The heat no doubt played a factor this week right across the Murray Valley Cricket Association.
All junior games were called off with senior cricket just sneaking in under the 42°C limit.
All but one premier match went ahead with some entertaining cricket on show for the crowds.
Barooga v Cobram
Games in the MVCA don’t get much bigger than when these two teams meet, and especially when they sit in first and second place on the ladder.
Both sides agreed to start the match early to escape the heat, and despite a little drizzle of rain at the start of play, the match went ahead at 11.30am.
Barooga won the toss on what looked to be a greener than usual wicket and decided to send Cobram in to bat.
It looked like it may have been the wrong choice early on when in-form Cobram batsman Adam Wiffen hit the ground running, racing his way to 33.
A change of speed from the Barooga bowlers with Justin Maley entering the attack did the trick as he removed Wiffen.
It was a case of batsmen struggling to get themselves fully in on the wicket as seven Cobram batsmen reached double figures but the top score was just 33 as the Tigers were bowled out for 149.
It was the Barooga spinners that did the damage with Maley and Joel Cahir each grabbing four wickets while opening bowler Ryiaad Henry picked up two.
Barooga had a nervous 15 overs to bat at the end of play, and it proved to be tricky.
Cobram opened the bowling with spinner Shaun Downie and he made an immediate impact, removing the dangerous Ben Mansell without scoring.
Fellow opener Jamie Stanyer also fell to Downie, out LBW, while Sam Leigh was the last wicket to fall, run-out without scoring as the Hawks finished the day 3/19.
Cobram will know the big wicket of Andrew Reynoldson is the key if it is to defend 149.
Nathalia v Deniliquin
The other high quality match this week is evenly poised as the Deni Rhinos were able to put together their best batting effort of the year.
Played at Nathalia Recreation Reserve, Deni won the toss and chose to bat first against the powerful Nathalia bowling attack.
Deni looked to be on track for a big score when they reached 5/153 but suffered a late collapse to be all out for 172.
Rhinos skipper Brad Todd top-scored for his side with 38 while Brodie Bennett made 37, Boddie Arthur made 29 and Andrew Hogan made 28.
For Nathalia it was the spin attack of Liam Evans and Grant Hutchins who did the damage, each picking up four wickets, while Luke Carter chipped in with two.
Nathalia will like its chances of chasing down this score and putting an end to Deni’s finals hopes.
Waaia v Finley
Despite some nervous moments, Waaia did what it was expected to do and claimed first innings points on day one of the match against Finley.
Finley won the toss and chose to bat first, lasting until the 28th over before being bowled out for 100.
Russell Stockdale dominated the batting effort for the Cats, making 46, while Matt Wilson chipped in with 27 at the back end of the innings.
Waaia’s Greg Meyland was the pick of the bowlers, snaring figures of 5/19.
Waaia made the chase tougher than it should have been, before being bowled out for 147.
Anthony Ciavarella top-scored with 40 while for Finley it was Stockdale with four wickets and Chris Shaw with three.
With nine overs remaining in the day, Finley finished up 4/31 with Connor Brown doing the damage with the ball with three wickets.
All that meant an eventful day of cricket, with 24 wickets and 278 runs scored in 80 overs.
Katunga v Katamatite
Play in this match was called off on Friday night.
●Cobram-Yarroweyah United had the bye.
●MVCA scoreboard and more pictures on page 27.