Mega choke shocks Warragul
A mega-choke by Warragul gave Leongatha their first win of the Gippsland Cricket League season, after the Wild Dogs lost 7/40 to leave both players and supporters shell-shocked.
With the Wild Dogs sending Leongatha into bat on one of the best grounds in Gippsland at Hallora, Warragul found immediate success when they had Leongatha 2/9, including the prized scalp of Eli Rchards for a golden duck.
From there, Leongatha decided that consolidation was their best friend, with Callum Honeyman batting two hours for his 33, as they eventually saw out their allotted 50 overs to close at 7/140.
For Warragul their best bowlers were Troy Lehmann who finished with 4/34, along with AK Tyrone and Max Kelly, who both only went for 15 and 14 runs respectively from their 10 overs.
With the previous weeks rainfall all present at the ground would have assumed conditions were going to play a part in the match, however Warragul put on a solid opening partnership of 50 to set themselves off on a positive foot before disaster struck.
After Troy Ferguson had compiled 32 and Jack Armour was dismissed with the score at 2/75, the next eight Warragul batsmen contributed 18 runs between them to leave captain Fraser Duncan stranded on 41 not out as he watched on from the non-strikers end in complete disbelief.
Three ducks highlighted the Wild Dogs’ middle order as they were bowled out with five runs separating the two sides.
Jack Ginanne was the destroyer for Leongatha, with exuberant celebrations following all six of his wickets.
He received good support from Senal De Silva and Charith Keerthinsinghe, who both claimed two wickets each.
Leongatha player Ryan Williams, who found himself playing against his younger brother James, was happy to take the points in what was a match played in difficult conditions.
"We scrapped together a score and Warragul were cruising and then a few of their guys got out playing big drives,” he said.
“We bowled well but it was as much about shot selection from a few Warragul bats that helped us across the line.”
Meanwhile, Sale-Maffra appear certain to finish on top of the home and away ladder after the Sharks defeated fellow top two aspirant Traralgon District at Heyfield.
After losing the toss and being given the ball, Sale-Maffra struck an early blow against a depleted Traralgon outfit that had nine changes from its previous match.
Players missing for Traralgon included Jordy Gilmour and Lee Stockdale, who were both on duty for Victoria Country.
Stumbling to 6/45, Traraglon were able to grind out a score of 107, thanks largely to Rick Battista who compiled 39.
All bowlers for Sale-Maffra utilised the overhead conditions to good effect, with wickets shared between Jack Tatterson (3/10), Charlie Morrison (3/24), and Isaac Love, who has a happy knack of picking up wickets, finishing with 2/20.
In reply, a stunning return of 4/31 from 18 year old debutant Mitch Bulmer had SaleMaffra in disarray early, before they were able to compose themselves and chase down the Traralgon total for the loss of five wickets.
In the finish middle order bat Ben Jones was the difference, after a chance off his bat was grassed he went on to score an unbeaten 48 which guided the Sharks across the line
The match between Latrobe Valley and Bairnsdale turned out to be a waste of time, as players came off the field twice due to rain before the match was declared a draw after three hours of waiting.
With overhead skies to start the day, Latrobe Valley won the toss and elected to bat, only to see the ball hoop at right angles to make life virtually impossible for the batsman.
After three wickets had fallen, and the score at 3/16, umpires called for the covers as rain started to pour.
For the next hour and a half players entertained themselves by playing cards and discussing what they would rather be doing.
When play recommenced it was only short lived, as rain returned and the game was abandoned after 18 overs.
The only highlight came when Bairnsdale bowler Corey Fraser found himself on a hattrick, after knocking over two quick wickets in the opening stages.
Bizarrely, despite the match only lasting a few overs, umpires were still required to give votes.
Troy Lehman had Leongatha District on the back foot early and finished with four wickets.
Warragul District players celebrate a Troy Lehman wicket during the match against Leongatha District.
Warragul District spinner AK Tyrone conceded just 15 runs from his 10 overs; Photographs: Davyd Reid.