Mt Beauty in finals
Mt Beauty lose five wickets in seven balls but still secure win over Baranduda
DESPITE a calamitous batting collapse Mt Beauty will again play finals after a thrilling victory in their do or die clash with Baranduda.
With just two runs needed off 13 balls the Power looked likely to secure a six-wicket win but five wickets in the space of just seven deliveries saw them go from 4/160 to 9/160.
After the five minutes of carnage, in which Rohan Pearce struck four times in the 37th over, Liam Vickers (10 not out) had the composure to edge Mt Beauty past the total.
One of the four batsman to fall in Pearce’s ninth over was Ashan Ranaweera, the hero for Mt Beauty with a brilliant 105 to go with his measly 4/36 off 23 overs with the ball.
Ranaweera opened the batting and hit 14 boundaries and two sixes in what was the third century by a Mt Beauty player in four games.
He was the first batsman to fall to Pearce with Ben Slocombe, Anthony Brewergray and Aiden Grace departing on the third, fourth, and fifth balls of the penultimate over.
The four dismals followed that of Mt Beauty captain Al Randell (15) off the last ball of the 36th over.
With 162 required off just 38 overs, after the Rangers added a further 43 runs to their overnight score, captain Al Randell said the Power needed a big score from one of its batsmen.
“We knew it was a good pitch and the outfield was reasonably fast but if we were going to win one of our top order had to stand up and Ashan did that,” he said.
“We also knew we needed a bit of luck to go our way, I’m not really sure what happened for us to collapse like that, but I guess it doesn’t matter now.
“It certainly made for a nerve racking few minutes… it’s not something we’d want to repeat.”
Mt Beauty’s two other century makers this season Damien Jenvey (22) and Dan Saville (11) were the other mainstays with their 41 and 59 run partnerships with Ranaweera proving crucial.
The result meant Mt Beauty ended Baranduda’s season for the third straight year after knocking the Rangers out in the past two semi-finals.
The Power’s heart stopping win sets up a semi-final clash with archrivals Dederang.
The Demons defeated Bethanga by 25 runs on the weekend to clinch the minor premiership with Nick Hynes taking 6/33.
It will be another must win match for Mt Beauty who as the lowest ranked team in the finals will be out of the premiership race if they lose.
The Demons are guaranteed another chance but can book themselves a home preliminary final with victory.
THROUGH: Mt Beauty captain Al Randell was the first wicket to fall when the Power lost 5/0 late in their match against Baranduda.