West Tamworth allrounder Harrison Kelly has delivered perhaps the season’s finest individual performance, to propel his side to a morale-boosting Twenty20 win over North Tamworth at Riverside 2.
Kelly’s pyrotechnics came as Bective East beat South Tamworth to jump from fifth to second spot on the T20 ladder and book a final appointment against Old Boys on February 1.
Opening the innings after Wests won the toss and batted, Harrison finished on 108 not out as Wests, winless in the four T20 rounds prior to Saturday’s clash, finished on 160.
A ball count was not kept for Kelly’s innings, but there were 28 balls bowled in Wests’ innings. Kelly struck six sixes and eight fours.
Bowling off-spin, Kelly then claimed 3-19 off four overs, as Norths finished on 9-152.
Wests president Kristian Grattan said: “He was outstanding. It was one of the innings I was glad I was there to watch myself.
“I watched the whole thing unfold and it was good to watch … He looked good from the get-go. He looked in control.
“I think the boys said he was dropped in the first over, and he went on to obviously punish them for that mistake.”
Wests captain Shaun Stevenson added a valuable 24 runs, while quicks Brad Renshaw (3-24 off four overs) and Adam Greentree (2-14 off four overs) were once against Norths’ best bowlers.
No.8 Phil Constable (45) top-scored for Norths – smashing six fours and a six, with Redbacks skipper Brendan Rixon (31) next best.
At Riverside 1, Bective East won their second game in three rounds to send them into an unlikely T20 final replay against Old Boys.
The surprise development occurred after Norths, Souths and City United all lost on Saturday.
The Bulls finished in 16 points with Souths but had a superior net run rate, while Norths and City finished on 15 points.
Bull skipper Jye Paterson said making the T20 final meant his side would “take some confidence into the two-dayers”.
After winning the toss and batting, the Bulls were dismissed in the last over for 116. Brendan Matthews (49) top-scored.
Paceman Angus McNeill (4-23 off four overs) was Souths’ best bowler, while three players – Jamie Hammond, Chris Langston and Nathan Mann – snared two wickets each.
In reply, Souths finished on 9-109, with Kaleb McIlveen (40) the top-scorer.
Paterson praised Matthew’s performance, saying “he kept us in the game”.
The young skipper said it was “probably” Bective’s best bowling and fielding performance of the season.