The Margaret River Chicken Treat Big Bash is over for another year and next season will be celebrating 10 years of play. Season nine was epic: 7 teams and 146 players from all round the community aged 12 to 61 participated. Starting November 2016, 42 round robin games were played and capped off by last week’s brilliant finals series. Many battles were decided in the last overs and balls of games, 1135 boundaries were hit including 8 nine-run netters and the same two teams who have challenged for the last 3 years met again.
SEMI FINAL 1
Willow Warriors, who finished atop the Kitchen Formations Ladder faced the Bushchooks. Warriors were first to bat and things looked good at 1/37 into the 4th over, with Garsty just winding up with 26 runs retired at a 185 strike rate. Ozzie also retired in a slightly more subdued innings than Garsty's. Warriors had failed to make an impact on the scoreboard with a season lowest total of 117 all out after 19 overs. Scooter was on fire in the field, taking 2 for 13 with the ball, holding a catch and finishing the innings with a direct hit runout from 25m. Al Mac was also outstanding with 2 for 10. The Chooks must have thought this was going to be easy; 120 target, 6 runs an over and some of the biggest hitters in the competition in their line-up. Muzza and Smithy opened the innings and both got off to a slow start but then ramped it up after the first 3 overs. Muzza retired and Smithy got 18. Al Mac ground out 19 from 20 balls. Warriors made the Chooks work hard for runs with tight bowling and good fielding but even with regular wickets, batsmen managed to get a few runs each in the middle order to get the Bushchooks up to the target score and into the Grand Final in the 19th over.
SEMI FINAL 2
Madness went into bat first as they faced Finbats. It was a steady start to the innings before Morrow took control with 29 runs from 17 balls including 3 sixes. Godridge, Jimbo, Foxy and Menni all posted teen high scores at around 170 strike rates and helped the Madmen climb to a total of 162 from 20 overs. Finbats took a bit of stick in the field but held 5 catches. Captain Hawk had a good day out with a catch and 2 wickets for 13 runs. Nobsy took 1 for 9 and Ron and Gibbon took 1 wicket each. The Finbats needed 8.2 runs per over. Gibbon and Nobsy opened and both retired with strike rates around 180, Nobsy belting a 9 run netter to retire on 32 from 17 balls. The middle order just ticked along at a run a ball for 6-7 overs before Paps took control with 26 retired off just 13 ball to put Finbats back on target. Tractor’s cameo of 10 balls netted 19 runs including 3 sixes and 3 times out LBW. Captain Hawk was last to the crease needing 6 to win with 9 balls left. His first ball went for 4, the second a wide to draw the score. Hawk hit another 4 off the third ball to secure the finals berth. The Madness bowling was lead by Benno, Jimbo Gribbo who all took 1 wicket for about a dozen from their 2 overs each. A great game of cricket with 328 scored in 2 hours.
Friday’s final was between two teams who have dominated 9 years of local Big Bash. Finbats and Bushchooks would be playing off again, the ‘Bats going for their third premiership in a row, Chooks wanting to turn the tables. Finbats batted first and Nobsy retired on 28 followed by Gibbon with 27. Fifty runs off 6 overs was a good start. Blackie kept the runs ticking over with 27 retired from 20 balls and Nummy remained 21no from 13 balls. Nobsy returned and ended on 41no from 30. Finbats averaged 160 runs for the season and that’s exactly what they posted on grand final day. Scooter and Cummo both took 2 for 13 from their 2 overs each. Cocko, Al Mac, Cam and Robbo were all tight with the ball. The Bushchooks needed to score at a fraction over 8 runs an over to stop the Finbats. Chooks started perfectly, 1/79 after 10 overs with Muzza and Al Mac both retired with better that 100 run s/r each. Having lost momentum through overs 11-15, they needed 61 from the final 30 balls for the title. Chooky and Scooter did a fantastic job in getting the Chooks within 10 runs of the Finbats with both batsmen topping 25 runs at 145 s/r. Scooter hit the biggest six of the season that unfortunately landed on the bonnet of his own car. Finbat Blackie topped off a great game with 2 wickets for 9 runs. Harps was also good with the ball snaring 1/11. Nobbsy took 3 catches and bowled 1 over for just 2 runs. Finbats claimed their third premiership in a row, their fifth in nine years.