MERIT TEAM: Cudgen all-rounder was named player of the carnival and named in the merit team at the Australian Country Cricket Championships.
MERIT TEAM: Cudgen all-rounder was named player of the carnival and named in the merit team at the Australian Country Cricket Championships. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Milestone man named in merit team

FAR North Coast cricketer Caleb Ziebell has achieved another milestone after he was named player of the carnival at the Australian Country Cricket Championships at Shepparton in Victoria.

Ziebell, 23, was part of the NSW Country Blues for a second straight year and was also named in the Australian Merit team again.

It comes off the back of him being named Country Rugby League representative player of the year in October.

Opening batsman Alec Baldwin was the only other Blues cricketer named in the merit team after four players made it last year.

Ziebell scored 227 runs and took five wickets across eight Twenty20 and 50-over games last week.

He was the best-performing batsman for the Blues and scored 88 runs before he was run out in a 50-over game against Western Australia Country.

His innings included four fours and three sixes with NSW Country losing the game by just six runs.

Western Australia went on to win the 50-over final after a 69-run win over Queensland Country.

Earlier in the week, the Blues were crowned Twenty20 champions for the second straight year after beating Queensland Country in the final.

Ziebell only scored eight runs in the 25-run win but was among the wicket takers with 2-14 from his four overs.

His first big innings at country level came when he was named the player of the T20 final last year after scoring 110 not out from 60 deliveries against Queensland.

He was the leading run-scorer at those championships with 395 runs at an average of 43.89.

FNC cricketers Justin Moore and Andrew Lindsay played for NSW Country when they first moved to the region from Sydney a few years ago.

Before that Tintenbar-East Ballina all-rounder Brett Crawford was the last to do it in 2012.

Ziebell will now shift his focus towards the Twenty20 finals with Cudgen this Sunday at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.

They will play Marist Brothers with the winner of that game to play Ballina Bears or Tintenbar-East Ballina in the final.

Cudgen is also chasing second innings points against Tintenbar-East Ballina in a two-day game at the same ground on Saturday.



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