Port Augusta cricket: Grand Final postponed

CRICKET: South captain Greg Shirley and Quorn captain Alex Hosking speak with Port Augusta Cricket Association David Robinson following the decision to call off the Grand Final due to extreme heat.
CRICKET: South captain Greg Shirley and Quorn captain Alex Hosking speak with Port Augusta Cricket Association David Robinson following the decision to call off the Grand Final due to extreme heat.

In one of the more bizarre circumstances, South Augusta have dodged a bullet with the Grand Final called off due to the heat after the minor premiers were bowled out for 98 and Quorn had already made 45.

The big game had already been affected by the weather before a ball had been bowled, with the match moved from Saturday to Sunday due to the high temperatures.

Also, the game had been restricted to 40 overs a-side, with the forecast above 40.

Quorn were on the brink of their third premiership in a row before the temperature exceeded 41.5 degrees, but the players will have to come back next week to do it all again.

South won the toss and chose to bat, but hit trouble early in the piece.

Craig Shirley was caught behind off Tom Finlay for four and after surviving for 20 balls, Will Waterworth fell in similar fashion off Corey Finlay for zero.

This left South struggling at 2/15 and once again, there was some work to do for the Association’s leading run scorer, Greg Shirley.

Shirley and Corey Cuffe battled valiantly to try and put some scoreboard pressure on the Quorn batsmen later on, but once Cuffe had got to 20, Corey Finlay struck again to dismiss the wicket keeper.

Marcus Gill didn’t last too long, as Simon George put an end to his short stay at the crease, before Aaron Vater was promoted up the order to lend a hand to his skipper, Shirley.

Quorn knew that as long as he was there, South were still a chance at getting a big score, so Liam Bury stepped up and snuck one through the gate to bowl Shirley for 20, leaving South in all sorts of trouble at 5/62.

Ben Trewartha and Aaron Vater were also gone soon after and Quorn were rolling to complete their three-peat.

A stubborn partnership between Todd Kernahan and Nathan Nistico haunted the Quorn side for a few overs, as the pair added 18 more runs, but when Quorn are on they’re hard to stop and they took the final three wickets of the innings without conceding a run.

South were all out for 97 and were quickly seeing their near-perfect season slipping away without reward.

Corey Finlay was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with four wickets, while everyone else that had the ball in their hand contributed at some stage.

Alex Hosking and Liam Bury kitted up and made their way out to the middle to begin the run chase and everything was going their way.

Hosking got things going with a boundary off the last ball of the first over from Vater and continued to dominate the in-form seamer.

He smashed three consecutive fours off his next over and continued to lift from there. The Quorn supporters had little time to get a drink before they had another chance to get up and about, as the two took 26 off the first four overs.

Clayton Parkinson gave South a chance to settle when he found the edge of Hosking to dismiss the Quorn skipper for 17.

Bury and Scott Williams continued the onslaught, getting their side to almost the half-way mark before the players were asked to go in.

At 3:30pm, the temperature came to South’s rescue and after an hour had passed, the match was abandoned.

If Quorn had faced just seven more overs, they would’ve faced enough to constitute a game, but now they will all have to replay the match next week.

In a weekend where mother nature was not on the Port Augusta Cricket Association’s side, things ended in extraordinary fashion. Let’s hope the weather is kinder to us next week.