WA Invitational XI reach Country Cup final after chasing down big total against Peel at Lilac Hill
Upper Great Southern trio Dylan Kirk, Bailey Parsons and Kalan Joyce have helped the WA Invitational XI reach the Belt Up Country Cup final after they beat Peel in the third and final round on Sunday.
Kirk (Pingelly-Noonebin), Parsons (Wandering) and Joyce (Lake Grace) were all part of the WA Invitational XI side that finished five-wicket winners at Lilac Hill.
All four teams in the 50-over white ball competition could make the grand final heading into the final round of qualifying games and the WA Invitational XI were set a big task after Peel made 6-226 batting first.
Peel lost an early wicket after winning the toss and batting first but through Josh Rudge and Tim Hutchison they piled on the runs.
Rudge anchored the innings with an unbeaten century and was well-supported by Hutchison (44), while Hilton Hardman made a late cameo off 19 from 16 balls as Peel set the WA side 227 to win.
The centurion carried his bat, hitting three sixes and six fours in his 106 not out from 134 balls to give his bowlers a strong target to defend.
Parsons bowled his full 10 overs and despite being expensive, going for 61 runs, snared two crucial wickets.
He removed the dangerous Hutchison after he made 44 from 67 balls and then dismissed Keran Ugle later on for 14.
Kirk snared a late scalp to finish with 1-33 from seven overs while Joyce was also used with the ball, returning figures of 0-18 from five overs.
Joyce opened the batting for the WA Invitational XI and he shared in a 46-run stand with Callum Crawford before the latter fell for 28.
After a patient innings of 32 from 85 balls, including four boundaries, Joyce was undone by Hutchison’s spin with his side 3-94 in the chase.
Kirk, batting No.4, blasted 42 from only 41 balls to help lift the run rate for his team before he was stumped off the bowling of Jake Foley.
When Kirk fell the WA side were 4-122 but Callum McFarlane (49) and James Courtney-Bennett (49no) helped secure victory.
The WA Invitational XI passed the victory target with six balls to spare and five wickets in hand to book their place in the decider later this month.
They will face Albany and Districts Cricket Association for the title, after they downed Bunbury and Districts in Harvey by 12 runs.
Albany and Districts batted first and made 9-154, mainly thanks to an unbeaten 99 from star all-rounder Nathan Crudeli.
Bunbury and Districts were bowled out for 142 in reply, Crudeli (2-24) taking the final wicket with Charlie Walters, Hayden Davies and Lincoln Joy also snaring multiple wickets.
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