CRICKET: Sunshine Coast skipper Sam Gardiner helped his team escape with a thrilling draw against Toombul at Buderim on Saturday, after a shocking batting collapse in the round 10 Queensland Premier Grade fixture.
He made 31 runs but importantly survived 126 balls and combined in a vital last-wicket partnership with Wade Johnston (14 off 37) for the final hour of play.
"It was a really good captain's knock," coach Ashley Holznagel said.
The host had earlier restricted Toombul to 287 after it started day two on 5/242, with Ashley Renouf claiming another five-wicket haul.
Then the Scorchers started with promise, moving to 0-87 largely on the back of Nick Selman (57).
But then things went pear shaped as the side lost five wickets in the space of three runs.
"We set ourselves up...then to be 5/88 that really put us behind the game, big time," the coach said.
The team was forced to dig deep, not for the first time, with Blake Maher (27 off 90) and John Turnbull (6 off 46 balls) occupying the crease for chunks of time.
But it was Gardiner's knock and partnership with Johnston that sealed the team's second draw.
It also has an outright win, a first innings win and a first innings loss to its name so should still be among the leading four or five teams on the 12-team two-day ladder when its updated.
"To show the fight and spirit within the team; to hang out for a draw was a really good achievement," Holznagel said.
"That's two draws for us when we've had to fight it out...it shows good character and it builds confidence that you can bat time.
"That (fight) is an important trait if you want to be a successful club."
That the team experienced another fade-out amid the battling line-up is a concern though.
It's experienced a few of them this season.
"The batting in the last few weeks could have been a lot better.," the coach said.
"We know there is a lot of improvement there. The boys have got the potential to do it so I'm really hopeful in the next couple of weeks we step it up and have a great game.
"We're pretty young in our batting department. We're only going to get better so we've just got to keep training hard and hopefully the results will come."
Toombul 1st innings
M Renshaw c Francis-Griggs b Day 52
B Sanders c Turnbull b Renouf 7
C Hemphrey c Turnbull b Maher 8
T Rowley c Turnbull b Johnston 65
J Webster b Johnston 55
S Howse c Selman b Day 41
P White c&b Renouf 27
J Tibbits LBW Renouf 22
M Thompson LBW Renouf 0
J Shuard c Maher b Renouf 1
N Briggs not out 4
Fall: 13, 34, 134, 138, 207, 260, 260, 260, 280, 287
Bowling: A Renouf 23.2-0-78-5, W Johnston 18-2-72-2, B Maher 7-0-27-1, K Francis-Griggs 4-3-5-1, S Gardiner 14-3-35-1, A Day 27-9-65-2, A Lovell 3-1-5-0.
Sunshine Coast 1st innings
N Selman 57 c Tibbits b Shuard 57
B Mahaffey 28 c Tibbits b Shuard 28
A Day LBW Shuard 0
J Bazley c&b Hemphrey 0
A Lovell LBW Shuard 0
B Maher LBW Briggs 27
A Renouf c&b Thompson 15
K Francis-Griggs c Sanders b White 3
S Gardiner not out 31
J Turnbull c Sanders b Hemphrey 6
W Johnston not out 14
Fall: 85 ,87, 88, 88, 88, 105, 110, 140, 157
Bowling: P White 25-10-45-1, M Thompson 16-4-40-1, N Briggs 9-3-20-1, J Shuard 26-6-55-4, C Hemphrey 17-4-24-2.
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