BATTING all-rounder Matt Shenton blasted 337 runs from five outings to guide Western Australia to its first ever Deaf and Hard of Hearing National Championship title in Victoria last week.
Shenton put the tournament on notice in his very first innings, hitting an unbeaten 158 off just 61 balls against Queensland.
The Bicton Attadale Cricket Club player then backed up with another unbeaten century against NSW two days later.
Western Australia’s bid to end a 40-year Webby Cup drought hit a road bump in the final fixture of the round robin stage, with competition favourites Victoria waltzing to an easy five-wicket victory.
“We scored 130 which Victoria chased down with a few overs to spare,” Shenton said.
“It wasn’t the greatest preparation for the grand final but we had a bye the next day which helped us to freshen up a bit and prepare ourselves mentally.”
Squaring off with Victoria again, this time for the silverware, WA won the toss and elected to bowl.
After two early wickets Victorian captain Steven Cardamone (27 runs) and Tony Barulovski (36) led the revival, ensuring the competition hosts reached 100 with six wickets in the sheds.
The West Australian bowlers – including Shenton who picked up 3-23 – bounced back to dismiss Victoria for 143 off the final ball of the innings.
“I hadn’t bowled as well as I could throughout the tournament and there was a bit of pressure to try and get some wickets without giving away too many runs,” Shenton said.
“Luckily I was able to achieve that and having things go my way really fired me up to bat.”
Shenton’s blistering 37 off 25 balls turned the game in WA’s favour, with Syed Shah Rukh (31) and James Johnston (33n.o.) also playing important roles with the bat to see their side home.
“Watching the guys hit the winning runs was an amazing feeling,” Shenton said.
“We put in a lot of hard work before the tournament, training two to three times a week, and it was satisfying to see that hard work pay off.”
Shenton said his only regret was having to cut the victory celebrations short on Sunday so he could fly back to WA in time for work the next day.