Bundaberg chase down Fraser

A CENTURY century from Steve Nicols has helped steer Bundaberg to victory in the first under-19 match of the Wide Bay Shield competition.

Nicols scored 137 runs off 107 balls to guide Bundaberg to a six-wicket win over Fraser Coast.

The Country Wests opener scored the majority of Bundaberg's runs as his side chased a 204-run total set by Fraser Coast earlier in the day.

Bundaberg won the toss in the morning and sent Fraser Coast in to bat.

Captain Zac Keune's decision to send the visitors out first appeared to be a masterstroke as Bundaberg's bowlers found early wickets.

Brothers paceman Alistair Rathbone struck first for Bundaberg, taking the wicket of opener Duncan Sperling in just the third over.

Josh Dugdale was next to go as Michael Waters claimed his first of three wickets and Fraser Coast slumped to 2/15.

Waters struck again a short time later claiming the wicket of Sam Chew before Jordan Darlington came to the crease to form a partnership with Luke Beatty.

The pair had a partnership of 66 runs before Darlington was caught behind on 31.

Beatty continued to impress at the crease, scoring 55 before he was caught of a Nicols bowl.

Nicols finished with bowling figures of 1-37 in seven overs.

A strong showing by tail-enders Josh De Bomford and Alex Perry (29 and 25) helped Fraser Coast close the 50 overs with a total of 8/204.

Bundaberg were required to score 4.08 runs an over to reach Fraser Coast's title.

And with Nicols on form that task was easy.

The home side looked in trouble when opener Miles Donovan was bowled out in the sixth over.

But the combination of Keune and Nicols guided Bundaberg to victory.

Keune came to the crease at 1/21 and, although he only scored 18 runs, left the crease with Bundaberg on the way to victory, with 2/184 and 19 overs remaining.

The captain played it calm while his opener thrashed Fraser Coast around the ground for 137 runs.

When Nicols was caught in the 32nd over the match was all-but won.

Dean Marles contributed a handy 23 not out off 12 balls as Bundaberg cruised to victory in 34 overs.

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