Townsville Bulletin

Gabba’s monsoon forecast


MONSOONS fast bowler Justin Dixon said the world around him was going in “slow motion” as he charged through for the final ball single that has set the team up for a date at the Gabba.

Dixon, who finished the preliminar­y rounds of the Bulls Masters Country Challenge as the tournament’s secondlead­ing wicket taker with six, was at the crease in the qualifying final as the Monsoons toppled rival Far North Fusion.

It had not been an easy chase for the Monsoons, who needed more than 13 runs an over when captain Craig Mcelligott was caught on 47.

But a thrilling knock from Sub Parks allrounder Mitch Burton (29 off 14) was enough to carry them home.

It was left to Dixon and fast bowler Travis Busch to get the final run, with the experience­d allrounder keeping it as simple as possible for the young firebrand.

“We bat really deep, so (when Burton got out) I was still really confident at that stage,” Dixon said.

“I just said to Travis, we’re running on everything. It felt like I was running in slow motion when he threw the ball at the stumps (on the last ball). Thankfully we got the job done.”

While he might have hit the winning runs and took the most wickets for the tournament, he was adamant every player who went to Bundaberg for the tournament had played a key role in their success.

It was a fighting effort from the Monsoons who were comprehens­ively defeated by Central Queensland in their opening game on Saturday.

Dixon said the loss to the Seamers, their only loss of the tournament, had been a wakeup call.

“We were very happy with the way we responded after our crap performanc­e in the first game,” he said.

“We bounced back well.

“I think everyone was just leaving it to the next person to really do the job. It was a pretty fair wake-up call.

“After the game (Mcelligott) just said we had to pick the one percenters. Pick up our fielding and body language. In general we were under par.

“Everyone put in at different points of the tournament. That is what it is like in these carnivals, everyone has to contribute.

“This is the strongest NQ team I have ever played in. It had been a few hard years, but the last couple of years we have started to come good.”

The Monsoons will face Gold Coast, which made short work of Darling Downs in the other preliminar­y final, at the Gabba as a curtain-raiser for the Brisbane Heat clash on January 12.

It will be the second chance to play at the Gabba this summer for Dixon, who will play in the Monsoons squad from last season that earned a shot at the final against Darling Downs.

The final had to be postponed due to Covid and is expected to be played after a Bulls Sheffield Shield clash in November.

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