Bathurst defends title after rain ends action

SUNDAY’S rain handed Bathurst an eighth straight Presidents Cup title by default but the team will still feel it earned the crown after a successful campaign.

Bathurst was engaged in a close battle against Blue Mountains at The Scots School before rain suspended play with the visitors at 6-133.

EARLY END: Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi picked up three wickets in the Presidents Cup final before rain ended the day's play. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

EARLY END: Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi picked up three wickets in the Presidents Cup final before rain ended the day's play. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

With the wet weather setting in for the day the match couldn’t be resumed and Bathurst won the title courtesy of finishing undefeated minor premiers.

Bathurst won the toss in Sunday’s deciding game and took a different approach on the Scots School deck by sending Blue Mountains in to bat.

It looked like a positive move from the hosts when they picked up the wicket of Chris Cox for 5 off the bowling of Adam Ryan.

However, John Ford and Alex Crowther picked up runs in good time.

It would have been nice for us to finish the game ... but I don’t think anyone will feel like we don’t deserve to win.

Jameel Qureshi

Having come together at 1-22 the pair raced past the 50 partnership until Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi provided the breakthrough.

Qureshi removed Crowther for 37 and Ford for 58 – both stumped – to put the visitors in a much less steady position at 3-103.

Nic Broes then picked up the wicket of Zac Opdam (10).

Bathurst skipper Qureshi achieved the rare feat of a third stumping in a single innings by sending Thomas Tziavaras (3) back to the pavilion.

Lucas Opdam (5) was run out by Tyler Horton just before the rain hit.

Qureshi finished with a catch and bowling figures of 3-37 from his 10 overs.

Broes found 1-22 off 10 overs and remaining wicket taker Ryan finished with 1-25.

Bathurst’s day in the field was far from perfect but Qureshi said the improvement in the hour before the rain was encouraging.

“We’ve batted quite a bit first up, and we’ve always been confident doing that, but we wanted to test ourselves and have a go at bowling first,” he said.

“We started a bit slow and dropped some catches but we fought back well.

“Something we’ve talked a lot about is building pressure and Nic Broes bowled really well to maintain that pressure for us.

“It would have been nice for us to finish the game to get the win but I don’t think anyone will feel like we don’t deserve to win.”

Bathurst retained the Presidents Cup in identical circumstances during the 2013-14 season, in which their game against Mudgee at the Sportsground was also washed out.