The inaugural Country v Metro series began with a bang in Barooga today with just a solitary run determining the opening under-19 Twenty20 fixture.
Victoria Country drew first blood as they defended their formidable total of 4-137 by the barest of margins, but Victoria Metro split day one honours after cruising to a nine-wicket victory in the under-17 match.
In the under-19 encounter, an explosive 76 by Central Highlander James Lidgett set up Country’s total of 4-137 from their allotted 20 overs.
Michael Fotia (1-20) and Pat Ashton (1-21) were the best of the Metro bowlers.
During a thrilling chase led by Lincoln Edwards (37 no), Vic Metro fell agonisingly short, finishing at 5-136 to commence the four-match series as quick Dom McGlinchey held his nerve at the death.
Liam Tonkin chipped in with a hard fought 33 and was backed up by Mark Phelan with 18.
Vic Country was led with the ball by South East Country Sharks’ Ben Ashkenazi (2-24) and Western Waves’ Sam Kerber (1-25).
“It was a good, competitive game which is just what we were after,” Cricket Victoria Academy coach Shawn Flegler said.
“Lidgett was obviously very good, as was LJ Edwards, who ran very well between the wickets and did everything right.
“There was probably a few nerves and a bit of rustiness, but we’re looking forward to the two one-day games and we really want to see people perform.”
It was a different story for the Victorian Country under-17 side, which was dominated by its Metro counterparts.
A great bowling performance from Kieron Elliot (2-20) restricted Country to just 6-78 from their 20 overs, with day one skipper Patrick McKenna leading the way with a solid 33.
In reply, a polished performance by Western Spirit batsmen Hayden Castle (41*) and Inner South-East’s Jacob Serry (23) saw the Metro side easily account for their Country rivals.
Barwon Rocket Luke Ford was Vic Country’s sole wicket taker during the nine-wicket defeat.
Play resumes tomorrow at 10 am, with the first of two 50-over fixtures.
You can follow all the Country v Metro action on Twitter via @CVPathway or by ‘liking’ the Cricket Victoria Pathway page on Facebook.