An incredible century from Shane Watson has blasted Sutherland into the Twenty20 Cup preliminary-finals.
Sutherland thrashed Mosman by eight wickets in their semi-final at Allan Border Field on Sunday to advance to the preliminary final – and potentially the final – at the Sydney Cricket Ground this Sunday.
Chasing 151 for victory, former Australian Test all-rounder Watson opened the batting for Sutherland and smashed an extraordinary 114 not out from just 53 balls to see the visitors seal the win with 28 balls to spare for the loss of just two wickets.
Watson obliterated the Mosman bowling attack hitting 16 sixes and a four – 100 runs in boundaries alone – sharing in a 149-run opening partnership with Jarryd Biviano (36). It was the most number of sixes the 36-year-old has hit in any innings in his distinguished career, surpassing the 15 he hit in his 185 not out for Australia in a one-day international against Bangladesh in 2011.
Watson’s knock was also the first century scored for Sutherland in T20 cricket, beating the club’s previous highest score – Steve Smith’s 85 not out in the 2008-09 season. The partnership with Biviano was Sutherland’s highest ever in T20 cricket and came from just 89 balls.
Sutherland’s dominant win had been set up earlier in the afternoon by a superb bowling performance from veteran seamer Jake Wilson who finished with 4-23.
Wilson had Mosman’s dangerous opener Daniel Hughes out caught by Peter Saroukos second ball of the match. He knocked over John Procajlo two balls later to have the hosts struggling at 2-4 after the first over.
Mosman fought back through Johan Botha (36) but, in a sign of things to come, Watson changed the game when he dismissed Botha to break the former South African international’s 107-run stand with Scott Rodgie (72).
That triggered a collapse, with Mosman losing 6-39 from their last six overs to finish at 8-150.
Sutherland will take on Sydney in the Sixers conference final at the SCG on Sunday, with the winner to take on either Hawkesbury or Penrith in the final immediately after.
Club officials are hopeful Watson will be available for Sutherland after leading them to within touching distance of the club’s first silverware in eight years. Watson, who is captain of the Sydney Thunder, will be required to play in his side’s Big Bash League opener against the Sydney Sixers two days later.
Sutherland’s preliminary final with Sydney starts at 2.30pm, with the final scheduled to start at 6.30pm.