Albany Advertiser - - SPORT - Tim Ed­munds

A spec­tac­u­lar hard-hit­ting cen­tury from act­ing Colling­wood Park cap­tain Nathan Dovey was not enough as Mt Barker clinched their maiden win in the Mer­ri­field Real Es­tate Al­bany Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion A-grade com­pe­ti­tion with a thrilling fi­nal-over vic­tory on Satur­day at Soun­ness Park.

De­spite Dovey’s 135 which in­cluded nine sixes, the Bulls chased down the tar­get of 225 in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances af­ter score­book con­fu­sion.

Bulls bats­man Luke Ham­mond crunched nine runs from the first four balls of the fi­nal over off spin­ner Matt He­berle in­clud­ing a six over long-off which was dropped over the bound­ary to what ap­peared to give his side vic­tory.

But af­ter the score­books were checked the match was tied with two balls re­main­ing.

Af­ter close to a 20-minute de­lay once the play­ers had left the field, the stumps were put back in the ground and both teams re­turned to the field with the Bulls need­ing one run off the fi­nal two balls.

With Ham­mond off strike, No.9 Craige An­ning was dropped at mid wicket off the fifth ball and the Bulls scram­bled home to win the match in bizarre fash­ion with a ball to spare.

Ham­mond’s im­pres­sive knock of 56 not out proved de­ci­sive af­ter cap­tain Jeremy Wood was run out with a di­rect hit for 47 with 52 runs still re­quired for vic­tory.

Park pace­man Ben Grey then claimed the next four wick­ets for only 24 runs af­ter Wood and Ham­mond had added 62 for the third wicket.

Grey claimed Lee Dou­glas, Graeme Wright, Dean Couper and Steven Scott in quick suc­ces­sion with nine runs still re­quired for vic­tory be­fore Ham­mond’s hero­ics.

Af­ter winning the toss and bat- ting first, Dovey got to work, hit­ting four bound­aries in his half-cen­tury be­fore ac­cel­er­at­ing in the fi­nal overs of his cap­tain’s knock.

Dovey crunched four sixes af­ter reach­ing his cen­tury with his fi­nal 52 runs in­clud­ing six sixes.

He re­ceived valu­able sup­port from Leroy van den Dool (34 not out) in a 111-run part­ner­ship for the third wicket be­fore Dovey

de­parted in the 44th over as Park fin­ished on 3-224.

Bulls open­ers Nathan Crosby (58) and Alex Fergie (36) started well in re­ply and moved the score to 83 be­fore both were removed by An­drew Bros­nan (2-36). Bulls cap­tain Jeremy Wood said his side was elated with their first win in the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter the con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances.

He paid credit to the in­nings of Dovey along with the vi­tal con­tri­bu­tion with the bat by wick­et­keep- er Ham­mond in the run chase.

“The first few weeks have been tough and, with the no re­sult last week, the boys were itch­ing to get a win and get the mon­key off our backs so to speak,” he said.

“It was an all-round team per­for­mance, ev­ery­one con­trib­uted and that is what we are look­ing for.”

Dovey said his side had their chances to win their first match of the sea­son.

“It was an awe­some game of cricket and un­for­tu­nately some­one had to lose and it was us,” he said.

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