The champions of the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup will be decided at the Sydney Cricket Ground this Sunday with four teams left in the race for the trophy.
St George play Sutherland in the Sixers Conference final, followed by Penrith against Sydney University to decide who wins the Thunder Conference.
The two winners play off in the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup final on Sunday night.
The winners of each conference also seal a place at the inaugural Cricket Australia Foxtel National Premier T20 Championships in Adelaide from 5-6 March.
A prize cheque of $12,000 will be presented to the champions on Sunday. The runners-up take away $4,000 and $1,000 awarded to both Conference finalists.
Numerous Blues and Big Bash League players have been named in the four squads. The list includes opener Nick Larkin (Melbourne Stars), top-order batsmen Kurtis Patterson (Sydney Thunder) and Ryan Gibson (Sydney Thunder), as well as leg-spinner Dan Fallins (Sydney Sixers).
Larkin has been named for Sydney University. Patterson and Fallins have been included in the St George and Sutherland squads respectively while Gibson is expected to feature at the top of the order for Penrith.
St George and Penrith enter their respective Conference finals on Sunday undefeated from five matches.
The Saints’ match against the men from the Shire will be the second time the local rivals face each other in 24 hours. The two teams also play for the Norm O’Neill Cup in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition over the next two Saturdays.
Super star batsman Steve Smith captains Sutherland on Sunday. He has made 213 runs at an average of 71 throughout the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup to date.
Tom Ortiz will be a key player for St George in the Sixers Conference final. The seamer has claimed 11 wickets at 10.4 during the tournament this season including a hat-trick against Sutherland in round four.
Ortiz was a part of the Sydney side that claimed the 2017/18 crown and said he hopes to pass on that experience to his St George team mates.
“The ability to just slow the game down and know that you’ve already been in that situation before is probably a bit exciting and hopefully I can pass on some of the knowledge to the younger kids,” Ortiz said.
Play VideoWATCH: St George seamer Tom Ortiz.
Penrith will be looking to go one better than last year on Sunday. It went down by 36 runs to Sydney in the 2017/18 decider.
Gibson will be important at the top of the order for the Panthers. He has made 171 runs at the healthy strike rate of 158.3 during the T20 Cup.
Hayden Kerr will be just as important opening the batting for Sydney University.
Kerr is the second leading run-scorer for the T20 Cup behind David Warner.
The Sydney University allrounder has scored 252 runs at 63. Warner made 336 at 84 from his five matches.
Kerr believes the students are yet to produce the complete performance in the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup.
“We’ve always done pretty well with the bat or always done quite well with the ball, but we haven’t actually pieced both together at the same time.”
Play VideoWATCH: Sydney University allrounder Hayden Kerr.
The final starts at 6:30pm on Sunday under the SCG lights.
Cricket NSW thanks Kingsgrove Sports for its support of the competition. Watch the matches live on the Cricket NSW Facebook page, Twitter page and website, and keep up to date with all the action on social media by using #KingsgroveT20cup.
KINGSGROVE SPORTS T20 CUP
Sunday 16 December 2018 at Sydney Cricket Ground:
SIXERS CONFERENCE FINAL – 11.00AM
St George v Sutherland.
St George: Nicholas Stapleton (c), Andrew Walsh, Matthew Hopkins, Eric Denhartog, Thomas Ortiz, Peter Francis, Mitchell Gray, Luke Bartier, Jonathan Rose, Adam Whatley, Tom Engelbrecht, Kurtis Patterson, Nathan Ellis, Blake Nikitaras.
Sutherland: Steven Smith (c), Daniel Rixon, Chris Williams, Jamie Brown, Jayden Brown, Jarryd Biviano, Tom Doyle, Daniel Fallins, Jake Wilson, Peter Saroukos, Tom Pinson, Austin Waugh, Aiden Bariol.
THUNDER CONFERENCE FINAL – 2.30PM
Penrith v Sydney University.
Penrith: Ryan Smith (c), Brent Williams, Tom Sargeant, Ryan Gibson, Luke Hodges, Ryan Fletcher, Tyran Liddiard, Chris Withers, Brent Atherton, John DiBartolo, Michael Collins, Cameron Weir, Trent Weir
Sydney University: Liam Robertson (c), Dugald Holloway, Tim Cummins, Ben Joy, Damien Mortimer, Nicholas Walker, Devlin Malone, Max Hope, Hayden Kerr, Nicky Craze, Joe Kershaw, Nicholas Larkin, Timothy Ley, Ryan McElduff.
CUP FINAL: 6.30PM
Winner Sixers Conference v Winner Thunder Conference at SCG.