30 January, 2024

Bulls have tough mountain to climb

Blackheath Dimboola have a huge mountain to climb if they are going to avoid outright defeat against Homers in their two day game at Dimboola Recreation Reserve.

By Chris Graetz

Elliot Braithwaite looks to run a single.
Elliot Braithwaite looks to run a single.

After losing the toss and getting sent into bat, the Bulls batted positively at the top of the order led by captain Sam Leith.

They lost Jake McLean, Nathan Schorback and Malcom Barry early and when Leith fell for 35 they were four down.

Jordy Laverty and Elliot Braithwaite came to the crease and put on a great partnership but when they fell for 28 and 23 respectively, so did the tail thanks to some brilliant bowling from Chaminda Gamage and Gibson Perry and were bowled out for 115 in the 31st over.

Gamage finished with figures of 3/15 (6) and Perry 3/31 (6). Youngster Oliver Potter also chipped in with 2/31 (6).

In reply, Homers are 2/136 after 44 overs with Logan Millar and Adam Atwood unbeaten on 47 and 19 respectively.

The bright spark for the Bulls is youngster Max Spokes. He has figures of 2/16 off five overs with a maiden in his debut A-Grade game.

Sam Leith said that he handled it well.

"We brought him on at first change and he got the two openers out. Having his dad Judd out there as well gave him a confidence boost and he bowled well," he said.

Leith said they batted positively and will do the same next week.

"We came out with positive intent. There was nothing wrong with our run rate," he said.

"With that positive intent can come some loose shots and my dismissal was one of them."

Despite only having taken two wickets Leith said their bowlers did well.

"Jake McLean was getting a lot of turn," he said.

"Everyone was up and about in the field and the chatter was there and it helped the bowlers keep a positive mindset."

Next week they will still be without the Polack brothers and will also be without Jake McLean and Elliott Braithwaite so have a huge task of avoiding outright defeat. Regardless, Leith said that they will remain positive and play that way.

"I won't be shutting up shop, that's for sure," he said.

"To be honest I think they were pretty easy on us. They could have declared and given us 10 overs at the end of the day which would have been a hard time to bat.

"Next week they are going to be hard on us and we just need to take it in and be positive. Cricket is a funny game."

An Angus Adams unbeaten century has led the Tigers to a total of 226 against West Wimmera at Davis Park. Nathan Alexander was the pick of the bowlers with 3/74. The Warriors will look to chase that down next week.

At Horsham City Oval the Bullants are in a good position to win outright. They were bowled out for 195 in the 57th over and have the Saints 3/24 at stumps.

Justtin Combe, 49 and Troy Dumesny, 35 led the way for the Bullants. For the Saints, Mark Crafter was their best bowler taking 4/44. Dezi Carter remains not out on 7 with Jono Carroll who hasn't faced a ball.

At Murtoa Recreation Reserve, a brilliant opening spell from Joel Pymer stunned Lubeck Murtoa. Pymer took 5/19 and with Joshua Mahoney taking 4/45, they bowled the Mudlarks out for 125. At stumps Laharum are 0/4.

At one stage the Mudlarks were 5/19 but a captain's knock from Joshua Hedt, 49 (185) as well as support from Alby Kingston 24*, they were able to rebuild the innings.

Joel Pymer was thrilled with his innings.

"It was good to finally knock a few more over. I have had a good season playing at Beaufort and it was good to come back here to get wickets," he said.

"I was moving the ball in. I can't get it to go the other way, but I still managed to take wickets.

"I missed a few games due to harvest which is a shame but it's good to hit the straps again and I am looking forward to the end of the season."

Laharum captain Daniel Griffiths knows there is still work to be done next week.

"We didn't bowl badly and it was a credit to Josh the way he dug in," he said.

"We have to bat well and make a decent score. It may seem a small total but we just need to make sure we get those runs. It will be tricky."

The Mudlarks will get a few back including their leading wicket taker Shannon Reddie and Thomas Barrand, the latter taking five wickets for the season.

Hedt praised Albie Kingston for his innings and said they are in with a good chance next week.

"We have good players coming back next week which will be handy," he said.

"We are a good chance if we get a few early wickets. It will be a good game.

"Albie batted well and knuckled down and played a few shots which was good to see. They are a good bowling side and we just fought it out the best we could. It could have been a lot worse."


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