All-rounder Augustine helps claim shield
ALL-ROUNDER Blake Augustine helped sink Gayndah in the Danny Whelan Shield on Saturday, claiming 3-42 and blasting 84 while opening the batting.
Chasing 206 for victory in the 40-over match, Augustine and Alan Nock both started sedately by their standards.
Both laced a gorgeous straight drive for four each in the early overs, but opening bowlers Dave Shepherd and Will McLay initially becalmed the pair, McLay especially troubling left-handed Nock, who hung his bat several times at balls slanted across him.
However, they weathered the early storm and began laying into the change bowlers.
Augustine, who usually hoovers up his runs straight and over mid-wicket, instead capitalised on some wide bowling to unfurl a series of textbook cover drives and cuts.
Whereas in match one of the Don Proctor Shield, Gayndah was their own worst enemy, shelling six clear chances, here they were simply on the receiving end of two players at the height of their game.
At the first drinks break, Mundubbera were 0-114. Green shoulders sagged.
The only bowler who seemed to trouble Augustine and Nock was legs pinner Jack George.
In the space of an over, he first had Nock mistime one vaguely in the direction of Carlos Mendoza at square leg, although the ball dropped safely, then he had Augustine walk past a beautifully flighted delivery.
If Ian Healy or Rod Marsh were keeping, perhaps the stumping may have been completed, but Lex Webster couldn’t gather cleanly.
The only other chance offered was by Augustine, who thumped McLay to Ross Schulte in the legside, but the difficult chance went down.
Augustine began swinging at everything, and it was only exhaustion which eventually claimed him, as Webster, who had swapped the gloves with George, sent a medium pacer crashing into off stump.
Nirav Chavda, playing his first game for Gayndah, then had Weston Dingle caught at short mid off from his second delivery for five, but it was the final breakthrough by Gayndah, who missed the services of Zac Dann and Braeden Darlington, who is injured.
Nock ended on 84 not out and Shannon Steinhardt 29 not out.
Gayndah got off to a shaky start batting.
Wes Bramley blasted 10 off Jordan Parr’s opening over, but disaster befell your journalist first ball.
Augustine sent down a searing, swinging yorker, the feet weren’t working yet, and the castle was breached – any opening batsman’s worst nightmare.
A similar fate was suffered by left-handed Bramley who, on 18, had a yorker curl into his toes, bowling him.
When Schulte was run out after facing just two deliveries, things seemed grim for Gayndah, but in between, McLay showed real class in hitting one of the most well-made 44s you will ever see in cricket.
He hit seven runs off two Augustine balls, a nonchalant clip for four through square leg followed by an audacious ramp over slips for three.
However, just before the first drinks break and just as he was looking to press on, McLay chipped Nock to square leg, Dingle diving forward for a good catch.
George looked good for his 34 before he was caught and bowled by Parr, while Webster and Mendoza made 16 and 15 respectively.
Gayndah would have subsided much more cheaply were it not for Shepherd, who left well and dug in for 41 off 59, unveiling a full range of strokes, but spooned Augustine to point shortly after, taking him for four and six consecutively over mid-wicket.
This is the third consecutive year Mundubbera has won the Danny Whelan Shield.
If the 40-over competition, the Don Proctor Shield, is only played as a three-match series, then Mundubbera have also won that too, after claiming the first rubber.
Winning captain Steinhardt paid tribute to Gayndah captain Webster, saying 40-over cricket in the North Burnett would die without his passionate driving of the competition.
Webster congratulated his opponents, saying they were simply too good for Gayndah on the day