5-game streak for the Rhinos

Manraj Virdi striding into his delivery. Photo by Laura Green

The Deniliquin Rhinos A grade side have made it five in a row, defeating Katunga at the weekend.

Katunga won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. They were off to a rocky start when Dustan Ebborn was run out for a duck, third ball of the innings.

Ebborn hit the ball to mid off and Manny Virdi ran to his right, threw and hit the wickets.

Hogan struck for the Rhinos in the fifth over, Doyle caught by Peter Wilson at point.

Hogan struck in the next over with Thorp nicking one to the keeper. Katunga were left reeling at 3-19.

Ben Whitford had batted well before being bowled by leg spinner Holloway.

Henderson and Miles added 57 for the fifth wicket. At 4-97 (26th over) Katunga were in a strong position and could have challenged 200.

The game was changed when Boddie Arthur took possibly the catch of the season at gully after a well-timed bowling change by Rhinos captain, Andrew Hogan, bringing on Bennett for his second spell.

With his first ball, Henderson hit it hard through gully only to see Arthur dive to his left and take the catch at grass level.

Henderson made 37, adding to the 30 he made against the Rhinos in round five.

Things could not have worked out better for the Rhinos when Virdi dismissed Miles (18) in the next over. Miles played on to an excellent delivery from Virdi.

With Henderson and Miles both dismissed, the Rhinos were looking to wrap up the innings quickly, with Katunga 6-97 but still 18 overs remaining.

McAllister and Carson added 26 for the seventh wicket. Carson scored the bulk of the partnership although the Rhinos were conceding plenty of wides and no balls.

Virdi struck again when McAllister tried to smash the ball down the ground, but an outside edge saw the ball gently spoon to Holloway at gully.

Anthony Bradley was introduced into the attack with immediate success. Bailey Ebborn top-edged an attempted big shot and Bradley sprinted 20m to take the caught and bowled at short cover.

Hogan bowled the dangerous Carson. Bradley wound up the innings when he bowled Hessler. Two wickets for Bradley in his return to the crease was a great effort.

Katunga were all out for 139 and would have felt that they should have scored more after the efforts of Henderson and Miles. However, there were plenty of positives for Katunga, this being their highest score for the season.

Brad Todd and Dean Edge opened for the Rhinos. The pair continued their aggressive approach and dominated the Katunga bowlers, scoring 64 in only 11 overs.

Todd was dismissed in the 17th over with the score at 100. Todd made 59 which included 3 fours and 4 sixes. Whitford held a nice boundary catch to dismiss Hogan for 28.

Arthur hit one straight to cover being dismissed for three. Bennett came to crease playing aggressive strokes, adding the 19 runs required to win the game. Liam Pitts finished unbeaten on 10. Rhinos were 4-140 after 24 overs.

The win keeps the Rhinos in second spot, above Katamatite by a narrow percentage.

In other A grade matches in the MVCA, Nathalia scored an upset win over Barooga (138-101); Katamatite defeated Tocumwal by seven wickets (3-148 to 146), and Cobram had the bye.

Round 10 sees the Rhinos have the bye. The game of the round sees Katamatite host Nathalia. Tocumwal play Barooga, while Katunga have a tough game against Cobram.

B grade didn’t make it to the field at the weekend, with three U16 players and five senior players having to isolate due to COVID-related issues.

Unfortunately the side didn’t have enough players to put forward a team, so the game was called off and the score was recorded as a draw against Strathmerton.

Club president Tim Hillier said B grade should have enough players to play this weekend, due to A grade having a bye.