Boge bewilders Country
CAPTAIN David Boge again bowled Country/Wests over in the Bundaberg Division 1 semi-final on the weekend.
The five-times Tallon Medal winner for Bundaberg Cricket's best and fairest spun the Panthers out, claiming 5-39 from 16.2 overs to send them packing for a paltry 87 runs.
Boge ensured that Country's drought stretched to 23 years, thereby denying retiring stalwart Andrew Gear a shot at a premiership which has eluded him through 15 years of giving his heart and soul for the club.
Under-16 player Dean Krebs chipped in with 3-8 from six overs, including dangerman Steven Nichols, after opener Ian Botha drew first blood in the fourth over without a run on the board.
Despite still being a little rusty, Brothers then staged a clinical run chase, recovering from 2-29 to reach 2-91 by stumps on Saturday and going right on with the job yesterday despite rain interruptions.
They went on to almost achieve their team goal of batting out their 85 overs, finishing one short, losing their last wicket in the penultimate over but not before posting 242 to advance to their 18th straight Division 1 final.
Despite both falling cheaply, new opening combination of David Turich and Chris Anderson blunted the attack after Country openers Kyle Stallan and Gear served it up to the Brethren.
Australian Country representative Josh McLean top-scored with 71, while young No.3 Ben Lanskey dug in for 45 and Boge completed a fine double with 51.
Boge was a happy man despite their late collapse of 5-36 when the result was long gone.
"The main thing for us was to have a bit of a bat and Dave (Turich) and Ando (Anderson) batted for a long time, and so did Josh (McLean), Ben Lanskey, Matt Turich and myself," Boge said.
"All bowlers bowled plenty of overs, but it was more the batting which was pleasing. Lately it seems to have been washed out when it was our turn to bat."
Country had been beaten by Brothers in their four premiership clashes this season, including three weeks earlier when time saved them from an outright loss as they were dismissed in the first innings for 126 and again collapsed to 9-113 in the second at stumps.
Boge bagged 10 wickets in that match, including seven second innings scalps, and he came back to haunt them.
Brothers won six grand finals in a row before being beaten by Across The Waves in last year's decider.
Waves will be chasing a clean sweep of Division 1 titles this season after having claimed the Twenty20 crown, News Mail Cup and minor premiership.
They will be favourites as Brothers have not yet beaten them in five meetings this season, but Boge believes his side has peaked at the right time and he is confident they can win - weather permitting.
"On paper, they are probably stronger than us, but we are capable of beating them if we perform well as a team," Boge said.
Brothers 242 (McLean 71, Boge 51, Lanskey 45, Dan Faulkner 6-0-22-3, William Holloway 15-3-29-2) d Country 87 (Mick Hurst 24no, Scott Irwin 23, Boge 16.2-3-39-5, Krebs 6-2-8-3) & 0-18.