By Nick Creely
It was 59 balls of pure domination.
An extraordinary innings played by a man with mountains of class, skill, dare and strength.
Buckley Ridges’ star captain-coach, former South Africa A player David White, single handily lifted the Bucks into the DDCA Twenty20 semi-finals after compiling an unfathomable 150 not out against HSD on Wednesday evening, an innings glittered with 16 sixes, and a strike-rate that would have Chris Gayle proud with 254.4.
It is just the third time a batsman has scored 150 in the DDCA’s Twenty20 history, with teammate Daniel Watson (193 not out) and Doveton North’s Prabhjot Singh (151 not out) the others to achieve the rare feat.
The Bucks sent the Cobras in to bat, and from the outset, the boundaries of Park Oval were never going to contain the strength of some of the DDCA’s biggest hitters.
Matt Cox (60), Kaushayla Weeraratne (87) and Michael Davies (50) combined for a whopping 14 maximums to give the visitors an imposing 6/224 off their 20, with Matt Goodwright (2/32) and Daniel Watson (2/36) really the only bowlers to contain the Cobras somewhat.
Watson – opening with White for the Bucks – fell quickly after a seven-ball cameo of 17 – and after another danger man Susa Pradeep fell for just one, the home side found themselves 2/21.
The home side took the opportunity to consolidate despite losing another wicket shortly after, but White’s thirst for runs in his summer in Australia continued, and he began to find the boundary at an alarming rate.
While White continued to pepper the rope with some extraordinary striking with the cricket ball, the Cobras did make some in-roads at the other end, but after 10 overs, the Bucks sat 5/112.
The 15th over was the largest, with 25 runs scored, as White seamlessly passed a century, but eyeing an incredible victory for his side.
With 23 needed off just 12 balls, White wasted little time, brutally cracking the ball well over the rope to seal a victory that in the end, and it was quite comfortable by four wickets.
White’s remarkable summer has now seen him score 636 runs (including Twenty20’s) in eight digs at an average of 212, and in between, missed a period before Christmas with injury.
North Dandenong’s impressive Twenty20 campaign continued, meanwhile, with a belting of Dingley to advance through to the semis.
The Maroons – as they have been all tournament – were extremely disciplined with ball in hand, restricting the Dingoes to just 9/85, with Austin Heldt (3/8) and Shishir Kulkarni (3/18) in fine form.
Marquee man, Adam Amin (56 not out), wasted little time in securing a terrific win for the home side, with the Premier Cricket star cracking an unbeaten half-century to guide his side to a nine-wicket victory with over six overs to spare.
But the biggest upset of the round came down at Alex Nelson Reserve, with St Brigid’s/St Louis shocking Springvale South to advance through.
The visitors racked up 5/147 after a series of contributions from Vaib Deshpande (41), Jeremy Heys (30) and Lochie Brodie (31), before holding the powerhouse Bloods to just 116, bowling them out in the 19th over.
Patrick Jamieson did the bulk of the damage with 4/21, while Stephen Hennessy top scored for the home side with 30.
And Mordialloc (4/13) defeated Berwick (6/128) at Arch Brown, with star all-rounder Ian Daniel in fine touch with 4/15 and 20.
However the Bloodhounds will not advance through to the next stage of the tournament after being stripped of the points for playing two “unqualified” players, therefore the Bears will now move forward into a semi final.