1992-93 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
Clarence (110.65 points) earned the minor premiers honour when it led North Hobart 108.88, Glenorchy 105.43 and University 82.46 after the final roster matches were concluded.
Rain marred the semi-finals; the first day’s play was limited to twenty-six overs at New Town where Glenorchy was invited to bat by North Hobart and lost 57/4 before rain set in for the rest of the afternoon. At the TCA ground no play was possible at all and University looked as though its chances were gone in its clash with Clarence.
Fortunately the Lions won the toss when play eventually started on the Sunday and the Students rolled Clarence for a paltry 102 runs in 211 minutes. In the remaining time available University limped across the line with five wickets in hand; cruising at 57/2, they lost 3/3 before opener Sam Roberts (66*) found a partner in Shane Hills to accrue the required target. It was a surprising exit for Clarence.
Glenorchy scratched out 117 but North Hobart’s task was not made easy and they were precariously placed at 76/5 when Peter Di Venuto, batting with a runner, joined the experienced Mick Taylor. Their 38-run partnership enabled the Demons to get home with four wickets in hand.
University had mixed feelings about regaining state batsmen Dene Hills and Jamie Cox because every game the pair had played for University during the season had been lost!
Rising star Michael Di Venuto batted North Hobart into a solid position on the first day of the final. He scored his maiden 1st grade century, boosting North Hobart to 255/3 off 75 overs when bad light and rain stopped play at 4.24pm. Di Venuto’s chanceless innings of 128* came in his last Tasmanian appearance before leaving for the AIS cricket academy in Adelaide the following season. He combined with Mick Taylor (68) to put on a match-winning 3rd wicket stand of 189.
North openers Damien Green and Mark Davis started positively, scoring over three runs per over until Davis lost his wicket to paceman Michael Goldsworthy in the thirteenth over. Davis top-edged an attempted hook to keeper Craig Harwood, who gloved a great diving catch to his left. In his next over Goldsworthy removed Green for 29 trapping him lbw when he tried to pull a ball through the on-side. North went to lunch at 99/2 with Di Venuto and Taylor in control.
Shortly after the break Di Venuto brought up his half century off the 93rd ball he’d faced. Little more than thirty minutes later, Di Venuto posted the century partnership and Taylor notched up his fifty milestone off 105 deliveries. Di Venuto moved quickly through the nineties and North went to tea at 222/2 with Diva 104* and Taylor 64*.
University desperately needed a break and it was rewarded eight minutes after tea when Taylor was bowled for 68. His rock-steady innings lasted 196 minutes; he faced 142 balls and hit six boundaries.
Peter Di Venuto joined his younger brother in the middle at 238/3, giving University two left-handers at which to bowl, but the partnership was put on ice when the dark clouds arrived, followed by steady rain.
The good start by North and the partial washout put tremendous pressure on University; North continued its innings the following morning and Michael Di Venuto carried his overnight score of 128 to 187 in the formidable total of 386/7 at the close of its innings after facing the maximum 104 overs available. Michael’s innings lasted 291 minutes; he faced 273 balls and hit 21 fours.
Peter Di Venuto played a handy innings of 25 and shared a 4th wicket partnership of 58 with his brother. After Peter’s departure Michael was joined by Rohan Catherall, who had come into the side for the injured David Collins, forced to withdraw with a back injury. Di Venuto and Catherall put on a quick 72 for the 5th wicket propelling North well beyond any chance the Lions had of scoring on the day.
Chasing 386, University’s innings started poorly. It lost its first three wickets in the space of nine runs. Openers Sam Roberts and John Mulford were back in the pavilion by the eleventh over and just four balls after the openers’ demise, Peter Di Venuto claimed the prize wicket of Dene Hills, caught by keeper Pinnington. While the North Hobart camp was in no doubt, the state opener was not convinced he had made contact.
Despite skipper Brian Robinson and Jamie Cox steadily adding to the total, the required run rate crept out from 5.5 an over to nearly seven by the 20th over. University then slipped to 90/4 when Cox was caught in the covers by Michael Di Venuto who grabbed a scorching chance off the meat of the bat. Cox was out for 34 off 45 balls; he hit three well-timed fours.
Two overs later Robinson was bowled by Barrow and the University innings had hit the skids. Michael Smith and Brad Thomas posted a fighting half-century partnership for the 6th wicket but with Thomas’s dismissal at 157/6 the remaining four wickets fell cheaply, with North’s opening bowler Errol Barrow capturing 6/49 off 23.3 overs in an outstanding sustained contribution with the ball.
Captain Damien Green paid tribute to his team. “During the week everyone was talking about Cox and Hills coming back into the Uni team for the final but I knew we could out-bat them and that’s exactly how it turned out.”
Mercury reporter – James Bresnehan