Australia charge into Hong Kong finals
The Australian men and ladies have secured a finals berth in the Hong Kong International after another solid performance on day four of competition.
Both the Aussie men and ladies have accumulated enough points to guarantee them a top three finish, however both combinations have their eyes set on topping their section and progressing directly into the semi-finals.
With one round left of sectional play, Australia are currently in first position however they will both need victories in the final round if they are to advance directly into the semi-final.
The men’s pair’s combination of Mathew Pietersen and Matthew Baus went through day four with just one small blemish against the Canadians, however straight sets victories over Singapore and Scotland helped them leap back over the Scottish defending champions to reclaim top spot.
Going into the final round of the day, Scotland were three points in front of Australia; therefore a win to the Australian’s in this match was crucial to keep their chances of topping the section alive.
The Australian’s came out of the blocks firing, piling on the shot’s and completely dominating the first set, going on to win it by seven shots.
Australia continued to apply the pressure in the second set and before Scotland had any chance of salvaging the margin from the first set, Australia had kept Scotland completely scoreless for fours ends and went on to win the set 11-3.
After 10 rounds of sectional play Pietersen and Baus are on 46 points three points in front of Scotland in second, Concordia are in third place on 41 and Australia are six points clear of fourth place.
Odgers and Cottrell started day four with a one shot defeat at the hands of Wales but the defending champions bounced back with a solid straight sets victory over England who posed a threat to the Australian’s on the ladder.
In an ashes like battle, neither side were breaking away in the opening set however it was the Australian’s that came up trumps putting the first points on the board.
The second set didn’t start well for the Australian’s dropping a five on the second end but the troubled score line didn’t worry Odgers and Cottrell who end by end were clawing back the margin.
On the final end of the match Australia were trailing by one, Odgers crossed over holding and Cottrell added another, England drew second shot but Cottrell managed to add again, England then sailed slightly under the head with her final attempt.
The win over England gave the Aussie’s a small buffer at the top of the leader board and they went on to close the night with a three shot victory over Thailand, splitting the sets.
In a similar situation to Pietersen and Baus, the Australian women sit in first place ahead of the Malaysian’s who are just two points behind, England are hanging onto third spot a further ten points behind; therefore top spot can only be claimed by either Australia or Malaysia.
Both the Australian men and ladies are drawn to play against Craigengower Cricket Club in their last post sectional match on their opponent’s home surface.
Pending Australia’s results in the final round, quarter-finals will immediately follow the final sectional match, however if Australia can advance straight to the semi-finals they will be played at 10am on Sunday morning local time.