at the Double
South Australia had plenty to celebrate at this year’s National Cricket Inclusion Championships, taking home titles in two of the three divisions.
Australia’s elite cricketers with a disability displayed their skills in Geelong in January in separate divisions for players with an intellectual disability, blind and vision impaired and deaf and hard of hearing.
SA finished just short of a clean sweep with the blind team failing to reach the final, after winning the decider in last year’s tournament.
Deaf and hard of hearing team hits back
SA completed a stunning turnaround to blitz Victoria in the grand final and end a long 27-year championship drought. The Vics had bowled SA out for a miserly 34 earlier in the event but the South Aussies stormed back to beat their final opponents by six wickets.
Gavin Connor (3/10) and Justin Millard (3/4) combined forces to bundle Victoria out for 109 after it was sent in to bat, the 10th wicket falling on the final ball of the innings.
Luke Trudgett starred in SA’s run chase, plundering 44 from just 29 balls, with nine boundaries, while Millard (20 not out) and Connor (seven not out) steered their side to glory with 10 balls to spare in the Twenty20 clash.
The South Australians showed outstanding character to complete a stunning reversal and claim the championship after sitting on the bottom of the ladder after their first three matches. A late upward surge saw SA finish with three consecutive wins, ending the State’s long run of outs in the division.
SA’s Adam Wood, Millard and Trudgett were named in the Australian squad for a training camp from which a side will be selected for November’s Deaf Cricket T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
The South Australian deaf and hard of hearing team are elated by their victory.
Cricketers with an intellectual disability team is inspired
South Australian captain Chris McQueen led his side to a 22-run final win over previously undefeated Queensland with a stunning captain’s knock of 83 not out from just 59 balls.
SA looked in trouble in the decider after openers Beau Chisholm and Dale Fielke fell for ducks. But McQueen shared a critical unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 73 with Scott May (21 not out) and SA finished its 20 overs with a defendable total of 3/120.
Luke Goodman then executed an inspired spell, claiming 3/11, Queensland bundled out for just 98 on the penultimate ball.
Losing only to Queensland in the minor rounds, SA was a dominant side, finishing in second place before producing its strongest performance in the game that mattered most.
The South Australian cricketers with an intellectual disability celebrate their win.