Nichols, Boge double up
FRESH from their heroics against the Australian Cricket Association (ACA) Masters All Stars the previous night, Steven Nichols and David Boge stood tall for their clubs on Saturday.
Nichols, who smashed 18 runs off the final five balls including a six from the last to snatch the Bundaberg Invitational side a stunning victory over the All Stars, backed it up with an unbeaten 86 to lead Country/Wests to their maiden Bundaberg/Fraser Coast League win, against Australs.
Boge, who captained the Invitational side and led from the front with an unbeaten 32 and also skippers league leaders Brothers, claimed six wickets to wrap up a crushing 185-run victory over the win-less Norths.
Australs posted a competitive 187 against Country, thanks mainly to a blazing 89 from No. 6 Andrew Thompson, but John Lowe kept them in check with 4-31.
When Country stumbled to 5-75, an upset was on the cards, but Nichols, and Matt Fleming (59) guided them home with an unbroken partnership of 161.
Nichols said they “always had a chance” despite the situation.
“We really just needed someone to stay there and fight it out and be a team player and I think I did that,” Nichols said.
“I've finally found some form – I haven't been that out of form, I've been batting well but have been getting myself out a lot and I haven't had time in the middle.
“I obviously got a bit of confidence from Friday night when I had a lot of fun – it was a good atmosphere and the crowd really got into it and I didn't feel any pressure - all I was thinking about on the last ball was hitting it for six and I certainly won't forget that any time soon.”
Brothers amassed 9-291 from their 40 overs with Josh Nugent top scoring with 61 but the damage could have been worse but for a haul of 5-55 by Adam Muscat.
Norths were never in the hunt in their run chase but after battling to 4-89, they imploded to be all out for the addition of just 17 more runs with Boge putting them in a spin with 6-14 in 22 balls.
With the wash-out of the two games in the Fraser Coast, including the duel between the also unbeaten ATW and Fraser premiers Past Grammars, Brothers now have a handy lead on the ladder after four of eight games.
Country 5-191 (Nichols 86no, Matt Fleming 59no, Dean Challacombe 8-1-36-3) d Australs 187 (Andrew Thompson 89, Tony Cordie 24, John Lowe 8-1-31-4, Andrew Gear 8-0-26-2, Fleming 8-2-35-2).
Brothers 9-291 (Nugent 61, Steve Grogan 51, Mitch Sartori 49, Helmore 35, Muscat 7-0-55-5, Morley 7-0-72-2) d Norths 106 (Boge 6.3-1-21-6, Sartori 8-1-27-2)