A powerful hitting display from Geelong Cricket Club wicketkeeper Liam Blackford has led the Cats to a five-run win in their last Vic Super Slam game of the summer.
Blackford hit nine fours and two sixes in his 87 from 61 balls in the win over the previously-undefeated Carlton on Monday night at Kardinia Park.
Blackford opened the batting with captain Josh McDOnald, who blasted 33 from 20 balls, and put on a 52-run opening partnership before McDonald was bowled in the sixth over.
He then took over responsibility for keeping the scoreboard ticking over, with middle order batsmen Tom Scott (eight), Angus Boyd (15) and Daanish Mehta (15) rotating the strike.
Blackford’s knock got the Cats to 4/172 before he was run out on the second last ball, with Lachie Field out on the final ball of the inning.
In the bowling inning, the Cats got off to a good start with Carlton opener and former state level player Evan Gulbis dismissed in the third over.
However Carlton stabilised with its second-wicket partnership and got itself into a strong position, reaching 1/94 at the 10-over mark.
But young quick Vincent Huf got the breakthrough three balls later, dismissing opener Connor Rutland for 41 from 27 balls.
The wicket slowed the run rate and evened the match before wickets started to fall in the last five overs.
The Cats took four wickets for 18 runs in the space of four overs, which allowed them to cruise home to a five-run win, despite conceding 23 runs off the final over.
Dom McGlinchey was the pick of the Cats’ bowlers, taking 3/22 from four overs, while Field was also important with the ball, finishing with 1/23 from his four overs.
The win was Geelong’s second T20 win of the summer and saw the team finish third in the competition’s west division.
The club’s firsts were also back in Premier Cricket action on Saturday, but suffered a three-wicket loss with one ball to spare against St Kilda.
The Cats’ batters got starts but were unable to continue on as they put together a total of 8/219 from their 40 overs.
Mehta topscored with 60, while Joshua Larkin hit 48, but disappointingly, four others in the top six, Field, Boyd, Blackford and Hayden Butterworth made between 19 and 26.
The Cats had St Kilda in trouble early with two quick wickets but two 50-run partnerships got St Kilda back into a comfortable position to chase down the target in the 40th over.
Mehta and Nick McGuane both took two wickets each for Geelong.
Geelong will play Casey-South Melbourne at home tomorrow.