Demons deliver when it counts

Kooweerup celebrates a fourth Kookaburra Cup success after a comfortable victory over Merinda Park in the T20 grand final at Glover Reserve. Back from left; Suchintha Lakshan, Nathan Voss, Lachlan Ramage, Gamini Kumara, Cody Miller, Chris Bright, Joel Anderson, Rob Maskiell and Sahan Perera. Front row: Luke McMaster, Steven Dillon and Mitch Davey. 387082 Pictures: DAVID NAGEL

By David Nagel

Kooweerup (8/190) has claimed its fourth CCCA T20 Kookaburra Cup after the Demons scored a convincing 36-run victory over Merinda Park (8/154) in the Premier Division grand final at Glover Reserve on Sunday.

In Sunday temperatures nudging 36 degrees, the Demons were asked to bat first by Cobras’ skipper Mat Campbell and hit the ground running.

Openers Chris Bright (27 off 19) and man-of-the-match Luke McMaster (69 off 34) scored at a brisk rate early, with Bright the first to go after playing over the top of a Luke Dinger (3-0-28-1) yorker…the score 1/51 off five overs.

McMaster carried on regardless, bringing up his fifty with a massive hit over mid-wicket from just the 18th ball of his innings.

Those first 18 balls included seven fours and four sixes.

The Demons were set for a mammoth score, being 1/121 after 10 overs, but the Cobras pegged things back by taking 7/69 of the final block of 10.

That adjustment was in large part due to the economical bowling of Rumesh Ranasinghe (4-0-18-3), who claimed an incredible fifth three-wicket haul from the five T20 games the Cobras have played in this season.

Sahan Perera (23 off 13), Mitch Davey (19 off 11), Gamini Kumara (19 not out, off 20) and Joel Anderson (12 not out, off seven) all made handy contributions for the Demons, who defended their total in style.

McMaster (3-0-23-2) claimed the early wickets of Bevin Corneille (15 off 11) and Cambell Bryan (0 off 1), and was oh so close to a hat-trick…beating the outside edge of Adam Fisher (27 off 27 retired).

Fisher and Ranasinghe (37 off 27) kept the Cobras in the hunt, but a growing run-rate always had the Demons in control.

Cody Miller (4-0-27-3) and Steve Dillon (4-0-21-0) applied the brakes through the middle overs, before Rob Maskiell (2-0-13-2) bowled with great discipline and accuracy to keep a lid on things.

The Demons trialled something a little different through the five-game Kookaburra Cup tournament, with regular skipper McMaster handing over the reins to Mitch Davey and Steven Dillon.

While Dillon captained on Sunday, Davey was thrilled to play a leading role in the club’s fourth T20 premiership.

“It’s a good one to tick off the list and a great stepping stone to the main prize at the end of the season,” Davey said.

“Sometimes these games can be taken a bit lightly but our message all season has been; if we’re giving up our time we might as well have a red-hot crack at it.

“All the boys bought in and it was great to get the win in the end.

“A bit was mentioned about how we haven’t really dominated this competition like we have the red-ball stuff, so it was good to show we can play this type of cricket as well.

“The captaincy was a good experience; Stevie (Dillon) and I really wanted to play those roles because obviously we’re invested in the club, we love our cricket, and it worked out pretty well in the end.

“They gave us the opportunity and that’s what Kooweerup is all about.”

Davey heaped praised on McMaster for his impressive overall skillset.

“He’s just a ridiculous cricketer, he does it with bat and ball, he’s a great fielder, so he’s got all aspects of the game covered,” he said.

“As Wombat (Bright) said after the game, I’m glad he’s on our team and we don’t have to play against him.

“He showed today why he’s the best player in the competition.”

Davey was also impressed with the fighting spirit of Merinda Park.

“There was a stage at the 10-over mark in our batting innings where it looked like we would post a really big score, but they fought back well and got themselves back in the game,” he said.

“Then they started well with the bat, so we had to work hard for it which was good.

“We just had to stay patient and calm, and when the chances came we had to take them.”

The Demons are now in a familiar winning mood as they hunt a remarkable ninth red-ball premiership in 15 years.

“When you’re winning it’s a good place to be around, you get good vibes, and I think we’ll take a lot away from this win.”

Earlier in the day, Cranbourne Meadows (7/254) defended its District Division Kookaburra Cup title with a 93-run victory over Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll (161).

The Rebels were set up handsomely by opener Satnam Grewal (106 off 42), who made it back-to-back man-of-the-match grand final performances with a blistering knock at the top of the innings.

The Rebels raced past 100 in the 11th over, and 200 in the 17th, before finishing their innings with overs of 21, 19 and 12 to break the Marygoons spirit.

Garry Malhi (50 off 25) played brilliantly for the winners, while Nick McLennan (50) was best for the Marygoons in their unsuccessful run-chase.



TOSS: Merinda Park – Bowl.


C Bright b: L Dinger 27 (19)

L McMaster c: M Campbell, b: R Ranasinghe 69 (34)

S Perera run out: R Ranasinghe 23 (13)

S Dillon lbw: R Ranasinghe 4 (7)

M Davey c: A Fisher, b: B Corneille 19 (11)

G Kumara not out 19 (20)

N Voss b: R Ranasinghe 1 (3)

S Lakshan b: L Shelton 7 (5)

C Miller c: A Fisher, b: M Campbell 2 (3)

J Anderson not out 12 (7)

Extras 2WD, 0NB, 0LB, 5B 7

Total (20 overs) 8/190

Fall of Wickets: 1-51 C Bright, 2-121 S Perera, 3-123 L McMaster, 4-138 S Dillon, 5-150 M Davey, 6-153 N Voss, 7-170 S Lakshan, 8-173 C Miller.

Merinda Park Bowling: M Campbell 4-0-34-1, B Corneille 4-0-34-1, L Dinger 3-0-28-1, T Bertrand 1-0-26-0, L Shelton 4-0-45-1, R Ranasinghe 4-0-18-3.


B Corneille b: L McMaster 15 (11)

D McCalman st: C Bright, b: C Miller 39 (25)

C Bryan b: L McMaster 1 (0)

A Fisher retired not out 27 (27)

R Ranasinghe st: C Bright, b: R Maskiell 37 (27)

L Shelton c: L Ramage, b: C Miller 3 (4)

L Bertrand c: M Davey, b: C Miller 7 (5)

J Bertrand c: N Voss, b: R Maskiell 2 (3)

T Bertrand run out 4 (3)

L Dinger not out 9 (10)

B Hodge not out 7 (5)

Extras 1WD, 0NB, 1LB, 2B 4

Total (20 overs) 8/154

Fall of Wickets

1-31 B Corneille, 2-31 C Bryan, 3-58 D McCalman, 4-120 R Ranasinghe, 5-130 L Shelton, 6-131 L Bertrand, 7-135 J Bertrand, 8-137 T Bertrand.

Kooweerup Bowling: S Perera 4-0-38-0, L McMaster 3-0-23-2, S Dillon 4-0-21-0, C Miller 4-0-27-3, J Anderson 2-0-19-0, R Maskiell 2-0-13-2, L Ramage 1-0-10-0.

Kooweerup won by 36 runs.