Former Australian all-rounder Marcus North navigated his South Northumberland side to victory as Harrogate were sent packing in the ECB National Knock-out.
The 36-year-old, who played in the 2009 Ashes Series, produced a captain’s innings of 72 as his highly-fancied outfit wrapped up a 73-run win at St George’s Road to progress into the quarter-finals.
Harrogate were without captain George Ross for the last 16 clash while overseas star Dion Sanson was ineligible due to competition rules.
The top order pair’s presence was missed as Harrogate crumbled to 166 all out in response of the Northern visitors’ total of 239/6, which had been revised to a challenging 210 from 33 overs on a rain-affected day.
South Northumberland will now take on Chester Boughton Hall in the last eight at the end of the month.
Disappointed Harrogate vice captain Dave Foster, who deputised for Ross, said: “It was our best run in the national cup for a while but it would have been a really good game to win and get into the last eight.
“I’m really proud of the boys. It was a tough game but we just didn’t quite fire on the day.
“I would back them to go a long way now. Marcus North can take the game away from anyone.
“On our day, with Rossy, we would have given them a close run for their money, but the weather screwed us in the second half and a key decision went against us in the first.”
North played 21 Test matches for Australia, scoring five centuries and 1,171 runs.
He also had First Class spells at Derbyshire, Durham and Lancashire in a 20-year playing career at the top of the game.
Despite the overseas restrictions , North qualifies as a British resident for South Northumberland, who sit second in the North East Premier League behind Newcastle CC.
The left-hander eventually fell leg before to Jonny Tattersall for 72, following a 159-run partnership alongside opener Simon Birtwisle (74).
“It’s not something that happens every week,” Foster said about playing against an Ashes international.
“We were well aware he would come and captain but the way he went about his business was something we haven’t really come across, especially in the power play, he was one step ahead of us.”
Harrogate’s reply never got into a groove as batsmen fell around opener Matthew Good, including the key wicket of Tattersall for 11.
Good fell for 54 with the score on 95/7, and while Tom Geeson-Brown (30) and Oli Whiteman (32) gave the hosts a brief respite, strike bowler Stephen Humble returned and swept up the tail.