able to defy the loss of six batters to emerge triumphant.
The South Australians finished the penultimate day with a testing clash against Vic Metro. Winning the toss, South Australia sent their competitors in with the bat.
Chasing 281 put on the by the Victorians, openers Isaac Higgins (52) and Zac McCabe (91) compiled a 128-run opening partnership.
Requiring 80 runs from the final ten overs, South Australia remained in pursuit. Selflessness from the South Australian middle-order resulted in wickets lost as the side looked the chase down the total, ultimately coming within 16 runs of victory.
South Australia will complete their trip North tomorrow with a match-up against the Northern Territory to determine final standing for this year’s competition.