Legends fall to Gympie
GYMPIE cricketers upstaged the ACA Masters at the weekend in the Twenty20 blockbuster played at Albert Park.
Gympie charged to victory on the back of heroic performances from Troy Ashton and Steve Brady.
The Gympie All Stars had the home crowd packed into the Albert Park grandstand and lined around the field cheering madly as they claimed victory, chasing down the ACA Masters’ total.
The ACA Masters batted first and made 168 from their 20 overs before the Gympie All Stars held their nerve to eclipse the total after 18 overs, with seven wickets in hand. With two overs remaining and seven wickets up its sleeve, Gympie All Stars captain Tim McIntosh hit the single to seal the result. The defeat was the second time the ACA Masters had lost, after losing to Bundaberg in a cliff-hanger last week.
Opening the batting, the ACA Masters hit trouble early on when Gympie destroyer Ashton bowled Ryan Campbell.
The Albert Park crowd erupted into applause at the early breakthrough.
Fellow owner Jimmy Maher, known for his fighting qualities at the crease, produced a trademark performance to make 100 not out and became the thorn in the Gympie All Stars’ side.
Maher’s stay at the wicket produced three spectacular sixes and nine fours.
Gympie fans jostled on the boundary in an effort to catch the sixes, with the Mary Valley Heritage Railway offering a free pass on the Valley Rattler as a reward.
Next best with the bat for the ACA Masters was Ben Johnson, who made 42 before losing his wicket to a Tom White delivery, courtesy of a classy catch in the outfield by Chris Darrach.
Greg Blewett was next to fall, for a duck, providing Travis Chandler with a wicket from his four overs.
Greg Ritchie managed two runs before Ashton struck again to send the bails flying.
Sunshine Coast Scorchers representative Josh Brady chimed in with a wicket of his own, claiming Tom Moody’s scalp after a shot lobbed up into the air was confidently taken by Ashton near the boundary.
Darren Lehmann had a short spell at the crease, making eight not out before the ACA Masters ran short of overs.
Roles reversed, opening batsman Steven Brady spearheaded the Gympie All Stars’ reply, making 80 before his wicket was claimed by the towering Michael Kasprowicz.
Steven Brady went on a scoring blitz, eagerly accepting the challenge of a lifetime against a selection of Australia’s cricket legends.
Newly retired Andy Bichel was left feeling a little sore when Brady smashed one of his deliveries for a six clear over the Albert Park boundary, eventually landing in the second lane of the Bruce Highway.
The colossal shot narrowly missed an oncoming car before bouncing on to the grass, where a small group of spectators gathered in their chairs.
Bichel weathered more hardship when Kaden Dickfos shrugged off any tension to smash three sixes in succession. Dickfos ended his batting spell not out 42.
With Brady and Dickfos having done most of the damage, captain Tim McIntosh ceremoniously mopped up, hitting a four and three singles to seal the win.