Deni Rhinos all-rounder Andrew Hogan has helped put his side in the box seat for victory with a five wicket haul against Katamatite on day one of their Murray Valley Cricket round 12 clash.
The medium pace bowler had a tremendous day in the hot conditions, bowling eight maidens with final figures of 5/23 off 16 overs.
Off-spinner Anthony Bradley also had a strong showing with the ball, claiming 3/20 off 13 to dismiss the visiting Tigers for 98 runs off 52.1 overs.
In reply the Rhinos scored 2/74 before stumps, needing just 25 runs to claim a first innings win on day two this weekend.
Rhinos coach John Arthur said he was impressed with his side’s efforts in what were tough conditions.
‘‘It was really hot and muggy in the field so to keep our composure was tremendous,’’ he said.
‘‘Young Dylan Rotherham fell ill during the day because of the heat, but stuck it out for 50 overs.
‘‘We had Under 14s cricketer Tom Bradley come in to sub in the field, and luckily we only needed him out there for two overs as we wrapped up the innings.
‘‘Tom even took a catch in his short time out in the field, so it was a good experience for him.’’
The match started with Katamatite winning the toss and electing to bat, getting off to a slow start.
After eight overs the visitors had scored just four runs, before a mix-up by the two openers saw Lachlan Sharpe (three) run out by Zeniffe Fowler and Jonty Tubb.
Hogan struck again soon after, with Rhys Tierny caught behind the stumps by Tubb for a duck, with the Tigers sitting at 2/4 after nine overs.
Tom Pendlebury joined opener Andrew Erickson at the crease, the pair scoring 23 runs off 10 overs.
Hogan and Tubb combined again to dismiss Erickson (16), having the visitors struggling on 3/27.
Tight bowling kept the run rate low, as Hogan claimed the wickets of Tom Rutter (one), Conor Lawless (two) and Shannon Poole (10) with the score 6/56 at the 31 over mark.
Luke Barnard was next at the crease, bringing stability to the batting line-up along with Pendlebury, with a 33 run partnership.
They stayed strong until the 44th over, when Bradley claimed Barnard (nine) as his first victim, with the Tigers 7/89.
Bradley struck twice more in the space of eight overs, claiming Ben Lukies (three) and Brad Parnell (one) with Katamatite only managing to get the score up to 98 with one wicket in hand.
The innings came to an end in the first ball of the 53rd over, when Pendlebury (44) hit the ball into cover with substitute fielder Tom Bradley barely moving to catch him out low to the ground, to give Dean Edge (1/10 off 6.1) the final wicket of the innings.
‘‘The grass was thick from the rain, which probably saved us about 50 runs,’’ Arthur said.
‘‘It was tough for the batters to score, but Tom Pendlebury managed to bat well and bat for a long time.
‘‘Hoges (Hogan) bowled super tight. He started the day with five maidens in a row.
‘‘The biggest positive was that even though we were struggling a little bit with the heat, there were no dropped catches.
‘‘Jonty (Tubb) once again was tremendous behind the stumps, taking four catches and being involved with a run out.’’
With 27 overs left in the day, Rhinos openers Ash Germano and Edge had a steady start.
The pair combined for 28 runs for 11 overs before Edge (10) was trapped in front by Barnard (1/20 off nine).
Boddie Arthur joined Germano at the crease, the duo adding 32 runs before the latter was dismissed in the 19th over.
Cautious batting from Arthur (23 not out) and Fowler (five not out) saw the Rhinos make it to stumps without losing another wicket, with the home side in control.
‘‘It was tough to come in to bat after about 50 overs of fielding in the heat,’’ John Arthur said.
‘‘Ash spent 19 overs at the crease after being in the field all day and was super fatigued.
‘‘When he was dismissed we needed Zeniffe (Fowler). The instruction was to hang out until stumps and he just kept pushing the ball back and stepped away from the aggressive batting style we’re used to seeing.
‘‘We’ll take it steady on day two and make sure we secure that first innings win. If we do that, then we’ll look to up the ante a bit and try to score at five or six runs an over to potentially set us up for an outright victory.’’
Day two of the clash will be played at Memorial Park this Saturday.