Clee­land ton sours Cats’ strong start

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

With the dreaded heat rule in­voked on Satur­day, only Finley’s Pre­mier Grade took to the field against Waaia in the Murray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion.

In a tight tus­sle, the Bombers even­tu­ally got them­selves into a strong po­si­tion thanks to an un­beaten Mitchell Clee­land cen­tury, leav­ing the Cats a big run chase on their home soil.

The Cats won the toss and elected to bowl. It was a good de­ci­sion early as the Cats’ bowl­ing at­tack made life dif­fi­cult for the Waaia top or­der.

At 4/34 the Cats were in a dom­i­nant po­si­tion with skip­per Chris Shaw (3/51) and Darcy Webb (1/18) get­ting three early poles, be­fore debu­tant Bai­ley Coombs snared his first Pre­mier wicket of Sam Trower (6) caught in the slips.

A key 50 run stand be­tween Clee­land and brother Jordan (30) gave the visi­tors some sta­bil­ity. A corker de­liv­ery from Dan McHugh (1/56) took out the lat­ter’s off stump to get the Cats on top at 5/84.

The Cats con­tin­ued to press hard with leg spin­ner Rus­sell Stock­dale (3/57) caus­ing all sorts of trou­ble for the Bombers with some ex­cel­lent flight and spin. He snared two wick­ets quickly to have the Bombers 7/120 be­fore the visi­tors took con­trol.

Clee­land be­gan to take charge and to­gether with Sean Carey (21) added a fur­ther 35 runs.

The Cats let two catches from both men go to ground and it proved costly.

Carey was even­tu­ally out caught with the score 155 be­fore Matthew Stu­art (26) com­bined with Clee­land for the game defin­ing part­ner­ship.

The pair added 82 mas­sive runs de­spite the con­tin­ued good pres­sure from the Cats.

The chances had dried up and the runs flowed.

Clee­land brought up a su­perb ton as the score went past 200. Fi­nally Stock­dale picked up the scalp of Stu­art to a well­judged Matthew Wil­son catch, his fourth of the in­nings. The last wicket fell three runs later and Waaia were all out for 240.

With 14 overs to bat the Cats start briskly with Daniel Hib­berd (16) and Shaw (5) get­ting off to a pos­i­tive start.

With the overs wind­ing down for the day though, both bats were out ap­proach­ing stumps with Hib­berd caught be­hind and Shaw at first slip.

McHugh (9 n.o) and Cougar Mc­Grath (3 n.o) got to stumps and will re­sume the chase on Satur­day.

Di­vi­sion 2 will travel to Co­bram on Sun­day this week and the Com­bined Un­der 16s will host Co­bram on Thurs­day evening in a 20/20 fix­ture. Both sides are look­ing to ce­ment a place in the fi­nals.

The Un­der 14s will travel to CYU on Satur­day morn­ing in a 20/20 as well.

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