Saints victory over Barooga fought to bitter end

Round eight of Murray Valley Cricket Association’s B grade competition saw Berrigan travel to Barooga on Saturday.

The Saints won the toss and on a very humid day with the ground wet, elected to bowl under the conditions.

Opening pair Matt Ross and Matt Whelan took the new ball with Barooga opening pair of Sam Leigh and Kane Rattray-Robert.

They controlled the tempo of the game early on for a very quick outfield, however the Saints struck twice with the score on 17.

It was Matt to trap Leigh LBW for four, and then on the next ball Hugh Sutton was caught for a golden duck.

Will Sharp joined Rattray-Robert surviving the hattrick delivery from Matt.

The two settled quick, punishing any of the Saints’ wayward balls.

They passed 50 and then increased the run rate, with Sharp raising the bat for his 50.

At drinks the score was 90.

Tom Whelan came on after drinks to clean bowl Rattray-Robert for 33.

Lachie Sutton was next in and the two again raced the score to 118 before Darcy Pyle (1/15) struck, with Sharp lobbing a catch to mid-off and out for 60. The score was 118.

Tom struck again two runs later, claiming his second wicket bowling Sutton for six with Barooga now 5/120.

Jake Poole and Chris Cheong were the two fresh batsman in, and the Saints were keen to grind the Hawks run rate down.

The two had other ideas however, and continued to hit the boundaries.

They added a further 25 runs before Zach Nugent was reintroduced into the attack, bowling Poole for 15 and the score now was 6/145.

Nathan Gossayn was next in, combining with Cheong for a further 18 runs before Ross (1/33) chimed in for his first wicket.

New batsman Zeke Bunge fell seven runs later, with Tom striking again and bowling him for five. The score was now 8/170.

Manasvi Singh came to the crease and didn’t muck around, swinging the bat hard.

It came down to the last over and it was Tom to strike twice claiming Gossayn for 13 and then new batsman Declan Cheong for two to finish with the figures 5/28 after eight overs.

Barooga finished the modest score of 181 with Singh not out at eight.

With the Saints keen to get a start chasing the runs, Nugent opened up with Matt Whelan against the leg spin of Poole and the pace of Sharp (0/26).

Nugent lost his patience with the score on 17, and was bowled for 11 by Poole (3/26).

Ross was next in and was comfortable from ball one.

He cracked anything full or short to the boundary.

The two took the game away from Barooga as the scoring rate reached five an over as they raced the score past 50 and then 100, with Ross passing his 50.

At drinks the Saints were 1/104.

However the break didn’t do any favours for them.

Chris Cheong struck twice in the over claiming Ross for 57, bowled, and then trapping Harley Middleton LBW for a duck.

Tom joined his brother at the crease and the two went about steadying the Saints’ innings.

They added a further 24 runs before Cheong struck again for his third wicket, bowling Matt for 36.

Tristan Mears opted for the aerial route when he went to the crease, but was only able to contribute six runs to the Saints score before he was caught off Cheong (4/28).

The Saints were now 5/140.

Tim Cooper, in his first game for the Saints, was next in. With Tom he got the win within arm’s reach for the Saints.

They ran hard and found the boundary, but with the score on 178 Tom was caught off Bunge for a well played 45.

Andrew Parr came in with four runs to go for the Saints and two overs remaining, and the pressure fell on the Saints.

The leg spin of Poole returned to the crease and this caused Cooper’s eyes to light up.

He went for the boundary, but top edged to first slip for 12 with the scores tied on 7/181.

Brad Loats was up and was cleaned bowled next ball for a golden duck, and the Saints were shakey at 8/181.

Graeme Parr padded up and with all the fielders around him for the hattrick ball, he survived.

The next delivery was pulled short by the bowler, allowing Graeme to hit the winning runs — cracking a boundary and the Saints winning by two wickets.

They finished at 8/185 with seven balls remaning, Graeme not out four and Andrew not out on one.

For his wickets and runs, Tom Whelan claimed the Tim Harris Transport Award.

The Saints host Nathalia this Saturday.