Seven wickets notch up the seventh tie in ACT history
Queanbeyan's Vish Thakur avoids a bouncer against Wests at Freebody Oval. Photo: Rohan Thomson
A SUPER seven-wicket haul for in-form paceman Ben Oakley delivered just the seventh tie in Cricket ACT first-grade history.
The Wests/UC skipper carried his team with an inspirational performance, taking 7-54 including the final scalp to dismiss Queanbeyan for 178 at Freebody Oval on Saturday.
In front of a legion of past Queanbeyan greats ahead of the club's 150th anniversary celebrations, the home side overcame an early collapse to get within five runs of the winning target with two wickets in hand.
West UC bowler Ben Oakley took seven wickets. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
That's when Oakley took over, cleaning up the tail and finishing the innings with an LBW dismissal to get rid of No. 11 Anjuka Jayasooriya.
It's the first tie in 13 years and just the seventh overall since Kingston and Queanbeyan shared the spoils in the 1939-40 season.
''It was a just result in the end,'' Oakley said. ''We were on top of them when they were eight down, then it seesawed towards the end.
''We had our moments where we should have won and they had their moments where they should have won.
''It turned out neither of us did.''
Oakley's good form been noticed by ACT Comets selectors, the left-arm paceman earning a recall for Monday's Futures League match with Queensland in Brisbane.
Oakley, 30, is the leading wicket-taker in the first-grade competition and will play a crucial role if the Comets are to win their second title in the past three years.
They only need first-innings points at the Allan Border Field to clinch the trophy.
Despite falling short of victory, Wests/UC is one of the leading contenders to take out the two-day title with the top four locked in ahead of next week's final round.
While Eastlake is hitting its straps and Tuggeranong can never be written off, Queanbeyan captain Aaron Ayre knows his side is also in the mix.
''We've matched it with every team this season, and I feel good things can happen in the finals,'' Ayre said.
''Wests showed why they're the top team.
''They got rolled for a pretty low score on a flat wicket last week, but came out and never gave up.''
In other games, Eastlake recorded its third successive outright win with a seven-wicket victory against ANU, Chris Prescott took four wickets as Tuggeranong beat Ginninderra by 38 runs and Norths and Weston Creek was washed out.
AT A GLANCE
Wests/UC 178 tied Queanbeyan 178 (A Ayre 69; B Oakley 7-54).
Eastlake 5-183 dec and 3-186 (M Gawthrop 86no, P O'Callaghan 68) bt ANU 139 and 6-225 dec (A Stead 99) outright.
Tuggeranong 194 bt Ginninderra 156 (S Gaskin 43; C Prescott 4-32).
ACT CRICKET FIRST INNINGS TIES
■ Kingston v Queanbeyan at Kingston Oval, 1939/40
■ Turner v Ainslie at Turner Oval, 1964/65
■ ANU v Western District at ANU South Oval, 1972/73
■ Western District v Weston Creek at O'Connor Oval, 1985/86
■ Tuggeranong Valley v Weston Creek at Chisholm No.1 Oval, 1998/99
■ Weston Creek v North Canberra-Gungahlin at Stirling Oval, 1999/00
■ Queanbeyan v Western District-UC at Freebody No.1 Oval, 2012/13