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Game on a knife's edge

The Goulburn Murray Cricket match between Echuca and Tongala hangs in the balance after the end of day one.

DAMEN FRANCIS January 13, 2014 4:05am

David Currie picked up the prized scalp of Goulburn Murray Cricket’s leading run-scorer Taylor Beard.


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Tongala’s strengths and weaknesses were on show in equal measure at Tongala Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

The Blues restricted unbeaten Goulburn Murray Cricket ladder-leader Echuca to its lowest total of the season, but once again failed to capitalise with the bat to leave the match wide open at the end of day one.

Batting first, Echuca lost skipper Brendan Prendergast early and looked in reasonable shape until Tongala captain Andrew Good introduced left-arm finger spinner Darin Ohlsen into the attack.

Ohlsen snared four wickets in his first five overs, as the visitors went from 1-34 to 5-42.

The competition’s leading run-scorer Taylor Beard continued his fine form, with 45 of his side’s 68 runs, before he was removed by Alex Williams.

Nick Dolan denied Tongala a quick route through the bottom order, with 39, and Echuca was eventually all out for 125 in the 48th over.

Ohlsen finished with 5-34.

But Echuca fought back with the ball to reduce the home side to 5-65 at stumps.

It could have been even worse, but for brothers Jayden (27 not out) and Shannon Tucker (6 not out), who held firm to put on 21 prior to stumps.

Good said he would have been happy to keep Echuca to 225, let alone 125, but the job was only half done.

‘‘We only need 60 runs with five wickets in hand, so it doesn’t sound too hard, but we’ve had a lot of batting collapses this year,’’ Good said.

‘‘Jayden has opened all year when he’s been available and hasn’t made many runs, so hopefully he can find some form, and Shannon has been batting well lately.

‘‘We’ve got a few guys left that can still hold the bat, but it’s just going to be about time at the crease.’’

Prendergast said both sides were responsible for his team’s poor showing with the bat, but there remained hope for victory on day two.

‘‘It was a combination of good bowling and some pretty average batting,’’ Prendergast said.

‘‘It was a good batting track. It was holding up slightly, but Tongala bowled well.

‘‘(Ohlsen) didn’t give us much to hit and was giving it a good bit of flight. He did bowl very well and it was probably a lack of patience on our part as well.

‘‘When you get a small total you need early wickets and what we’ve done is created an opportunity for ourselves next week. We’re always confident we can get a result in any situation.’’

Elsewhere, Kyabram Fire Brigade set Moama 225 for victory and Bamawm-Lockington United and Echuca South took first innings points against Northern United and Stanhope.

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