Yarrawonga Mulwala’s A Grade cricketers will need to make 179 runs to defeat Ovens Valley at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
Winning the toss and bowling in overcast conditions James Irvine for the second week in a row took five wickets including the top three.
Bowling in slight drizzle, Irvine took the opening wicket bowled with the fourth ball of the innings. He then followed up with the second ball of his second over to have the scoreboard read 2 for 2, with Irvine 2 for 0.
Irvine again was the wicket taker removing opener Newton for 18 and the team tally at 3 for 24.
However, after the second rain delay Oven Valley provided a rear-guard action and the fourth wicket partnership proved valuable adding 113 runs in 40 overs.
Spinner Brock McCabe along with Corey McIntosh bowled Ovens Valley into a corner with McCabe bowling 14 overs for just 29 runs while McIntosh bowled 8 overs for just 12 runs including 39 consecutive scoreless deliveries.
Young paceman Will Sharp bowled two excellent spells conceding just 8 runs from four overs in his first spell and then 1 for 15 off his six over second spell.
His final figures 1 for 23 off 10 overs with the wicket that of top scorer Hourigan for 68 with the score at 6 for 149.
Matt McCabe, in his first game back from injury, took the two crucial wickets of batsman five and six with figures of 2 for 31 off 9 overs.
James Irvine was re-introduced onto the attack and claimed his fourth and fifth wicket for just seven runs, finishing the day with 5 for 54 from 14 overs in a workman-like performance.
Ben Doyle bowled well in his first spell without luck but his second spell conceded just 6 runs and claimed the ninth and final wicket, finishing with figures of 1 for 24 off 8.2 overs.
Ovens Valley only had 9 wickets due to their captain Corey Southern attending a funeral and then having an accident on his way to the game. Thankfully all reports were he suffered no injuries.
With five overs to finish the days play, Yarrawonga Mulwala sent openers Reid Clarke and Ben Welsh to the crease and after making two runs from 3 overs Welsh fell LBW for 1.
Matt McCabe, elevated to number 3, batted out the remaining overs with Clarke.
Next week will require a consistent batting effort to make another 177 runs to remain undefeated after four rounds of the Wangaratta and District Cricket Association A Grade season.
With batsman the calibre of Lawrence, Moore, Casey, Brock McCabe, Doyle, McIntosh and current batsman Clarke and Matt McCabe the total is achievable with patient batting.
B Grade roll the Bushrangers
On an unsettled day on Saturday, the B Grade Lakers took to Vic Park 2 against the Benalla Bushrangers.
After the toss was lost by captain Jason Cox, the boys were sent in to bowl first.
Great line and length bowling came from the two openers of Alex Lovell and Reece Norman which was rewarded with wickets and an amazing catch by Luke Buerckner.
Jack Kennedy and Luke Buerckner then followed the impressive start with solid bowling, not letting any runs come easily.
As wickets started to slow and runs started to pick up, Trevor Fischer was given the ball and quickly made himself known by taking three wickets off three overs.
The B Grade boys successfully bowled out the Bushrangers in 29 overs for 92 runs.
The Yarrawonga boys were given six extra overs for bowling out the Bushrangers early and they put them to good use as opener Jason Cox hit two fours of the first two balls of the innings.
However, Mother Nature proved difficult and the rest of the six overs were lost when rain forced the teams into the clubrooms for an early afternoon tea.
After the skies cleared, joining Jason at the crease was Sam Willett who did his job by keeping his wicket, seeing off the early bowlers and changing the strike.
Jason was hitting the ball well, until a straight ball went through his gate and tumbled the stumps for a solid 14.
Next to the crease was Dan Whykes who, combining with Willett, ticked over the scoreboard until drinks.
After the break the solid form of Whykes continued, until a ball clipped his pad for LBW, finishing his day with a superb 38.
Luke Buerckner made his way to the crease and very unluckily got sent back for a duck. Trying to steady the ship from a collapse, Reece Norman came to the crease, blocking with confidence until he popped a ball straight into the hands of the fielder for a duck.
Ted Graham was next and joined Willett at the pitch, quickly putting on a show knocking boundary after boundary.
After staying out on the pitch for 25 overs, Willett was finally dismissed for 16 by a straight ball.
Replacing Willett was Thomas Hicks who followed Graham’s style, playing some superb shots and helping the team pass the total of 92 with ease, securing B Grade’s second win of the season.
The game continued and Hicks was next to go, hitting a ball straight to a fielder for a well-made 13.
Jack Kennedy made his way to the crease and finished off the day making 3, and Ted Graham making a well-deserved 48.
After the appalling effort with the bat last week, B Grade needed to redeem themselves which they did making 6/141 off 36 overs.
Top order puts A Reserve in control
The Yarrawonga Mulwala A Reserve team has set an imposing target in the first day of their match against the Bright Wanderers.
On a difficult wicket with a slow outfield at Lonsdale Reserve, Tom Irvine led the way with an impressive 62 for the home side to take the upper hand after day 1.
After losing the toss, the Lakers were asked to bat with some difficult overhead conditions and further rain predicted.
Openers Ben Irvine and Ji Dawson fought hard to see off the new ball, with a solid opening stand.
Irvine was dismissed with the score on 27 after 17 overs, helping to lay the platform for the middle order to capitalise on.
This brought brother Tom to the crease to join Dawso and they continued to frustrate the opposition bowlers, with Irvine especially brutal on anything loose.
With rain threatening, Dawson tried to up the run rate but was out stumped for 25.
Nick Irvine joined Tom in the middle and they kept the pressure on the Bright bowlers.
An early tea break for rain saw the Lakers in a great position with 8 wickets in hand, and half their allotted overs remaining.
Unfortunately for the Lakers middle order, they were unable to cash in on the hard work done by the top order, with a steady stream of wickets falling in the next 20 overs.
With 20 overs remaining, the Lakers were 9 for 175 and looking like they would be bowling many overs to finish the first day.
Fortunately, the team bats all the way down and numbers 10 and 11, Ned Mullins and John Ferguson, came together in a pivotal partnership.
Mullins and Ferguson put on 45 runs and guided the home side to the compulsory close, reaching a total of 9 for 220. Mullins finished on 30no and Ferguson 15no.
The Lakers go into week two in a strong position, and will be looking to keep the pressure on the Wanderers batsmen and secure their third win for the season.