Joseph Price has capped off an extraordinary n Country Championships with a whirlwind 24 hours that saw him namedplayer of the tournament andselectedin the national merit XII after the Bush Blues miraculously claimed the overall title.
The Adamstown 35-year-old picked up the individual honours at the official presentation in Geraldton on Saturday night after NSW Country completed a late-carnival surge to narrowly finish on top of the standingscourtesy ofnet run rate (NRR).
Price hadfigures of3-12, taking his personal tally to18 wickets, in the Bush Blues’ double-bonus-point victory over South on the final day of competition.
NSW Country dismissed SAfor 95 and successfully chasedthe target four wickets down in the 21stover of the one-day fixture.
The nature of thatresult, combinedwith a loss to equalleaders Victoria bylast year’s champions Queensland and an upset win for hosts WA over contendersEast Asia Pacific,saw NSW Country jumpfrom fourthto clinch the silverware for the first time since 2012-2013.
NSW Country (1.1852) had abetter NRR than Victoria (1.0729).
Both sides finished on 22 competition points, three in front of Queensland (19) and four ahead of East Asia Pacific (18).
NSW Country won their last two 50-over encounters with double bonus points after losing their opening three. Earlier at the tournament the Bush Blues won the T20 crown undefeated.
Wests all-rounder Price also scored 277 runs at an average of 25.18.
He was joined in the n Country XII by Bush Blues’ teammates Caleb Ziebell, leading wicket taker Cameron Sudigest andwicketkeeper of the tournamentTom Groth.
Meanwhile, the women’s title was won by South with Bush Breakerspair Rebecca Cady and Naomi McDonald named in the n Country XII.