A stellar batting performance from Deni Rhinos all-rounder Andrew Hogan saved his side from a first innings loss against Cobram-Yarroweyah United at Memorial Park on Saturday.
After the Rhinos dismissed CYU for a meagre total of 122, Hogan was called upon with the scoreboard reading 3-3 after his top order had collapsed on day one of the Murray Valley Cricket Association two-day clash.
The right hand bat put in an innings-saving performance, hitting nine boundaries on his way to 65 not out at the end of the day’s play.
Anthony Bradley, who had earlier taken 5-27 from 17 overs with the ball, will join Hogan at the crease for day two this Saturday, with the Rhinos on 5/110 at stumps and poised to take first innings points.
Rhinos coach John Arthur said Hogan’s performance has given the Rhinos a chance to chase an outright win.
‘‘Hoges (Hogan) put in a tremendous performance, but he didn’t do it alone,’’ he said.
‘‘His partnership with Boddie Arthur was crucial in steadying the ship for us.
‘‘While Boddie didn’t score big, he did manage to spend a fair amount of time in the middle.
‘‘The partnership Hoges had with Liam Pitts (30) was just fantastic.
‘‘Pitta (Pitts) has been batting so well the past few weeks and he once again picked his shots and scored well.
‘‘He was a bit unfortunate to be trapped in front with just two balls left for the day but he did what was required of him to almost guarantee a first innings win.’’
The match started with the Rhinos winning the toss and electing to bowl first, a decision that Arthur said was made to give his side a chance at the outright win.
Hogan (2/44 off 16) had an early breakthrough, trapping Ayden Latessa (2) in front, with the visitors 1/6 during the third over.
Fellow opening batsman Mitch Richmann had other plans for his side though, smashing five fours and a six over mid wicket on his way to an impressive 41 run stand.
Unfortunately for CYU wickets began to fall, with the visitors sitting at 4/63.
It was Bradley who claimed the important wicket of Richmann, the power hitter caught out in the 26th over, with CYU now 5/70.
The visitors could only manage to add 52 runs for the last five wickets, with James Ervin (23) and Kane Goldsworthy (22) keeping the runs ticking over for their side.
In their run chase, the Rhinos were in dire straits with Dean Edge (1) claimed by Richmann (1/9 off six) in the second over.
The following over saw Ash Germano (2) and Zeniffe Fowler (0) claimed by Goldsworthy (4/49 off 15) to have the Rhinos 3/3 after three overs.
Hogan and Boddie Arthur (2) then put together a 33-run partnership, with the latter caught behind in the 13th over, with the Rhinos 4/36.
This brought Pitts to the middle, teaming with Hogan for a 74 run partnership to bring the score to 5/110 when Pitts was trapped in front by Goldsworthy.
‘‘Mitch Richmann was teeing off from the start and batted well for CYU,’’ John Arthur said.
‘‘A few bad shots from CYU resulted in some catches for us, but we didn’t field as well as we’d like to.
‘‘Goldsworthy and Richmann both bowled a good line and length and put the pressure on early.
‘‘But it was just one of those funny games where momentum see-sawed massively.
‘‘We’re in a good position to attack from the first ball on day two and we will look to set ourselves up for the outright win.’’
Day two of the clash will be played at Memorial Park on Saturday.
The Rhinos Division One side had the bye on the weekend. They will travel to take on Waaia this Saturday for their round eight clash.