Sport

Purples’ hat-trick

by
March 23, 2017

Nathalia has completed another season as Murray Valley Cricket Association champion after cruising to premiership glory against Cobram.

Players and supporters could not have asked for better conditions for the match at the Cobram Showgrounds.

Nathalia was hunting its third flag in a row while Cobram was out to break a 17-year drought.

The Tigers won the toss and elected to bat first on a great wicket for cricket.

Openers Adam Wiffen and Ash Saunders looked comfortable early, in particular Wiffen.

Anything short he would jump all over and looked set for a big score until Eddie Watson snuck a ball through and removed him for 12.

Newly promoted to number three, Nic Hoban only lasted a couple of balls before he was also knocked over by Watson.

That brought last week’s century maker Shaun Downie to the wicket.

He and Saunders set about building Cobram a big total before a ball from spinner Liam Evans snuck through Saunders’ defence for 31.

Not long after Evans picked up the big wicket of Downie and the Tigers were in trouble at 4/89.

Evans and fellow spinner Grant Hutchins did not allow the Cobram middle order to get any flow with their batting.

Hutchins was tight right throughout his spell while Evans was picking the wickets up at the other end.

Before the Tigers — and the crowd — realised, the Nathalia bowlers had ripped through the overs, having bowled 90 before 4pm.

When Ash Quinn picked up the final wicket, Cobram had been bowled out for 131, having lost 7/42.

Evans was the star of the day, bowling 38 overs and claiming figures of 6/37.

Not to be outdone, Hutchins finished his 25 overs and only went for 26 runs.

With nine overs left on day one, Evans strapped on the pads again and faced the music.

The Purples would get through to stumps looking healthy at 0/27.

Early on day two, the match looked to be floating out of reach of Cobram as Evans and fellow opener Tom Nhill lifted the scoring rate.

Cobram didn’t make a breakthrough until 69 runs were on the board when Andrew Hogan beat the defence of Evans.

The Tigers were unable to capitalise on that wicket, as Nathalia cruised to victory for the loss of just three wickets.

Nhill top-scored with 44 while Evans capped-off his man-of-the-match effort with 38.

In a big weekend for the club, Nathalia showed its overall strength by claiming all three senior premierships.

On Saturday, Nathalia’s division one side ended the dominant run of Waaia by claiming the flag.

Waaia batted first and posted 102 before being bowled out, with Nathan Walsh claiming three wickets.

Much like the premier team, the Nathalia batsmen had little trouble with the total, passing it two wickets down with Scott Morris starring with 56 not out.

In division two, the Purples were again too good for Waaia.

The Bombers made 110 from their 35 overs but it proved to be not enough as Nathalia passed it with 10 overs to spare.

Gerard Warren made 57 for the winners.

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