Tigers triumph

Three votes: Aiden George made 68 not out and took 2/25 for Trafalgar in their win over Jeeralang-Boolarra. file photograph



MORWELL maintained its ascendency at the top of the ladder in the Latrobe Valley and District Cricket League last Saturday.
The Tigers defeated Morwell Tigers Yinnar Raiders by four wickets, spearheaded by knocks of 62 from Blake Mills and an unbeaten 43 from Brendan Brincat.
Acting captain Mills stood up in the absence of Jordan Campbell, and led from the front in helping his side across the line.
Chasing 173, the visiting Morwell was in a spot of bother early, slumping to 4/37, but the work of Mills and Brincat, as well as Kris Fortuin who scored 28, saw the Tigers get the result they desired.
Earlier in the piece, veteran Raiders openers Chris Stanlake and Ken Hutchinson blunted the new ball, putting on a first wicket stand of 65.
With something of a platform built, the game was delicately poised when Raiders captain Liam Maynard came to the crease at first drop.
Maynard got himself set, moving his own score to 20 and the Raiders total to 1/102, before he was adjudged leg before to the bowing of Brincat.
This opening allowed the Tigers to apply the handbrake on the contest, and they then held the game successfully until the compulsory close at 50 overs.
Brincat was at his miserly best, taking 1/17 from 10 overs, which included three maidens. Fellow new ball bowler Travis Pickering nabbed 2/46.
Maynard and Brayden Hickey each took two wickets for Raiders.
CHURCHILL was big winners over Mirboo
Everything the Cobras touched turned to gold with the ball after they elected to have a trundle.
It was absolute carnage out in the middle at Mirboo North, as by the fourth over the Tigers were 3/3.
Chris Williams took the prized wicket of Tigers skipper Jesse Giardina for a first baller, and from there the situation did not improve at all as far as Mirboo North was concerned, with the sidelines quickly resembling a revolving door as players came and went from square leg umpire duties and on the scorebook.
The ever reliable Shane Peters did as he often does, putting up strong resistance with 25 off 37 balls, but unlike previous matches where the ‘Shane Peters Effect’ comes into play, the situation the Tigers found themselves in on this particular occasion was too much for even the man known as ‘Choco’ to conquer.
Williams took 2/16, while Ijaz Ahmad and Matt Harvey nabbed 3/12 and 2/21 respectively.
Churchill wasted little time getting the required runs, and made it an early day for all concerned by walking across the line in the 17th over.
The Cobras understandably chased the bonus point, and as such lost four wickets as the top order all looked to get the job over and done with.
Ryan Wilk (24 from 28 balls), Ric Velardi (21 from 23) and John Keighran (19 not out from 20) played their role in seeing the bonus point came Churchill’s way, all keeping their strike rates above 85.
Hudson Kerr was the pick of the Mirboo North bowlers, taking 3/30.
MOE was victorious in a competitive match against Centrals.
The Lions made 179 batting first at Ted Summerton Reserve, with their innings virtually made up of a collection of small but meaningful partnerships of 30 to 40 runs.
Andrew Philip was again the man to provide the steady hand, and his innings of 55 from 76 balls gave the rest of the Moe batsman someone to hang around with.
Corey Pollard took 4/19 for Centrals. Amazingly all four of his wickets were leg before. Rob Webber and Bryce Williamson also chipped in with two wickets each.
Centrals started promisingly in reply, getting to 30 without loss.
Royce Colgrave got things moving for Moe by taking the first two wickets, and when established batsman Wayne Henry was dismissed for 25, the score was suddenly 3/45.
Webber and Tye Hourigan then combined for a 46 run partnership, and looked set to take the game deep before Webber was caught by wicketkeeper Noah Kane off the bowling of Ash Savige against the run of play. Hourigan continued for a short while, but couldn’t quite press on, departing for a determined 40 with the score on 5/123.
Moe then controlled the rest of the match, getting the percentages in their favour by making sure Centrals was always behind enough on the run rate. The Lions survived a few nervy moments, and found an unlikely hero with the ball in the form of captain/coach Pat Spiteri, who ended with 3/17, complementing the work of Savige (3/27) and Colgrave (2/18).
LATROBE defeated CATS at Peter Siddle Oval.
The Sharks closed at 8/134 batting first, which proved to be enough as CATS could only manage 94 all out.
Both teams had to bat somewhat conservatively as they only had a handful of regular A Grade players available, meaning there was a tricky balancing act of trying to score runs while at the same time not playing too aggressively and risk exposing inexperienced or young players in the middle order.
This approach was best demonstrated in the form of Latrobe legend Anthony Bloomfield, who scored 19 off 75 balls opening the batting, and Zimbabwean Ronnie Chokununga who made 44 from 73, as well as Brett Duncan who saw off 60 balls in his innings of 23.
While ordinarily these strike rates are not going to be a winning recipe in too many one day games, the Sharks settled on this approach as being the one that would give them the best chance of winning.
For Chokununga especially, a batsman generally regarded as one of the competitions most fearless stroke makers, the need to reign himself in for the betterment of the team ensured Latrobe put up a tricky total for CATS to chase.
CATS basically went the reverse-Latrobe and sent their own Zimbabwean Tinashe Panyangara to the top of the order. Panyangara did not muck around, getting to nine off eight balls, before Bloomfield had him dismissed.
The end of Panyangara triggered a top order collapse, as CATS went from 1/10 to 3/20.
CATS number four Sam Gissara did his best to emulate the deeds of the Latrobe batsmen mentioned above with a 77-ball 24, but found himself bereft of much support.
Latrobe coach Tyron Gamage took two wickets up top and came back to clean up the tail, finishing with figures of 5/21.
TRAFALGAR banded together amid a backdrop of uncertainty to defeat Jeeralang-Boolarra.
What started as an effort to even get a side on the park ended with a six-wicket win for the Ships on the Boolarra synthetic.
The Panthers elected to bat first in greasy
conditions and got off to a steady start with openers Ben McCormack and Ben Duffy putting on 48.
It was six and out for McCormack, who was caught and bowled by Daniel Heathcote the ball after whacking him for a maximum.
Heathcote ended with 3/35, while off-spin twins Aiden George and Rhys Holdsworth took two wickets each.
George held down the middle stages of the innings, only going for 25 runs in his 10 overs, and took the key wicket of Nila Thillekarathna with some clever bowling – throwing a quicker and flatter arm ball in at leg stump after sensing Thillekarathna was shaping to work the ball fine.
A direct hit run out from Liam White at short mid wicket highlighted the Trafalgar effort in the field.
Another direct hit run out followed a little while later, albeit in a slightly unconventional way when a hard straight drive from Panther Matt McGrath came off the hand of bowler Jackson Noonan in his follow through and found Rhy McNaughton short of his ground at the non strikers end.
Jeeralang-Boolarra ended at 9/150. Duffy top scored on 51 and McCormack made 28, but the Panthers struggled to find a greater output from there on in.
The Ships were forced to reshuffle their batting order given the unavailability of some players, and so Heathcote and Noonan became all-rounders for the day and were put up to bat at five and six respectively.
George and White combined for a 67 run opening stand. Much like Latrobe, the Ships had to play within themselves a bit with the bat to maximise their chances of winning and only really looked to hit the ball to the boundary if the shot was absolutely on.
George batted through the innings, eventually finishing unbeaten on 68 from 113 balls to see Trafalgar home in the 48th over.
Some wickets late in the piece kept things
interesting, but the cool heads of George and Heathcote and then George and Noonan prevailed.
TRARALGON West had the bye.
THIS Saturday sees Round 8 action take place.
It will be a battle of the Tigers as Mirboo North hosts Morwell. Moe plays Jeeralang-Boolarra at Ted Summerton, CATS and Raiders clash at Traralgon South, Traralgon West plays neighbours Centrals and Churchill meets Latrobe.
Trafalgar has the bye.