Hawks haunt Rhinos
It was deja vu from last year’s Murray Valley Cricket Association grand final for the Deni Rhinos, suffering a six wicket loss to Barooga at Barooga on Saturday.
The round seven clash saw the Rhinos once again bowled over by the Hawks, finishing their innings on 130 with the final wicket falling in the 43rd over.
After a minor hiccup early in their run chase, opening batsman Sam Leigh helped the home side cruise to victory, hitting five boundaries in his 60 run stand, to surpass the Rhinos total after 25 overs in a similar result to the 2017/18 decider between the two sides.
Rhinos coach John Arthur said it was a ‘‘very disappointing result’’ for his side.
‘‘We won the toss and chose to bat, got off to a bit of a flurry in the first couple of overs, but then were just unable to build any partnerships,’’ he said.
‘‘Their spin bowlers tightened us up, much like the grand final last season.
‘‘Scoring 130 on a good pitch was never going to be a good outcome for us and while we did have early breakthroughs, Barooga controlled the game with the bat.
‘‘We’ve certainly got to do some work on our batting, particularly a lot of work on spinners.’’
With opening batsman Ash Germano missing, Brodie Bennett opened up the batting with Dean Edge.
Bennett started strongly with a boundary, scoring five runs off three balls before being bowled by Riley Gow (3/31 off 7.4) with the Rhinos on 14 runs.
Angus Campbell was brought to the crease, with tight bowling seeing him score only two runs from 22 balls faced before being bowled by Gow.
Edge (13) was stumped soon after off the bowling of Justin Maley (1/20 off six), leaving the Rhinos in a shambles at 3/26.
Photos courtesy Wayne Bradley.
Andrew Hogan and Anthony Bradley (seven) pushed the score to 45 before the latter was caught and with Hogan (18) bowled by import Amar Ullah (1/25 off eight) soon after, the Rhinos were sitting at 5/52.
Wickets continued to fall for the Rhinos, with the only highlights late in the innings being a 23 run partnership between Chris Pyle (20) and Harry Hillier (24 not out), as well as a 22 run final wicket partnership with Hillier and Dylan Rotherham (10).
Similarly to the Rhinos the Hawks lost key wickets early, with Trent Batchelor (one) caught at second slip off the bowling of Hogan (2/37 off six).
Key playmaker Gow, who scored an unbeaten century in the two sides’ previous encounter, was quickly removed by Hogan soon after, bowled for eight, with the Hawks struggling at 2/19.
Kale Watkins joined Leigh at the crease however, with the pair building an 83 run partnership.
Watkins (25) was eventually caught behind off the bowling of Rotherham (1/17 off four) and with Leigh caught from Bradley’s (1/11 off five) off-spinners, the Hawks were 4/104.
Ullah (22 not out) and Maley (four not out) scored the remaining runs required, to help Barooga to their third win of the season.
‘‘After our early wickets Barooga kept the runs flowing at five or six runs an over,’’ Arthur said.
‘‘Sam Leigh took our bowlers on and almost went at a run a ball.
‘‘While we were missing the likes of Ash Germano and Brad Todd, there are still no excuses for the loss, as we had our best available side on the day.
‘‘There’s no doubt that Barooga will again be one of the teams to beat this year.
‘‘Hopefully we can improve our batting quickly, as we need to start having at least four players scoring 50 or more runs in the two-day games.’’
With the one-day fixtures coming to an end, the Rhinos will now face Nathalia at Nathalia in a two-day clash.
Day one will be played this Saturday.