THE MCG dream is still alive for the Central Highlands under-18 boys squad, which has progressed to the semi-finals of the Victorian state championships after defeating Western Spirit in yesterday’s quarter-final.
Central Highlands lost the toss and was sent in to bat first, only to amass a total of 9-178 courtesy of captain Pat McKenna’s 42.
The squad followed up with a strong bowling attack, ensuring that the Spirit was all out for just 132.
“Ash McCafferty led the way for us with three wickets, while Matt Short had a caught-and-bowled which changed the game for us,” Central Highlands coach Paull Jeffrey said.
The Highlanders now take on the Inner South East Scorpions at Carlton in the second semi-final, with the winner progressing to the under-18 state final at the MCG.
Under-18: Inner South East Scorpions v Central Highlands at Carlton.
JACINTA Gooder-Chandler and Sophie Van De Heuvel shone with the bat for Central Highlands on the opening day of the under-16 and under-14 girls’ cricket championships in Melbourne yesterday.
Each retired twice in their 15-over double-headers.
Van de Heuvel was instrumental in the Highlanders having two wins in the under-14s.
Central Highlands made 4-94 to defeat Inner East Emus 2-79 first-up, with Van De Heuvel top scoring with 32.
Although Central Highlands took only two wickets, it was able to restrict East Emus to a losing tally. Tahleah Ticehurst was the only wicket-taker with 2-8.
Van De Heuvel then made another unbeaten 31 (retired) as the Highlanders compiled 4-98 and kept Gippsland Pride to 6-96 in a nailbiter.
Central Highlands had mixed fortunes in the under-16s.
South East Metro needed just 11.1 overs to chase down the Highlanders’ 5-69.
Gooder-Chandler top scored with 30 runs retired before South East Metro replied with 4-71.
She continued her good form with 33 retired to guide Central Highlands, 1-86 to a win over Gippsland Lightning.
Gippsland battled to get to 8-46 with Natalie Svanosio taking 3-9 and Ciane Van Dyken 2-5.
Under-16: Central Highlands v South East Sharks at Madsen Reserve, Mt Eliza, 9.30am
Under-14: Central Highlands v Inner South East Scorpions at Baxter Park, Baxter 9.30am; qualifying final, 1.20pm.