New South Wales Country has defeated cross-border rivals Queensland Country in the final of the Twenty20 competition at the Toyota Australian Country Championships with Caleb Ziebell producing a batting masterclass for the victors.
Ziebell was unstoppable on Sunday during a magnificent innings where the North Coast batsman blasted 110 runs from just 60 deliveries. He found the rope five times and cleared it on another six occasions.
It was by far and away a match-winning innings by Ziebell, who combined with Jordan Moran (50), for a second-wicket partnership of 142 to set a target of 191 for victory.
Queensland couldn’t rein in the New South Wales total, bowled out for 151 from 19.4 overs. Former NSW and Big Bash allrounder Simon Keen was the best of the bowlers for the Bush Blues, returning 4-19 from his four overs.
The match finished a fantastic series for Ziebell, who led the run scorers for the competition posting 235 runs at an average of 58.75 and an outstanding strike rate of 147.8. He also picked up 6 wickets along the way, averaging six at an economy rate of 5.1.
It is not the first time Ziebell has produced a defining knock in a clutch game this season. A spectacular century from the allrounder against the Northern Inland Bolters ensured his Northern Rivers Rock team a place in the Plan B Regional Bash Twenty20 play-offs at the SCG late last year.
Ziebell blasted an unbeaten 128 in just 64 balls with seven fours and 10 Sixes during the innings, as the Rock beat the Bolters to top the Coffs Harbour Pool of the Sydney Sixers Conference.
Northern Rivers ultimately went down to Newcastle in the Sixers Conference Final.
The Country Championships final was also a proud day for umpire Graeme Glazebrook, representing his hometown of Portland in the New South Wales’ Central Tablelands.
The Bush Blues now turn their attention to the one-day phase of the Championships.
Meantime, the New South Wales Women’s Country team started their National Championships with a 10-wicket win over Northern Territory.
Naomi McDonald (31 not out) and Isabella Fitzgibbon (2-8) the best performers for the Bush Breakers in the emphatic win.