Sutherland fought back from a super over loss to Mosman to down Newcastle and qualify for the Twenty20 Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
Sutherland had Shane Watson in their side at Glenn McGrath Oval, with the former Test all-rounder the star attraction.
Though the anticipated battle between Watson and Brett Lee didn’t materialise with the former Australian paceman unavailable for Mosman, the visitors were able to call on South African international Johan Botha.
The hosts restricted Mosman to 6-143 from their 20 overs, with Anthony Adlam’s 28 the top score for Mosman. Daniel Rixon (2-23) and Tom Pinson (2-33) were the best with the ball for Sutherland, with Rixon trapping Botha leg before wicket for 27.
In reply, Sutherland lost Watson for 14 when he was run out but captain Chris Williams was able to steady the ship with a patient 27 from 38 balls.
A consistent fall of wickets saw Sutherland look buried at 8-125 but Pinson and Jake Wilson edged them towards their target before Wilson was run out on the second last ball with the score 9-141.
Batting at No.11, Jayden Brown managed to score two runs from the final ball to secure a tie. The match went to a super over, with Sutherland’s Watson and Peter Sarkoukos making 0-10.
Although Sutherland dismissed Botha without scoring, Mosman managed to make 1-12 from their super over to win the game and top the conference.
That left Sutherland needing to down Newcastle in their afternoon match. Watson’s 41 and Jamie Brown’s 69 helped Sutherland to 5-161 against a Newcastle side that included former NSW quick Burt Cockley.
In reply, Pinson’s 3-20 helped restrict Newcastle to 8-153 from their 20 overs to give Sutherland an eight-run victory.
St George won their only match on Sunday, downing Sydney at Drummoyne Oval.
Two wickets each to captain Nick Stapleton (2-36) and Chris MacDougal (2-22) restricted Sydney to 6-157 from their 20 overs.
St George made light work of the total in reply, with Stapleton’s unbeaten 56 and solid contributions from Blake Macdonald (42) and Oliver Robinson (43) seeing Saints home with seven wickets in hand and seven balls to spare.
Sutherland will face Mosman again in their semi-final at Allan Border Oval on Sunday afternoon for a place in the following weekend’s preliminary finals.
The preliminary finals and final of the competition will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on December 17.
See more photos online at theleader.com.au.