North Queensland Claim 3rd Country Challenge Title
Gold Coast Thunder and the North Queensland Monsoons came to the Gabba as the only regions to have won multiple Country Challenge titles. North Queensland can now lay claim to being the kings of country cricket after a three wicket victory over their arch-nemesis.
These two sides battled out a rain-affected final in 2019 which saw the Gold Coast Thunder win a controversial game. The Monsoons then made the 2020 final against Darling Downs Suns but that game had to be cancelled due to the Covid restrictions.
The Monsoons won the toss and elected to field first. It looked to be a risky decision on a flat Gabba pitch and the Thunder openers Canning Mason and Dayne Siede got away to a good start until the slow bowlers came on. Jamie Heit got both openers out to swing momentum back towards the Monsoons.
Joshua Nelson tried to get the Thunder up to a competitive total but when Chris Stanger had him stumped for 38 they stalled and finished with 7/124.
Jamie Heit finished with 2 for 22 off his four overs and Chris Stanger was denied the opportunity to get a hatrick after he picked up wickets on his final two balls to finish with figures of 2 for 16.
The Thunder needed to start well to have any chance and their opening bowlers delivered with Sam Yabsley bowling Daniel Gartrell and Dhanushka Mitipolarachichi getting rid of the dangerous Sam Lowry to give them a sniff.
But Jamie Heit and Chris Stanger did enough through the middle overs to get the Monsoons into a comfortable position to win. Mitchell Burton and Justin Dixon held their nerve to see the Monsoons home with nine balls to spare.
Jamie Heit was awarded the player of the final award.