Mid-way through Western’s chase of Riverina’s 8-135 in Tuesday’s Kookaburra Cup clash, you could have stuck a fork in the baby blue caps.
They were done.
But a stunning, match-winning innings from Dubbo batsman Tom Coady has launched Western to a Cup victory from what was an almost unwinnable situation – they were battling big time at 1-10 from 11 overs.
In a run chase Michael Bevan would be proud of, Coady blazed 88 off 105 balls, a knock including five maximums and three boundaries, to keep Western undefeated during its run through the under 14s country championship at Armidale.
Western lost opener Declan Fawkner (one) early in the piece with the score on just five, bringing Coady to the crease alongside a watchful Koda Sissian.
The pair crept the score along to 1-10 off 11 overs before beginning to mount a serious challenge on Riverina’s total.
Sissian’s dig of 33 was part of a crucial 87-run second wicket stand alongside Coady, a partnership that acted as the backbone of Western’s stunning seven-wicket victory.
Western needed 42 off the final 10 overs before whittling that equation down to 15 off the final 24 balls.
Coady completed that on his ear, finishing unbeaten with Western’s highest score of the championship to date.
The stunning run chase completed a great day for Garth Dean’s Western outfit, one that sent Riverina in to bat after winning the toss at Rologas Park.
With Monday’s opening round win based on tight bowling and exemplary fielding, Western again tightened the screws during its innings in the field.
On top of some miserly bowling, Western completed three runs outs to restrict their opposition’s progress late in the innings.
In-form Riverina opener Miles Hermann-Petersen backed up his 54 on day one of the tournament with another half-ton on Tuesday against Western, anchoring his side’s innings of 8-135 with a knock of 50 off 109 balls.
Euriah Hollard was the other major contributor with the willow, hitting 26 at a decent rate late in the innings to propel Riverina to the commanding total.
Dubbo seamer Hugh Ridley picked up 2-23 off his eight overs while Tom Lynch (1-28), Patty Nelson (1-34) and Sam Austin (1-17) all picked up a wicket each.
In other round two results, Central Northern completed a stunning nine-wicket rout of Illawarra on the back of an unbeaten 90 from Jack Hamilton, while Central Coast and Newcastle also chalked up wins.
Western plays Newcastle and North Coastal in two massive Twenty20 clashes on Wednesday.