Tamworth keeper makes Australian Country XI

NSW Country’s chase for a third successive Commbank Australian Country Championship was foiled by Queensland in Canberra yesterday but there was a silver lining in the final day results, especially for Tamworth wicketkeeper Tom Groth.

NSWC had entered the final round of T20 matches in second place behind Western Australia, needing South Australia Country to beat the Sandgropers on the final day.

South Australia did that, making 4-138 in its 20 overs and then restricting WA to 8-116 but NSW had to beat Queensland Country only to be stunned by a Queensland side which slammed 8-167 off its 20 overs and then bowled out NSWC for 141 in 17.4 overs.

It was a disappointing finish,  NSWC manager Ron Hancock said.

“We just weren’t good enough,” Hancock lamented.

“They tonked and hit well, set a good total and that made it hard for us. 

“We had to go at eight an over and lost early wickets.”

The silver lining was the fact NSW had three players selected in the Australian Country side – NSW skipper Graeme Batty, young opening bowler Scott Burkinshaw and  Groth.

Burkinshaw claimed 2-30 against Queensland yesterday and was the leading wicket- taker for the side over the championships.

Hancock thought  he was the find of the tournament.

“He was a standout for us,” Hancock said.

“He could go a long way.”

Groth’s selection was deserving.

“He’s still only 28,” Hancock said of Groth who was attending his sixth national country championship.

“He’s done so well – keeping very well and great with the bat as well. 

“He’s averaged something over 100 for these championships.

“He’s only been dismissed once.”

Groth topscored with 36 (19balls) yesterday as the NSW run chase petered out against Queensland.

The Australian Country side was named during yesterday’s Prime Minister’s XI game against England at Manuka Oval.

Whether the side will play a representative match is yet to be determined.

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