State under-18 cricket titles: Central Highlands advance to quarter-finals

CENTRAL Highlands has advanced to the quarter-finals of the Victorian Pathway under-18 male state cricket championships.

The squad had a shaky start to its qualifying rounds, notching up wins against the North West Wizards and the Inner East Emus, but losing to the Barwon Rockets in the second round.

Highlands scored an emphatic 29-run victory over the Wizards in the first round on Sunday, with captain Pat McKenna delivering a record-breaking knock of 142, and backing it up with 62 runs in Monday’s six-wicket loss to Barwon.

Yesterday’s match against the Emus saw Central Highlands, led by Rowan Stott with 55 runs, bat first for a respectable total of 8-196.

Matthew Short (three wickets) and Matthew North (two wickets) led Highlands’ bowling attack, which limited the Emus to just 7-179 over the reduced 30-over match.

“We lost the toss and got sent in first and after a slow start the middle order batsmen batted aggressively and were able to post a defendable score,” Central Highlands coach Paull Jeffrey said.

“Most of our bowlers bowled tight through the middle and built up enough pressure to eventually get the win.”

Central Highlands will face Western Spirit at Prahran in the third quarter-final today.

WHILE the under-18 male state championships have already started, the VicSpirit Pathway’s under-14 and under-16 championships are set to begin today and will run through to Friday.

The competing squads are listed below.

The male under-16 and under-14 teams will then run from January 20-24.

MEANWHILE, Victoria slumped to its third defeat of the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Canberra on Monday.

Wendouree player Heath Pyke made an unbeaten 36 late in the Vics’ innings to carry them to 6-244, but it was not enough as Western Australia chased down the target with a few overs to spare.

Pyke, who is captain of the side, has made 87 runs from four innings at this year’s titles, which finish today with a Twenty20 clash against East Asia Pacific.

VICSPIRIT PATHWAY SQUADS

UNDER-14: Jenna Fowlie (coaching mentor), Simon Ogilvie (assistant coach/team manager), Jessica Dugdale-Walker, Choney Meemusour, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Bianca Mackay, Georgia Kerr, Jess Kile (coach), Jamie Walker (assistant coach/team manager), Sarah Lidgett, Sarah Phillips, Kayla Stuchbree, Tahleah Ticehurst, Kaitlynn Paterson, Imogen Barlow, Karly Griffits, Michaela Dunn.

UNDER-16: Peter West (assistant coach/team manager), Lauren Marino (co-coach), Jacinta Goodger-Chandler, Natalie Svanosio, Laura Prendergast, Madeleine Ogilvie, Emma Lynch, Ciane Van Dyken, Isobel Hoye, Laura Shaw (co-coach), Tayla Harris, Alana Roberts, Kate Lidgett, Tegan Jenkin, Leah Hayes, Amber Neilson.

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