Moama needed 152 runs to defeat Echuca in the Goulburn Murray Cricket, but fell short of its target.By Zach Hubber
Moama has succumbed to its first loss of the Goulburn Murray Cricket season after losing to Echuca by eight runs in a nail-biter at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The home side needed 152 runs for victory and started the day at 4/31 after Echuca’s Simon Maddox ripped through the top-order at the end of day one.
Echuca had Moama on the ropes at 8/94, but some defiant batting by number 10 Kyle Phipps (31 not out) almost saw his side pull off the unthinkable, before captain Brendan Prendergast snared the final wicket of the day to deny his opponent victory.
Maddox and Taylor Beard tried to knock off Glen McFadden and Kirk Teasdale, but the batsmen were proving irremovable.
The two combined for a patient 57-run partnership from 23 overs until a mix-up saw McFadden (25) run out three overs before drinks, with Moama entering the short break at 5/85 and the game evenly poised.
Brandon Dixon clinched his first wicket on the third ball after drinks when he trapped Teasdale (26) lbw, only for James Scambler (1) to become the second victim of a run out two overs later to see Moama stoop to 7/86.
Graeme Mitchell (17) was keen to play his shots but played one too many, caught behind by Shaun Hon off the bowling of Beard (2/42).
Jack Harland (5) and Phipps took the side to 111 before Harland was trapped lbw by Maddox (4/40), which brought Jake Toll to the crease.
The last-wicket partnership batted 30 minutes past tea, with Moama needing 11 runs for victory and Echuca just the one wicket at the final break.
Prendergast (1/4) broke through to snare Toll’s wicket lbw after the number 11 survived 46 minutes at the crease.
The captain said it was a great win, particularly against a premiership favourite in Moama.
‘‘Obviously we gave ourselves a good chance after the four wickets on day one and we performed well enough (on day two) to take it all the way,’’ he said.
‘‘At the start we spoke about keeping them to two runs an over or thereabouts, so even if we weren’t taking wickets we were making it difficult for them to score.’’
Echuca’s bowlers did exactly that, with Teasdale and McFadden scoring at 2.56 runs an over on day two before the run out.
And despite not taking a wicket, Rob Hogan kept the run rate down, with his 20 overs producing 34 runs and eight maidens, while Maddox bowled 11 maidens.
‘‘(Hogan) bowled fairly well without taking a wicket,’’ Prendergast said.
‘‘We went through a period where we were grabbing a fair few wickets, but Phipps and Toll batted really well.
‘‘We put a couple of chances down which ultimately could have come back to haunt us.
‘‘It was a really smart partnership by those two.’’
With Hogan straining his hamstring, the captain backed his own leg spin against the tail-enders and was rewarded with the wicket of Toll.
He said the win was more of a relief than anything, while Moama captain Cam Parker said he was left frustrated with the loss.
‘‘When you get that close you look back at every little incident in the game and analyse it,’’ Parker said.
‘‘They got the four wickets last week and that’s probably what cost us coming into (Saturday).
‘‘Our middle to lower order was good but the top order let us down.’’
Parker said his batsmen needed to change their approach in the two-day format.
‘‘We could have batted 100 overs if we wanted to, but people were not willing to bat the required time,’’ he said.
‘‘Credit to their bowlers and fielders, they were quite sharp and kept the pressure on us all day.
‘‘Phipps, Teasdale and McFadden showed good temperament to stick it out.’’
The captain said he was optimistic his batsmen could have got the job done coming into day two, but a lack of partnerships cost the home side.
‘‘We tended to lose wickets in groups and not between partnerships,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a nice little wake-up call just before Christmas and hopefully something we can learn from.’’
Moama will travel to play Bamawm-Lockington United next round, while Echuca will host Bunnaloo.
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