Echuca South claimed its first win for the season with a narrow victory against Bunnaloo.By Zach Hubber
Christmas came early for Echuca South as the side recorded its first Goulburn Murray Cricket victory with a nail-biting two-run win against Bunnaloo at home yesterday.
South captain Keith Chalmers won the toss and elected to bat, but signs were bad early when Neil Geltch (6) was bowled by Angus McKindlay (2/25).
That brought Matt Key to the crease, who with Justin Saker, put on 105 runs for the second wicket.
Key (43) fell shy of his first half-century of the season when he was bowled by Jake Henson (2/35), only for Saker (54) to be stumped 20 runs later to have the home side at 3/140 in the 31st over.
The Bunnaloo bowlers tried to get back on top by taking the final four wickets for 48 runs, but it came at more than five runs an over as South finished its 40 overs at 7/188.
Most concerning for the visitors were the 37 extras conceded, which arguably cost the team its second win of the season.
Bunnaloo openers Harry Shirley (4) and Wendell Vagg (29) went about building a steady partnership before Shirley was trapped lbw by Chalmers.
Adam Thompson looked like being the hero as he began constructing an innings which yielded a 27-run partnership with Vagg and a 42-run partnership with Mick Buckley (30).
But the likes of Mark Peterson (1/30) and Mitch McMullan (1/31) kept South in control.
It was not until Thompson (49) posted a 71-run partnership alongside Brad Jones (29) that the visitors got a whiff of victory.
The pair was dismissed within two runs of each other and the visitors were 5/158 needing 31 runs from six overs.
McKindlay (4) was run out by Hugh Nelson and two more wickets followed, which left Damien Russell and Antony Vagg the task of making 19 runs in the final three overs.
They managed three in the 38th and six in the 39th, meaning the duo need 10 off the last over.
It came down to the final ball of James Larcombe’s (1/21) over, with Bunnaloo needing four to tie the match but only managing two runs.
Chalmers was also instrumental with the ball, taking 3/28, while Shannon O’Brien was the other wicket-taker.
The first round of the new year will see Bunnaloo continue its break with a bye, while South will travel to Moama.
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