Defending Twenty20 champions Kookas have kicked off their title defence with a win over Oak Flats on Saturday.
On a day that was heavily affected by rain, the match was the only game across both the South Coast and Illawarra competitions to be completed, the team overcame a number of key absences, including batsman Jacob O’Connell, to record the victory.
Having been sent in to bat, Kookas reached 6/136. Zach Jurd top scored with 30 and Callum Barton chipped in late with 22 runs off just nine balls. Captain Craig Bramble admitted they didn’t expect to play, but was pleased with the performance.
“The wicket was definitely tough to bat on, but it was the same for both sides.” Bramble said. “By scoring 137 we knew it was a winning score, we just had to bowl in the right areas and take catches and we’d put pressure on them.”
Gramble was particularly impressed with Barton’s match-changing innings.
“He’s only 15 and that innings won us the game. For a young kid to go out and bat like he did, that allowed us to be in a position to win the match.”
After setting Oak Flats a challenging target, Kookas were able to pick up regular wickets to ensure the Rats were constantly chasing their tails. Opener Scott McAndrew top scored with 48 runs.
“Once we got McAndrew out, we were confident we’d be able to finish it off. We bowled in the right areas and fielded well, which is key in Tewnty20s, and were able to build the pressure. It was a good effort with the ball.”