Brim-KSH move into contention

BRIM-Kellalac/Sheep Hills has moved to within striking distance of Wimmera-Mallee Cricket Association’s top four after a strong victory over Donald on Saturday.

Saturday’s round eight matches saw Wycheproof-Narraport move back into fourth place after a commanding win over St Marys, while Brim-KSH moved to within half a game of the top four in fifth place.

Ladder leader Jeffcott continued on their winning way, while St Arnaud skipped clear in second place when they reduced Birchip to their fifth loss in a row.

Brim-KSH was impressive in their disposal of Donald with a powerful bowling display that reduced its opponent to just 51 before answering in emphatic style in their run chase.

Winning the toss and batting, Donald found themselves in early trouble when they lost their first two wickets with just five runs on the board.

A 19-run stand for the third wicket helped their cause for a short time before the wheels fell off its batting when they lost their next five wickets for four runs.

Donald lost four wickets with their score on 30 and were unable to make any inroads on their total as they struggled to handle the accurate line of Lachie McGinniss and Chris McPherson.

The bowling duo teamed to claim eight wickets as only Jarred Newell provided any resistance in the middle order to remain unbeaten on 21 after Dion Hawkes made 14 to provide the only double-figure scores.

Coming off a four-wicket haul in the last round, McPherson continued his wicket taking form with another four wickets to finish with impressive figures of 4-5 off 6.3 overs.

McGinniss was also damaging to finish with 4-22 as Brim-KSH answered in strong style to make their winning target in 22 overs when they finished with 3-55.

McPherson and Cameron Rattray put on 27 runs for the first wicket before both lost their wickets to Cooper Anderson for 12 runs each before Jonathan Elias steered his team to victory with an unbeaten 18.

Anderson finished with impressive figures of 2-19 off eight overs.

After its thrilling tie last round, St Arnaud maintained its winning form when they defeated Birchip by five wickets.

Courtesy of a Bruce Hando master class, St Arnaud skipped two games clear in second place and relegated Birchip to sixth place.

Hando was instrumental in the win with both bat and ball as he firstly reduced Birchip to 96 when he claimed a five wicket bag.

A battle between Hando and Birchip skipper Riley Doran did not eventuate with Doran being unavailable for the clash which saw Jonty Randall clip a patient top score of 29 for Birchip, while Tadhg Lowry, 16, and Will Hogan, 13, produced double-figure scores as Hando finished with 5-13 off seven overs.

Skipper Jacob Patching claimed 2-13 off eight overs and Carl Torney claimed 2-17 off eight overs to form a potent partnership with Hando.

A 38-run stand for the first wicket saw St Arnaud well on its way to victory when Kurtis Torney, 14, and Tom Douglas, 21, helped guide their team.

Hando then provided the finishing touches to the run chase with an unbeaten 48 off 49 balls that included nine boundaries and shared an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand with Carl Torney, nine, to clip the winning runs after 25 overs.

Randall and Connor McCredden finished with 2-25 and 2-27 respectively to be multiple wicket takers.

Another one-sided win took place at the Jeffcott Oval when the undefeated ladder leader disposed of Marnoo, sending them from the top four and into sixth position.

Winning the toss and batting first, Marnoo struggled during its innings as they failed to handle the accurate line of the Jeffcott bowling attack.

Marnoo was bowled out for a modest 76 in just 24 overs with only Liam Whitbourne making a top score of 23 and Hamish Guthrie, 10, and Ben Duxson, 11, posting double-figure scores.

Teenager Patrick Morgan dominated with the ball to claim a five-wicket bag to finish with 5-17 off seven overs, while opening paceman Daniel Atkins claimed 2-11 off four overs.

Like, Brim-KSH and St Arnaud, Jeffcott then made short work of its run chase when they answered with 83 for the loss of two wickets off 20 overs.

A 40-run stand for the opening wicket from Ryan Bath and Aaron Schofield set the wheels in motion before the inform Sanjula Abeywickrama and the returning Brody Haddow guided their team to victory.

Bath made 25, and Abeywickrama finished unbeaten on 25, while Haddow made an unbeaten 16 in his first match of the season.

Full details of the St Marys, Wycheproof-Narraport match at Anzac Park were not provided.