Thrashers hold off Sluggers for CanAssist T20 title

Only nine runs separated the Tumut and Adelong Times Thrashers and Sounds of the Mountains Sluggers at the end of 20 overs as the Thrashers reclaimed the CanAssist T20 title in a tight contest.

A brilliant 62 from Junee big hitter, Trent Charlton, including six fours and two sixes, injected the Thrashers innings with plenty of fireworks as he batted himself towards a man of the match performance.

Sluggers captain, Luke Armstrong, presents the trophy to Thrashers captain, Matthew Sturt.

Along with valuable contributions from Simon Smith and Jason Webb, the Thrashers posted 157 for the Sluggers to chase, who looked to have the match in control midway through their innings.

With 10 overs remaining the Sluggers needed just 57 runs but a late flurry of wickets and some tight bowling kept their score below the required total and gifted Thrashers captain, Matt Sturt, with bragging rights over his Tumut Plains teammate and Sluggers Captain, Luke Armstrong.

Taking place at Tumut Plains Cricket Ground, the Thrashers won the toss and chose to open the batting with Commercial striker Simon Smith and Woolpack captain Jason Webb opening proceedings.

With John Whitley on the microphone encouraging players to swing their bat and providing plenty of advice, the pair got off to a good start making full use of the boundary rope to score their runs.

When Smith was claimed by Matt Back on 31, the Thrashers were on 1/39 and now gained the services of Charlton who hit the ground running with back to back fours.

Batting against his brother Nathan Charlton, Trent got the better of his brother for most of his innings as he quickly collected runs alongside Webb producing the best partnership of the innings.

Wyangle bit hitter Matt Stubbs came and went thanks to some handy work behind the stumps from his Wyangle teammate Dave Shedden, before Tumut Plains duo, Glenn Appleby and Matt Sturt, made a brief appearance in the middle with three runs between them.

With limited overs remaining, Nathan Charlton finally got his man tempting Trent out of his crease for Shedden to collect his bails.

A powerful 26* from Jason Back including a six and four four’s was a perfect cameo to end the Thrashers innings as the Sluggers were set the task of chasing 158 for victory.

After becoming the first non-Tumut Plains player to score a century at the ground, Joe Hardwick opened proceedings for the Sluggers alongside Jason Bulger.

Junee’s Trent Charlton top scored in the match with 62 runs for the Thrashers.

But Hardwick failed to replicate his previous innings when he was caught by young, Scott Cooper, on four runs. Bulger had more success, however, scoring a quickfire 11 runs before he was claimed in the third over.

Tate O’Donovan entered the match and showed his power hitting abilities, hitting the biggest six of the match and earning special honors at the post-match awards for sending the ball out of the ground.

O’Donovan’s 13 run cameo also ended in the third over with the Sluggers on 3 for 29. But in a captain knock, Luke Armstrong, combined with Matt Back to produce the best partnership of the match and get the Sluggers back into contention.

Kicking off his innings off with a six, Armstrong top-scored for his side with 36 runs before a clean LBW appeal from Simon Smith ended his innings.

Needing under 50 runs to win, the Sluggers looked to be on target for a second straight CanAssist T20 title, but the quick loss of Armstrong and Matt Back set the stage for a tense finish.

Some tight bowling from the Thrashers bowlers kept the run rate low as the overs remaining began to dwindle. Trent Charlton got his revenge on brother Nathan, bowling his Junee counterpart for 2 as he attempted to hit the ball over his head before losing middle stump.

A valuable stand from Jordy Maher provided the Sluggers innings with some hope as he scored 23*, but time was against them as the overs ran dry with just nine runs remaining.