The Finley Premier Grade Cats are in a dominant position after the opening days play against rival Berrigan in Murray Valley Cricket.January 24, 2013 4:02am
The Saints won the toss and decided to send the Cats in on a benign Berrigan wicket.
An opening stanza of 28 between Daniel Hibberd (18) and Tom Barnes (9) may not appear inspiring on face value but the pair negotiated some good bowling from Josh Bozzolla (0/27) and Jack Yelland (0/7) to all but take the shine off the new ball.
The pair survived a tricky first hour before both men were out in the space of two deliveries to Joe Karakai (1/64) and Phil Purtell (1/25).
A 67 run partnership followed between Lucas Peacock (25) and Paul Massingham (47) which set up the second hour of play.
Peacock was methodical in his approach whilst Massingham dispatched the bad ball to the fence at will.
He belted eight boundaries in his knock on a very slow outfield but was brought undone by Ted Walliss (1/18) full toss to lose his middle stump.
When Peacock departed with the score 4/115 to Zac Nichols (4/69) another 65 run partnership was produced by Russell Anderson (29) and Matthew Jackson (70 n.o.).
Both men were extremely patient early but gradually got into a groove.
Berrigan skipper Anthony Holmes mixed his options as best he could but the Cats batsmen continued to defy them. Anderson was eventually out caught and bowled by Nichols and when he also snared Aaron Morham (2) caught behind the match appeared evenly poised with Finley 6/180.
But Jackson and skipper Chris Shaw (27) produced yet another brilliant Cats partnership of 58 runs to dampen Saint spirits again.
The pair took control of the match with two Saints overs going for 31 runs combined as the score raced past 200.
Jackson was in superb touch and extracted as many runs as he could from the Berrigan bowling by some excellent shot selection and placement.
Shaw was eventually undone by Nichols, caught in the slips, but a proactive declaration by the skipper left four overs in the day for Berrigan to bat.
Finley declared at 7/242.
The Cats took to the field with a plan of making early in roads in to the Saints batting.
Yelland and Andrew Parr survived the tricky session without loss and will resume at 0/3 on Saturday in what should be an entertaining finale to the match.
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Although still not at their best, Mulwala have finished on top of the Murray League ladder after a comfortable victory over Cobram.
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