Three half-centuries from Echuca’s top-order ensured the side defeated Moama in its Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade match.LUKE MCMANUS March 3, 2014 4:13am
A composed top-order helped Echuca to four-wicket win against Moama in its Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade match.
The win sees Echuca book a tantalising preliminary final clash with Kyabram Fire Brigade.
Yesterday’s semi-final between the cross-border rivals came down to the 78th over at Victoria Park, with Echuca successfully chasing down Moama’s first innings total of 229.
Three half-centuries from Echuca’s top-order ensured the win.
Opener and skipper Brendan Prendergast (51) was rock solid at one end, while Taylor Beard (60) and Curtis Townrow (63) pushed the score along.
Beard and Townrow hammered a combined 17 boundaries, both scoring at a reasonable strike rate, while Prendergast faced 208 balls for his half-century.
Prendergast praised his chargers’ ability to maintain a strong run rate despite the dead wicket.
‘‘Curtis batted really well, he got forward and played through the lines,’’ Prendergast said.
‘‘Both Curtis and Taylor were able to come in and keep scoring which was really important, otherwise there was a potential for us to be bogged down.
‘‘All the while I was tied up the other end.’’
Prendergast played a hand in two partnerships worth 105 with Beard and 83 with Townrow until he was eventually dismissed with Echuca on 4/200.
Moama’s Graeme Mitchell was the standout bowler with figures of 4/33 from 12 overs.
Prendergast said while his batsmen ultimately secured the victory, his side’s efforts on Saturday helped give the home side the advantage.
‘‘We set ourselves a bit of a target to keep them to under two-and-a-half runs an over,’’ Prendergast said.
‘‘I thought we adapted really well to the conditions which was pleasing, especially coming off very little cricket.
‘‘The pitch played low (on Saturday) and for the entire 90 overs they really applied themselves to the task.
‘‘Moama’s last couple of batsmen really put value on their wickets and were smart with the way they went about it.
‘‘It really made a big difference to the game.’’
A brilliant century from Moama’s James Scambler (104) was the good news story in an ultimately disappointing result for Moama.
The knock took the visitors’ score from 8/116 to their 229 total, with Ralph Siede (44) and Cam Parker (29) the other notable run scorers.
For Echuca it was Mitch Byrne (3/35), Josh Preston (2/29) and Beard (2/51) who led the way with the ball.
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