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Nathalia has Strathmerton on ropes

Nathalia's spinners have had a day out, cutting a swathe through Strathmerton's batting line-up in Murray Valley Cricket Association.

HANNAH DRISCOLL March 3, 2014 4:15am

Hopes are dim for a win in the final home-and-away match for Murray Valley Cricket Association’s reigning premier Strathmerton after a disastrous batting performance against likely minor premier Nathalia.

The home side’s spinners caused most of the damage, with Joel Cahir taking the wickets of Michael Peters, captain Tom Glover and Chris Skolyarev in one over.

He finished with 4-11, while Liam Evans and Ash Quinn took two wickets each and Nathalia captain Matt Jaensch knocked over one.

Strathmerton’s Luke Carter was closing in on a half-century when he was dismissed, but the scores fell away quickly with the side out for 85 runs in the 46th over.

Nathalia needs only 27 runs to win the first innings and has 10 wickets in hand with openers Hayden Brown and Byron Smith batting through 34 overs.

‘‘If we’re able to bowl the reigning premier out for 85 and we’re no wickets down batting 34 overs I reckon it’s a fantastic effort by them,’’ Jaensch said.

The captain said this weekend he would wait to see if and how quickly it could make the remaining runs and assess the weather before chasing an outright.

Nathalia is on top of the premier cup ladder and just less than six points ahead of Deniliquin, which Strathmerton defeated last round, but the Rhinos have already won the first innings against Katamatite.

‘‘We’re happy with where we’re at at the moment going into the finals, we’re pretty happy with how we’re going especially after yesterday’s performance,’’ Jaensch said.

‘‘We can’t get too carried away, we’ve played one good day of cricket, we’ve still got one more to go.’’

Glover said it was a minor blip on the way to the finals and the team could still get a psychological advantage for finals if it could avoid an outright and bat well in the second innings.

‘‘They bowled really well, can’t take anything away from them, they’ve bowled brilliantly on a pitch that suited them,’’ he said.

‘‘I think we’ll come back. We’ve got enough experienced players that have been there and done it in finals, so I’m still confident.’’

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