A collection of Peel Cricket Association stars have returned home from Victoria with a national title to show for their efforts at the Australia Country Cricket Championships earlier this month.
Aaron Burrage, Tim Hutchison (captain), Dan Abel and Adam France all helped buoy Western Australia Country to a first-place finish and a grand final victory at the carnival, with the quartet putting in some stunning performances on the national stage.
Burrage was sensational throughout ending his campaign as the tournament’s highest run-scorer, with the Halls Head product’s unbeaten century against New South Wales highlighting his epic fortnight.
The batsman was a key instigator in helping WA overcome a pair of losses in their opening two games, as both his the WA team’s form improved mightily over the course of the regular rounds.
Burrage opened with totals of 19 and 31 in T20 losses to New South Wales and Queensland, but registered just a single run in the side’s first win before being dismissed for five in the fourth game.
But he hit a serious run of form after blasting out 62 runs against Victoria, following it up with 46 in a victory over Queensland, 87 in a win over South Australia and a sublime 110 not out in the side’s clash with NSW.
The century was enough to net Burrage the crown for scoring the most runs in the carnival.
But his fellow Peel products weren’t far behind, with Hutchison and Abel putting in magnificent games in the final against Victoria.
Hutchison’s half century (51) led the way as WA recorded 188 runs from 44.2 overs, while Abel starred with the ball collecting 3/31 to lock down a victory for the West.
The skipper was elated at the side’s first championship win since 2014, and pointed to their selection of youth as a defining factor of their success.
“We really wanted young, energetic cricketers who could field well and run hard between the wickets in our side and it turned out that our average age was around 22-years-old,” he said.
“We weren’t sure what to expect with that given you usually take more seasoned guys into tournaments like this, but the results came our way and it’s a really huge achievement for the group.”
Hutchison heaped praise on his fellow Peel Cricket Association stars.
“It was great to be able to go over with the Peel boys and watch them succeed at a high level,” he said.
“Especially Aaron (Burrage) – it’s a really demanding tour so for him to hit that many runs is impressive.”
The WA side’s players have since returned to their local leagues to resume their respective seasons following the holiday break.