Whips (Belmont) captain Marcus Hainsworth feels his squad can rebound from back-to-back losses and challenge for the T20 Summer Bash title after qualifying for this weekend’s finals based on quotient.
The Whips, Rosellas (Wests), Pumas (Hamwicks) and Magpies (Charlestown) are the four teams now left standing after double headers on Sunday completed the preliminary rounds.
Having arrived undefeated from three previous midweek encounters, Hainsworth’s men went down twice at Harker Oval but it wasn’t enough for the fast-finishing Seagulls (Stockton) to pip them at the post.
The Seagulls won both of their fixtures at Waratah Oval on Sunday to draw level with the Whips on six competition points in pool B.
However, despite the most recent results, the Whips (1.41915538) managed to maintain a superior quotient over the Seagulls (0.82861426).
It means the Whips are booked into play at No.1 Sportsground on Sunday.
“Anytime you play semi-final cricket there’s a lot on the line,” Hainsworth told the Newcastle Herald.
“One innings, one bowling spell or one catch could win you the game.
“We haven’t had the best of years [in the first grade premiership] so it’s something for us to look forward to. Hopefully we can play a lot better than today, but you’re only one good performance away from playing a final and then anything can happen.”
Sunday saw the Whips defeated by both the Lions (Merewether) and Rosellas, who were the only side to keep a perfect record.
The Lions (5-127) reeled in the Whips (9-123) with two balls left. Joseph Price’s 66 saw the Rosellas (4-137) home against the Whips (8-133) with 3.5 overs to spare. And first up the Rosellas (6-126) chased down the Lions (9-124) in 18 overs.
The Seagulls accounted for the Waratahs (Waratah) and the Black Roses (Cardiff), finishing 6-124 and 7-116 in reply to 8-123 and 9-113 respectively. In the last game the Black Roses (5-78) beat the Waratahs (75).
In pool A the Magpies emerged from a logjam of teams to join the Pumas on top of the overall standings with eight points and qualified for Sunday’s semis.
Over at Kahibah Oval the Magpies defeated both the Sabres (City) and the Tigers (Wallsend). The Magpies (6-117) had seven deliveries up their sleeve playing the Sabres (5-114) while 7-162 was 45 too many for the Tigers (8-117). The Tigers (9-123) fared better in the final over against the Sabres (7-122).
There were mixed results at Ron Hill Oval with the Pumas, Kookaburras (Toronto) and Sea Dragons (University) all tasting one victory each.
The Pumas beat the Sea Dragons but lost to the Kookaburras, who were knocked off by the Sea Dragons.
POOL A: Pumas, Magpies 8; Kookaburras 6; Sea Dragons, Tigers 4; Sabres 0.
POOL B: Rosellas 10; Whips, Seagulls 6; Black Roses, Lions 4; Waratahs 0.