Young batsman stars in thriller

George GoodwinBunbury Herald

Colts won a thrilling preliminary final against Marist by one wicket in the final over to make the Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association grand final this weekend.

Last year’s rising star Nick Barr blasted a brilliant 87 at the Recreation Ground on Saturday afternoon to steer Colts past Marist’s total of 188.

Barr’s dismissal was worthy of his stellar knock, as stand-out fielder Chris Laker took an over-the-shoulder one-handed catch in the deep off fellow Blues pace bowler Matt Anderson.

Blues big gun Reece O’Connell opened the Blues innings to start the entertainment with a stylish 71 as Marist stormed to 2/142.

When O’Connell was caught by Colts captain Cruize Ciallella off big Joe Barningham, the run rate slowed in spite of some solid batting middle order batting.

It was tough times for the Blues as Colts spinners Ciallella and Barningham tightened the screws, bowling with great economy, before youngster Jayden Goodwin got in on the act with the wickets of Laker and Matt Anderson as seven wickets fell for 29 runs courtesy of a series of run-outs and a stumping.

In stark contrast to the Blues strong start, Colts’ top order collapsed to 5/75 off 24 overs thanks to a series of injudicious shots, before Barr entered the contest and threw caution to the wind with a concerted assault on the Marist bowlers.

Anderson and Laker kept the Colts in check with 21 runs each off their 10-over spell until Barr blossomed.

With a sting in the tail and Barr’s scintillating 98-ball knock which included seven fours and two sixes, Colts crept to within sight of their goal.

But with Barr’s dismissal victory, looked a long way off as Anderson (4-21 off 10 overs) Alan Utterson and O’Connell bowled with economy.

With the supporters cheering every shot, Colts lost Jordan Stynes for a fine little cameo of 18 runs to leave Connor Ipsen to back Barr.

When the latter lost his wicket to Laker’s great catch, it caused pandemonium as it looked as if Marist would win.

But Josh Topliss joined Ipsen in a last ditch stand.

With just six needed of 12 balls it was in their hands, and Topliss hit the winning shot on the first ball of the final over.

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