The Newcastle Steel has made it to the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup semi-finals for the second consecutive season with a five-wicket win over St George at Hurstville Oval on Sunday.
Batting first after winning the toss, St George made 7-137 from its allotted 20 overs with Nick Watkins (60 from 40 balls) leading the charge.
Newcastle opening bowler Jonty Durrheim, playing in his first match of the tournament, took superb figures of 3-13 off three overs as well as taking a catch.
Newcastle had to chase down the target and improve their quotient to make the semi-finals and did so by making 5-138 with 13 balls to spare. The standout was James Rushford (58 not out from 50 balls).
The win saw Newcastle move up to third place and book itself a semi-final’s birth where they’ll play against second placed Sydney Cricket Club at Drummoyne Oval this Sunday.
Joining them in the semi-finals from the Sydney Sixers Conference is undefeated Mosman who will battle St George at Allan Border Oval.
Mosman kept their 100% record intact courtesy of a five-wicket win over Gordon at Chatswood Oval.
Former Australian Test and One Day player Brett Lee took a wicket with his first ball for Mosman and finished with 3-23 off four overs.
Gordon posted 9-149 from its 20 overs with Eliot Richtor scoring 66 from 50 balls with four boundaries and four sixes.
Some consistent efforts with the bat by Mosman saw them chase the total down with four balls to spare.
In the Sydney Thunder conference, Northern District topped the table by recording their third win out of four games with a 22-run defeat of Campbelltown-Camden. Sydney Thunder Squad member Chris Green scored 43 off 36 balls for Northern District as they posted 7-134.
In reply Campbelltown-Camden could only muster 7-112 from its 20 overs with Taylor Scott’s 2-14 off four strangling the life out of the attempted run chase.
Northern District will play fourth placed Hawkesbury at Mark Taylor Oval on Sunday with a spot in the Thunder Conference Final on the line.
Hawkesbury booked their place in the semi-finals despite a 21-run defeat to Western Suburbs at Pratten Park.
Wests Bowler Quincy Titterton (3-22 off four overs) did the damage in Hawkesbury’s run chase as they finished at 7-133 from their 20 overs.
Earlier on Tylar Edwards (56) pushed Wests to a respectable total of 9-154 off its allotted 20 overs.
The second semi-final pits second-placed Bankstown against third-placed Parramatta. The match will now be played at Old Kings Oval after it was decided the new pitch square at Bankstown Oval wasn’t ready for a match of this status.
Both sides finished with three wins from four matches and only net run rate separated them on the ladder.
Bankstown lost to Sydney University on Sunday in a thriller by one-run at Bankstown Memorial Oval in its first match of the day.
Batting first the students could only score 7-105 from its 20 overs, with Aaron Bird’s 2-11 from four overs the standout.
However in reply Bankstown found it just as difficult to score, falling a solitary run short.
Bankstown followed this performance with a tense two-wicket win in the second match on Sunday against the Australian Capital Territory. Chasing 88 for victory after a brilliant all-round performance with the ball, Bankstown reached the required total with two wickets left and just two balls remaining.
Meanwhile, Parramatta defeated Campbelltown-Camden by five-wickets in its clash at Raby Oval.
Set 134 to win, Parramatta coasted home with 19 balls to spare to finish third on the ladder.
Special mention has to be given to NSW Blues squad member and Manly-Warringah Wicketkeeper Jay Lenton who hit a century on Sunday.
Lenton’s innings of 110 against Illawarra at North Dalton Park included five fours and five sixes and came off only 72 balls. His knock guided Manly to a convincing 71-run victory.
It was Lenton’s second century in the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup which is the most by any player since the competition started in 2008-2009.