Cricket ACT sloggers eye Twenty20 title and a cash grab

Remember the glory days of Australian cricket's domestic one-day competition, when one sweet strike could make you $200,000 richer?

Michael Hussey certainly does. It was an era that saw Brad Haddin belt his way to $150,000 of the best and a sparkling Steve Waugh shot sent $140,000 into his bank account. All by hitting a sponsorship sign on the full.

Shane Devoy is eyeing a Twenty20 title, and perhaps $500. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Shane Devoy is eyeing a Twenty20 title, and perhaps $500. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Now Canberra's sloggers have the chance to do something similar in the Cricket ACT Twenty20 Cup finals at Phillip Oval on Sunday, with the winner of each semi-final to meet under lights that night.

Two branded marquees and three large signs will be placed around the ground with $500 up for grabs for the first batsman to hit any of them on the full throughout the day.

The race is on with Western District-UC and Ginninderra to get the first crack in the first semi-final, before ANU meet Tuggeranong Valley in the second game. But Tuggeranong skipper Shane Devoy laughs he is no chance.

"Not me, not me, I’m a bit of a nicker and nudger," Devoy said.

"We’ve got a few blokes in our side who hopefully won’t get too carried away with that, but it promises to be a good celebration if they can pull it off. All Floros’, they’ll be queuing up to have a crack at that.

"[We've] only got three [playing], we couldn’t get Matty qualified but awesome to have Benji, Timmy and Jason on board. They’re all really good cricketers, they all bat, they all bowl.

"There has been a few tense moments with the brothers upsetting each other with their fielding along the way, which has been pretty entertaining for the rest of us.

"Particularly to have Jason back with his Big Bash experience and his knowledge of the game, has been really beneficial for our younger guys."

Wests batsman Labib Mahmud is hoping to get the first crack at the $500 prize in his side's clash with Ginninderra, but he laughs he would do well to beat Matt Condon or Ethan Bartlett.

Wests finished on top of the Twenty20 ladder as they hunt for back-to-back titles and plane tickets to Adelaide for the National Premier Twenty20 championships on March 5-6.

Cricket Australia has launched a 10-team competition inviting the winner of each state and territory's premier Twenty20 competitions to face off, with NSW and Victoria's runners-up also competing.

"When we started the season, the main target was to get the Twenty20 comp and to go to Adelaide," Mahmud said.

"We’re here in the finals now, two more games now so let’s see. That’s a great opportunity for the players. We haven’t thought about [finishing first on the ladder], we targeted it match by match.

"Our team is really balanced so far, as a batting unit and a bowling unit as well. We’re enjoying each other’s company and everything, we’re doing good as a team as well."

A Twenty20 finals appearance means four clubs will have to back up for a second day in a row two weeks running, with the next round of two-day Douglas Cup matches beginning on Sunday.

Tuggeranong and Wests have no room for complaints - they'll be playing on consecutive days again next week when the one-day Gallop Cup semi-finals roll around.

"We did it last weekend, we’ve got it this weekend, and then we’ve got the one-day semis the week after," Devoy said.

"We’ve played ourselves into a position of privilege, to have to play Saturday and Sunday cricket, so no excuses from us. We’re good to go."


Saturday: North Canberra-Gungahlin v Weston Creek Molonglo at Harrison Oval, Queanbeyan v Tuggeranong Valley at Freebody Oval, Ginninderra v Western District-UC at Kippax Oval, ANU v Eastlake at ANU North Oval. All games at 11am.


Sunday: Semi-finals - Ginninderra v Western District-UC at Phillip Oval, 10.30am. Tuggeranong Valley v ANU at Phillip Oval, 2.00pm.

Final - Winner SF1 v SF2 at Phillip Oval, 6pm.