THE region has some new state champions.
Central Highlands' under-14 girls cricketers have returned home from a successful end to their Victorian championships campaign, which concluded yesterday.
The Highlanders were one of four top-ranked teams from day one of preliminary rounds in mid-January to progress to the semi-finals after days two and three were abandoned due to intense heat.
Central Highlands turned in brilliant bowling displays to defeat Western Waves with four wickets in hand in the semis and then defending champions North East Knights in the final by five wickets.
Co-captain Sarah Phillips was named player of the final for her figures of 4-4, while fellow skipper Sophie Van De Heuvel won the Central Highlands player of the series.
The result secured the region's first championship at under-14 girls level.
SEMI-FINAL: Western Waves 36 lost to Central Highlands 8-89
FINAL: North East Knights 8-60 lost to Central Highlands 5-61
On the other side of the world in Dubai, Ballarat's Matt Short and his Australian teammates won through to the semi-finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup.
The Aussies clinched a five-wicket win over the West Indies last night, with Short making 52 (62 balls) at the top of the order to get the run chase off to a strong start.
Australia will now play South Africa in the semis on Wednesday.