Rhinos ascend

Noah Bradley played his first A grade game for the Deni Rhinos alongside his father Anthony Bradley on Saturday.

The Deni Rhinos had a convincing eight wicket win over Tocumwal in Saturday’s Murray Valley Cricket Association A grade match.

The Rhinos now sit in second spot on the ladder, having a superior net run rate over Katamatite.

The Rhinos were keen for a game after having last week’s match against Nathalia rescheduled due to COVID concerns.

Saturday’s play was also called in to question when the Rhinos were notified at 9am on Saturday that the pitch was rain affected due to the covers not being on when the storm went through Tocumwal on Friday evening.

The pitch was of concern particularly around the crease areas where the bowlers would be landing.

But the team was keen to play, with the possibility of rain next week and the uncertainty surrounding several teams affected by COVID.

The Tocumwal players worked hard to have the pitch at a safe and satisfactory level, and play was able to begin at 2pm.

Because of the late start, players agreed to a reduced 30 overs a side.

Deniliquin had three changes to the side, with Andrew Hogan, Liam Pitts and Peter Wilson all unavailable.

Left arm bowler Prem Muppidi came back into the A grade team, while Noah Bradley was selected to make his A grade debut.

Brad Todd won the toss for Deniliquin and, not surprisingly, asked Tocumwal to bat. This would be a tough task on a soft pitch.

Charlie Hillier and Brodie Bennett bowled well in their six over maximum spells.

Tocumwal opener, Cody Deegan, was caught at gully by Charlie Hillier. It was a sharp catch and set the standard for the team.

Brodie struck again in the fourth over, bowling Andrew Arthur for a duck. Brodie had two for none after two overs.

Charlie picked up Tom Oliver and Tocumwal were reeling at three for three after five overs.

Tocumwal captain Andrew Lean edged another one to Charlie at gully, and Bennett had three for none. Charlie struck with a full ball leaving Reilly Rennick.

Rennick edged the ball to Rhinos keeper, Dean Edge, who made no mistake.

Tocumwal had slumped to 5-16 and Brodie finished with the amazing figures of six overs, five maidens, three wickets for one run.

The Tocumwal batters did not score a run off the bat as the one run was a wide. Brodie’s length was ideal for the seaming wicket.

Charlie bowled with good pace and finished with 2-15. Lachlan Holloway and Prem Muppidi continued the strangle hold on the Tocumwal batters.

Toby Chappell was run out trying to come back for a second run. Bennett’s throw from mid-on was powerful and accurate to Muppidi who removed the bails with Chappell short of his ground.

Muppidi was on fire with the ball. Firstly, he had Paul Mangion leg before wicket and in his sixth over, he was on a hattrick after bowling both Lachlan Scott and Patrick Bennett in successive deliveries.

Muppidi finished with 3-14 from his six overs. Holloway was tight with his four overs, only conceding four runs.

Debutante, Noah Bradley was given the ball in the 23rd over and bowled a good spell. He bowled the right length and only conceded seven runs off his five overs.

Anthony said he was glad Noah, who is only 15, got to have a run with older more experienced players.

‘‘He had lots of fun, and it was great he had the opportunity to bowl against guys much bigger and stronger than in his grade,’’ he said.

Tocumwal finished on 9-59 off their 30 overs.

Veteran Ranji Oliver was the best batter for Tocumwal, scoring an undefeated 21 which included two boundaries.

Boddie Arthur and Harry Hillier opened the batting for the Rhinos. Arthur scored nine before offering a sharp chance to Mangion at point.

Harry played a magnificent pull shot off Rennick before also departing for nine. Patrick Bennett came to the crease and batted with plenty of aggression. He finished unbeaten on 30 which included five boundaries.

The Rhinos won the game in the 13th over, finishing at 2-60.

In other MVCA A grade matches, Cobram had a big win over Nathalia.

Cobram made 6-270 which included a century to Shaun Downie. Nathalia only managed 67 in reply.

The Katunga vs Barooga game had to be rescheduled due to Covid. Katamatite had the bye.

Next week, round nine, sees the Rhinos host Katunga at Memorial Park.

The game is a must win for the Rhinos as they strive to secure a finals berth and possibly a top two finish.