Top cricket weekend
Both Delatite teams through to the grand finals next weekend
DELATITE’S Division A and B teams have distinguished themselves by each making their respective Benalla and District Cricket Association (BDCA) grand finals on Saturday.
Division A for Delatite played off against top placed Violet Town in the qualifying semi final at the Benalla Gardens Oval.
The two sides had already met five times during the season with the ledger standing at three to two in Delatite’s favor so an enticing battle was anticipated.
As it happened Delatite pulled off a comfortable victory.
Choosing to bat first, Violet Town was in a sound position at 1/54, but that was the point at which Delatite decided to strike back with venom.
Wickets tumbled, the run rate dried up and VT found itself dismissed for a less than formidable 102.
Troy Jones produced a laborious but important innings of 25, Rob Saker managed 12 and Dan Edwards 11.
Delatite captain Andrew Startin created all sorts of mayhem as he took 3/4 from four overs.
Matt Stevenson gave almost nothing away with 2/8 from eight overs.
Dan Walker was ever dangerous as he scythed to 3/20 and Peter Scales picked up the remaining wicket to return the figures of 1/14.
James Cousins and keeper Jack Egan combined for a scintillating run out and Egan also featured with two catches.
Low totals can be notoriously difficult to chase but Delatite made reasonably straightforward work of it.
There were a few nerves at 2/17, but from there on the batsmen held their resolve.
Andrew Startin again led the way with an outstanding effort of 36 not out.
Mitch Purcell resisted gamely for 18 and Luke Burton chipped in with 11.
Delatite surpassed Violet Town’s target by the end of 35 overs, finishing on 6/103.
Lee Brennan 2/22 and Nathan Abley 2/26 were the pick of VT’s bowlers, followed by Doug Palmer 1/6 and Ben Janissen 1/14.
The Division B Delatite team had a harder path to tread to reach the grand final.
Having finished third, it had to win the elimination semi final then do the same in the preliminary final.
Both of these hurdles were successfully overcome.
On Saturday pi t t e d against Benalla at the Lords Reserve, the home team overwhelmed the visitors.
Delatite ran up a commanding 5/185 and was never troubled in defending its total.
Captain Aaron Madsen reigned supreme with 57 as opener while Michael Saunders was only a whisker behind with a trademark hard-hitting 56.
Rohan West also looked the goods with a confident 30.
Greg Vallender gave his all for Benalla to capture 2/34.
MarkYates took 1/21 and Tate Duscher 1/24.
Benalla’s innings was extinguished in the 29th over as it crumbled to all out 80 and a 105 run defeat.
Derick Benjamin 15, Ricci Webster 14 and Tom Webster 11 were the only batsmen to make it to double figures.
Aran Maloney hit a purple patch for Delatite with a heartening 3/23.
Oliver Pearson 2/18, Will Christopher 1/1, Aaron Madsen 1/7, Tylar Smith 1/8, Jim Chiller 1/9 and Patrick Marks 1/11 all pitched in with great enthusiasm and persistence.
Indeed Delatite’s young brigade really made their mark in the bowling department.
In the qualifying semi final Merton made short work of Warrenbayne to move on to the grand final.
As a consequence Delatite found itself at loggerheads with Warrenbayne in the preliminary final on Sunday.
Again batting first, Delatite’s batsmen were forced to battle hard against a steady Warrenbayne attack.
The key to success was to keep the loss of wickets to a minimum.
Aaron Madsen again shone with a dominant 53.
James Bartlett enjoyed his batting outing with an assured 23.
Mi c h a e l S a u n d e r s knocked up 13 then Colin Godber picked up the pace nicely with 22 not out.
After its allotted 40 overs Delatite reached a healthy 5/154.
For Warrenbayne Tom Mack 2/26, Justin Wallace 2/30 and Jimmy Rathore 1/20 were successful.
Delatite continued to do best what it has done all season and that is to make run scoring a tough task for its opposition.
Mathew Watt’s 20 as opener was useful but he didn’t gather enough support.
At the halfway point of 20 overs Warrenbayne was on 5/51 and the required run rate was starting to blow out.
Andrew Rigby 17 and Jimmy Rathore 17 played their part but it was left to youngster Wade King to show the experienced hands how to go about batting.
His pugnacious 51 not out represented a beacon of hope which was eventually snuffed out as Warrenbayne ended its overs on 9/138, still 17 runs short of victory.
Jim Chiller put the cat among t he pigeons f or Delatite particularly in his second spell, capturing a whirlwind 4/24.
Tylar Smith was probing with 2/27.
Rohan West 1/24 and Patrick Marks 1/30 rounded out a polished team performance.
Wicketkeeper James Bartlett gloved two fine catches and Will Christopher combined with him for a crucial run out.
On Saturday Delatite takes on Warrenbayne in the Division A grand final, Warrenbayne having taken care of a lacklustre Violet Town in the preliminary final.
Proceedings will take place at the Benalla Gardens Oval.
Delatite has had the wood on Warrenbayne this season but as everyone knows anything can happen in a final and Delatite will have to be on its mettle to bring home a premiership.
The Division B final will be a hit out between Merton and Delatite at a venue to be decided.
Merton has eased to two wins against Delatite although Delatite turned the tables in the Twenty20 final so it’s anyone’s pick as to who will take the trophy.
For those interested, the Division C final will be a contest between Tungamah and Tatong at the Arundel Street Reserve in Benalla.
All finals begin at 1pm.
LET ME AT IT: Michael Saunders is ready to take to the bowling on his way to a great knock of 56 on Saturday.