West Pilbara snatch T20 title after three-way deadlock

Kymron SmithPilbara News
Brayden Lee and Drew Kernaghan walk off the field after match one.
Camera IconBrayden Lee and Drew Kernaghan walk off the field after match one. Credit: Kymron Smith

The West Pilbara Cricket Association has taken out the Toyota Country Cup in Perth earlier this month.

It was a draining weekend of Twenty20 cricket for the team packed with five matches in two days hosted by Murdoch University and the Melville Cricket clubs.

The team was playing well, fresh off their success at the Country Week Championship in January.

Shane Edwards and Michael James again led the troops on the field in their quest for premiership silverware.

Match one gave the side a good taste of what was to come as they fended off Albany who were considered to be one of the more fancied contenders.

In their second match against Busselton-Margaret River the WPCA shook off a slow start to go 8-141 from their 20 overs.

The bowling attack was under pressure but got the job done as their opponents fell short on 9-130.

In match three WPCA had a testing encounter against the tournament favourites and reigning premiers Eastern Goldfields.

Batting first the WPCA opening combination of Matthew Nowotny (36) and Cameron Nowotny (42) got the innings off to a great start with the highest partnership of the tournament.

The WPCA batsmen to follow were not able to maintain the intensity and failed to capitalise on a great start, finishing on 7-112.

Eastern Goldfields managed to reach the their target with 16 balls in hand and the loss of only six wickets.

Match four was a return to form for the Pilbara side as they set a formidable score of 161 against South Midlands.

It was another innings set up by the Nowotny brothers.

This time the batsmen to follow were able to maintain the intensity right through the innings with Edwards (17) and Brayden Lee (21) also making useful contributions.

Full of confidence the WPCA bowling attack took hold of the match and gave nothing away.

All of the bowlers claimed wickets as South Midlands crashed to be all out for 52.

Craig Nunn, Jackson Davey and James claimed two apiece and Drew Kernaghan and Lee one each in a mammoth percentage boosting win.

In the final match of the tournament against Peel the WPCA knew there was a chance they could pull off a great coup and take the Country Cup.

Nunn brought his A-game to the match claiming 3-13 while Davey also captured three wickets to restrict the Peel batting line up to 8-56 part way through their innings.

James, Kernaghan and Edwards also chipped in with a wicket each.

Peel's ninth wicket partnership gave the scorecard a boost of 39 runs, making full use of their 20 overs.

The Westies always looked in control of the run chase as Lee (22) and Nino Sturgeon (22 not out) took the win with nine balls in hand.

With Albany beating Eastern Goldfields in one of the other matches it created a three-way tie for first with three teams on four wins and one loss.

The tie was broken by net run rate, a ratio between runs scored and overs faced.

While WACA officials double checked scorecards to be sure of the result, the teams waited nervously in the presentation room.

The WPCA claimed the Toyota Country Cup, with a NRR of 1.44 completing a massive upset.

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