CENTRAL North Under 17 stars James Psarakis and Max Houlahan completed their Sharjah tour with the Australian Under 16 cricket side with an almost unblemished record, returning home in time for Psarakis to play for Central North in the Country Championships at Raymond Terrace tomorrow.
Unfortunately Max Houlahan is out of the CN side, the Moree teenager returning to his Queensland school.
In Sharjah the Australian Under 16s won nine of their 10 games after winning an extra game against an Australian Navy side, said Psarakis.
“It was a great trip, had a great time,” the Tamworth teenager told The Leader yesterday.
“We won every game bar one. We won the last game (against an UAE XI) in a super over and then played an Australian Navy side in an extra game. We beat them too. We scored 277 in 20 overs and they might have finished with 180. Max hit 72 off about 30 balls. I didn’t play as I didn’t want to risk my quad for this weekend at Raymond Terrace.”
The Australian Under 16s won its final three games of the tour to post eight wins and just one loss on the Middle East tour.
A two wicket win over a United Arab Emirates XI midweek was followed by a five wicket win at the Sevens Stadium on Thursday and then a win in the final game in a super over at the Sevens Stadium.
Psarakis played a big role in the two wicket win in their seventh game on tour.
He grabbed 1-13 with the ball as the UAE XI finished 8-135 and then hit 27 from 24 balls when his side replied with 8-139.
Max Houlahan opened and belted 10 from his 11 balls in a game the Aussies won with two balls to spare.
Psarakis and Nick Dixon (42) put on 30 in a crucial sixth wicket partnership.
Michael Cormack (19no) and Jack Wood (1no) saw the Aussies home.
Cormack was also in fine form with the ball when he claimed 2-21 in Thursday’s five wicket win at Sevens Stadium.
The Aussies bowled out their UAE XI opposition for 99 in 19.2 overs and then made 5-100 off 15.4 with Psarakis remaining unbeaten on 18.
In their final game the Aussies were rolled for 90 with Psarakis making 20.
The home side was 5-85 with an over left but lost 5-5.
“It was an awesome finish,” Psarakis said.
“Cameron Weir and Liam Banthorpe opened in the super over with me at three and we made 18. We beat them by three runs to win.”
After flying back into Australia earlier this week Psarakis heads straight into the NSW Country Under 17 Carnival in Raymond Terrace with his Central North team, almost identical to the one which won last season’s Bradman Cup Under 16 Final. Ironically CN plays Illawarra (the side it beat in last season’s Bradman Cup Final) in its first game in Raymond Terrace tomorrow.
CENTRAL NORTH U17s: James Psarakis, Giles Manley, Will Frost, Riley Ayre (capt) , Matt Everett, Hamish Batley, Layne Berry, Mitch Fisher, Rigby Vane-Wood, Blake Small, Will Chesterfield, James Thomas. Coaches - Kel Walls, Rod Bryant, Chris Mudd.