Jack Hamilton blasted his way to a half-century after Josh Attard had perpetuated a stunning collapse as Central North finished their Bradman Cup campaign on a winning note in Albury.
Chasing Newcastle’s 214, Central North snuck home with two overs and three wickets to spare.
“It was a great way to finish the carnival,” co-coach Kel Walls said.
First there was the fightback with the ball.
The Newcastle top three “batted extremely well”, Walls said and at 3-171 around the second drinks break (34 overs) it looked like Central North might have a big chase on their hands.
“Then we started getting a few wickets and started putting brakes on the run-rate and then they crumbled,” he said.
Central North claimed a remarkable 5-0 to wrap up the Newcastle innings in 40.3 overs with Attard (4-31) taking three wickets in one over and Dylan Smith (2-38) two the next.
Newcastle then applied a lot of early pressure through their pace cartel, but Ben Crebert (6), Beau Parnell (17), Callum Henry (16) and Kilian Apen (33) knuckled down to absorb the pressure and keep them in the game.
“Jack then played a great innings,” Walls said.
“He really blasted them to all parts of the field and put us back in the picture when we’d been restricted and fallen behind the run-rate.”
He cracked six fours and two sixes in his 47-ball stay.
Litchfield (37no off 30) and Tom Druery (14no) then brought them home with an unbroken 41 run stand.
“They did a great job of keeping the run-rate going with one’s and twos and fours,” he said.
It was their second win of a carnival that featured “a number of positive performances by a lot of team members”.
“There was nobody who really dominated the batting or bowling. Everyone performed at some stage with the bat and the ball,” Walls said.
“I actually said afterwards if we were able to come back to the carnival next week we’d be able to perform a lot better. The team is performing as a team.”
He said that is something the zone need to look at for the future, developing the team into a team and building camaraderie before the carnival.
Something else they need to work on is how to play Twenty20s correctly, particularly with the bat.
They lost both their Twenty20 games after not scoring enough runs.
“We need to teach them how to score runs efficiently in a Twenty20 match,” he said.
And how to counter-act the bowling, particularly spin. They were undone by the spinners.