A career-best performance from paceman Nathan McAndrew, and strong individual performances from Ben Manenti and Michael Spaseski, weren't enough to help the iCollege ACT Comets finish their Toyota Futures League campaign in a disappointing fashion after being defeated by 10 wickets inside two days by the powerful Queensland Bulls outfit.
After being dismissed for just 67 in under 30 overs on day 1, the Comets were always on the back foot in their attempts to salvage something better to talk about at their end season review.
After being pummelled to all parts of the ground by Australian star Chris Lynn, whose effortless 124 from just 118 balls highlighted the Queensland innings, the ACT bowlers fought back once Shane Devoy dismissed Lynn. Despite some lower order resistance, Queensland finished all out for 286, setting the Comets a difficult task to put pressure back on the competition favourites. McAndrew’s Career-best figures of 5-56 were a highlight for the ACT side.
The innings break provided the opportunity for the Comets to collectively assess how they would approach their innings. General Manager of High Performance Aiden Blizzard stated the challenge would be to bat with positivity and set the game up for a result in their favour, illustrating much of the character the team has shown throughout this year's League.
With seasoned first class cricketers Michael Neser and Scott Walter opening the bowling, the Comets batsmen knew they had a challenge to confront. Unfortunately, and despite maintaining a strong run rate, the Comets found themselves at 7-125 with only skipper Buck Rogers (55) making any significant contribution. Despite still trailing by 94 runs, Spaseski and Manenti (64 from 63) remained positive and gave the Comets the opportunity to at least bowl at the Queenslanders and stave off an innings defeat. Spaseski finished with 63 not out forming the backbone of the Comet's all out 245 in the 63rd over setting Queensland just 27 for victory.
Although downcast over the result, Blizzard was high in his praise for the approach the Comets took into the 2nd Innings.
"Queensland have been the dominant side all year and we knew we would have to all be at our best to have the chance of taking the game deep into day four.
“Again, it was nice to see some fight in the second innings however it’s disappointing to have been dismissed for such a low score in the first innings. The boys have proven that at our best we have compete well with each team we have come up against this season. The group will continue to work hard on developing their ability to combat the swinging dukes ball".