Townsville Bulletin

Monsoons book another date at the Gabba

- MATTHEW ELKERTON

NORTHERN Monsoons are off to the Gabba again after scoring a last-ball win over rivals Far North Fusion in the semi-finals of the Bulls Masters Country Challenge.

The Monsoons already have a date at the Gabba with Southern Downs after their grand final last season was postponed to this year due to Covid.

Now they will also face Gold Coast only weeks later, which will act as a curtainrai­ser for a Brisbane Heat Big Bash League game.

It was a semi-final win the Monsoons had to pull from the fire after skipper Craig Mcelligott was caught three runs shy of a half century with 40 runs still needed.

It was left to all-rounder Mitch Burton, who defied a lack of action in the middle, to smoke a quickfire 29 off 14 balls alongside Herbie Heuir (26) to get the Monsoons home.

Burton had also turned the match with the ball, after the Fusion had stormed to 1-128 off 13 overs.

Burton (3-18) and Sam Lowry (2-16) sparked a midinnings collapse for the Fusion, which began with the wicket of opener Jake Roach (96 off 67 balls).

The Monsoons had topped Pool B at the regional carnival after a dominant final-round win over Southeast Queensland Stormers.

The Monsoons, led by a blistering 45 off 17 balls from Lowry, chased down the Stormers’ total of 6-107 inside eight overs.

The rapid pace of their chase was enough to leapfrog Gold Coast into top spot on net run rate.

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