A dominant performance with the bat and ball from Deni Rhinos all-rounder Andrew Hogan steered his side to a fourth consecutive win in the Murray Valley Cricket Association’s Premier grade on Saturday.
The right hand batsman started his day smashing three fours and two sixes on his way to an unbeaten 60 runs, before taking 4/12 off four overs with the ball, to help the Rhinos post a 77 run win over Katamatite in the first and only 20-20 fixture of the year.
Playing in Katamatite, Deni won the toss and decided to bat, with coach John Arthur saying the general consensus was that a score in the 120-130 range would be reasonable target.
Opener Dean Edge was given a lifeline early, hitting long down the ground and being dropped on the first ball of the innings.
Edge made them pay, dodging another bullet with a close run-out attempt which saw four overthrows helping him score a ‘six’ while running in between the wickets.
The opener was then caught in the third over off the bowling of Luke Barnard (1/20 off four), following a quickfire 21 runs.
Fellow opener Ash Germano (2) was run out soon after, slipping over when trying for a quick single with the Rhinos 2-33 after four overs.
A partnership was needed to steady the ship, with Rhinos’ import Zeniffe Fowler and Hogan responding well.
The pair delivered, with a combination of power hitting and aggressive running between the wickets.
Fowler combined with Hogan for a 66 run partnership off only eight overs. The import hammered eight boundaries before he was dismissed for 45 after 12 overs, clean bowled by Kelvin Kennedy (2/36 off four).
Hogan took over and added 39 runs with Brad Todd (10), the latter giving the in-form playmaker the strike at every opportunity.
The pair batted for five overs before Todd was dismissed, with the Rhinos comfortably placed at 4/138 with 21 balls remaining.
The Rhinos added 19 more runs with Anthony Bradley (6) and Liam Pitts (1 not out) chipping in to a final tally of 5/157 off 20 overs.
‘‘The partnership between Toddy and Hoges (Hogan) was crucial as many teams fall away and lose quick wickets after a strong partnership is broken up,’’ Arthur said.
‘‘It was also good to see Zeniffe score big. He probably felt there was a bit of expecta- tion on him and it would’ve lifted a bit of weight off his shoulders.
‘‘The talk for the last three overs was simply a run a ball and we were close to achieving that.’’
It was a hot start for the Rhinos’ opening bowlers, with Hogan and Dylan Rotherham (3/14 off four) ripping the Katamatite top order apart.
The Rhinos were catching everything with Boddie Arthur securing a high skier to mid-off, and Todd taking a catch on the midon boundary, almost guaranteeing victory after three overs, with the home side at 4/5.
Shannon Pool and Bradley Parnell settled things down for the Tigers, before Rotherham struck again, sending both Pool and Parnell’s bails flying.
Pitts (1/17 off four) struck for his first wicket and Katamatite were 7/24 off nine overs.
Kennedy and Tom Pendlebury added some respectability to the Katamatite score, adding 40 runs for the eighth wicket.
Pendlebury (27) became Hogan’s fourth wicket, when a slash to gully was caught brilliantly by Edge with a one-handed dive.
When Kennedy (19) hit across the line and was adjudged LBW to Arthur (1/5 off two), Katamatite were down and out at 9/75 with 11 balls remaining.
Lachlan Sharp (5 n.o) and Jordan Dickie (2 n.o) held on for the last two overs and avoided being bowled out, with the Tigers finishing on 9/80.
‘‘The guys were pumped with the result,’’ coach Arthur said.
‘‘I was really impressed with Dylan Rotherham’s bowling. The umpire even commented after the game that he bowled some unplayable deliveries.
‘‘Evan Pocock bowled respectably in his Premier grade debut as well. He was strong in the field and did his part to help us secure another win.
‘‘Our keeper Jonty Tubb has been catching everything for weeks and hardly gave away any byes again on Saturday.
‘‘Even though we have now had five wins from six games, everyone is fully aware of how hard we must continue to work.
‘‘Our batting has been controlled, our opening bowlers are taking wickets early and importantly our fielding is great.
‘‘We still need to improve if we are to challenge multiple premiers Nathalia this weekend.’’