Cricket’s battle of the birds

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The ‘battle of the birds’ might decide the winner of this season’s Mountain Scene Twenty/20 cricket league this Sunday.

The Kelvin Heights Ducks – the only unbeaten team after toppling Frankton last Friday – take on last year’s beaten finalists, the Central Queenstown Pelicans, in one semi-final. 

Frankton play defending champions Arrowtown in the other semi. 

The winners then play in the final later in the day. 

The Ducks – who lost every game they played last season – are skippered by former first-class cricketer John Cushen, who turned 63 this week. 

Cushen – still good for two or three wickets every game – says these finals might be his swansong: “I get a bit old and grumpy and can’t see.” 

As for the Pelicans, “we’ll see which bird flies better”, he says. 

“Any team with Wade Cornelius, Fraser Wilson and Damian Petre, they’re good players.” 

Pelicans’ Brad Patterson says: “The Ducks have recruited very well in the off-season and ‘Cush’ is a wild old campaigner. 

“But Pelicans have got big bills so be careful, we might swallow him.” 

Meanwhile, Frankton and Arrowtown are matched up in the other semi for the second season running. 

Arrowtown won that game last year but Frankton turned the tables at the start of this season. 

Frankton player/manager Daz Hooper says Arrow­town are a good side: “We’re going to have to turn up on the day to beat them.” 

Arrowtown skipper Hayden Finch says his side, who’ve won their past four games, are keen for a third competition win in a row. 

Finch expects a tight tussle with Frankton. 

“They’ve got some very key players like Cam Fawkner that we have to get out early. 

“I’m looking forward to it, it’s been a great competition.” 

Meanwhile, last-placed Lake Hayes Estate won their first game last Friday – Andrew Ross’ 116 not out enabled them to run down Jack’s’ Point’s hefty 189 for the loss of only two wickets. 

DRAW (all at Events Centre): Sunday 11am semi-finals – QEC 1: Kelvin Heights v Central Queenstown; QEC 2: Frankton v Arrowtown; 3pm final – QEC1