Cats remain team to beat

Mortlake opener Shane Slater enjoyed a solid weekend with the bat.

REIGNING premier Mortlake is the only undefeated side in South West Cricket’s top grade thanks to two victories in the latest round of Twenty20 competition.

The Cats comfortably defeated Cobden by 102 runs before holding off a gallant Heytesbury by 13 runs at D.C. Farran Oval last Saturday.

Mortlake won the toss and elected to bat against Cobden, making a strong start thanks to a 53-run opening partnership.

Tyler Schafer (60 not out) and Shane Slater (23) laid the foundation for victory early on, as Cobden desperately chased wickets.

The Knights were able to dismiss Slater, but could not stem the flow of runs, as the Cats pushed on in search of a target above 150.

Neil Kelly (44 not out) joined Schafer in the middle batting at first drop, with the pair sharing a 96-run stand as the home side finished on 1/147 from their 20 overs.

The Knights run chase started shakily, losing an early wicket and were soon precariously placed at 5/24, as James Cody-Davis wreaked havoc with the ball and in the field.

Cobden never looked like entertaining the idea of chasing the runs, preferring to ensure they batted the allotted overs, finishing the match at 7/45.

Cody-Davis was best with the ball for Mortlake, claiming 3/14, as well a run out, with Isaac Wareham (2/5) and Clinton Baker (1/2) the other wicket takers.

The Cats faced a stronger Heytesbury outfit in their second match and were able to record a 13-run win.

Mortlake again batted first and followed up their morning performance with another strong batting effort.

Tyler Schafer (53) and Shane Slater (33) once again got Mortlake off to a strong start, putting 71 runs on the board before the latter was dismissed.

Schafer was once again the backbone of the Mortlake innings, staying at the crease until the 18th over.

Clinton Baker (33 not out) pushed the home side to a total of 2/133, which given Heytesbury’s ability to chase, was more than attainable.

However the Rebels lost regular wickets throughout their innings, as Schafer followed up his efforts with the bat, claiming 3/15 to be Mortlake’s best bowler as the Cats restricted Heytesbury to 9/120.

Todd Robertson (2/22) was the only other multiple wicket-taker for the Cats.

Last year’s grand finalist, Terang, is still yet to breakthrough for its first win this season, suffering losses against Pomborneit and Noorat.

Skipper Liam Geary lamented his side’s inability to convert on starts with the bat, with the problem rearing its head in both games.

Terang elected to bowl first against Pomborneit, as the Bulls piled on 67 for the opening wicket.

Terang was able to stem the flow of runs between wickets for the remainder of the innings, claiming a further five scalps for 60.

Jesse Unthank was the best of Terang’s bowlers, snaring 4/26 as the home side posted 6/127 from their 20 overs.

In reply, Terang was bowled out for 89 in the 18th over, with several players once again reaching double figures but unable to go on with it.

Tim Keane (19), John Clarke (18) and Dylan Walsh (13) all offered some resistance against the Bulls bowlers after last week’s leading scorers Tyson Hay and Geary were dismissed cheaply.

Brett Hunger (10) played a small cameo for Terang, but it was in vain as the Bulls came away 38-run victors.

The afternoon match saw Terang travel to Noorat, with the Steamrollers winning a close encounter by 22 runs.

Noorat batted first, with five players reaching double figures for the home side on their way to a score of 5/158.

Jesse Unthank (1/22) and Tim Keane (1/22) were the best bowlers for Terang, with support from Bailey Kavenagh (1/25), Tyson Hay (1/27) and Sam Munro (1/32).

Terang showed a much improved batting performance, with a 71-run stand to begin the innings.

Tyson Hay (46) and Ben Graesser (40) combined at the top of the order to build a platform for the innings.

However once the pair was dismissed, Terang were unable to build on the foundation which they had laid.

Tim Keane (16) and John Clarke (11 not out) made starts but could not convert them into anything damaging as Terang ended their innings at 4/136.

Noorat once again finished their round of matches with one win and one loss, succumbing to Heytesbury before defeating Terang.

The Steamrollers lacked player availability over the weekend, with their division three side forced to forfeit its match against Woorndoo.

Noorat made a horror start after winning the toss and batting against the Rebels, slumping to be dangerously placed at 5/34.

The Steamrollers were able to mount a recovery for a brief period, led by Ben Kenna (21) and Damien Coolahan (9).

Their dismissals triggered another mini collapse as Noorat lost 3/2, but an unbeaten 13 from Sam McLean saw the Steamrollers to 87 before they were bowled out.

The Rebels had few problems in the run chase, losing just one wicket as they reached the target inside 12 overs.

Andrew Battistello (1/24) claimed the wicket of Travis Brown with the score on 19, but an 80-run partnership for the second wicket saw the Rebels cruise to victory by nine wickets.

Noorat elected to bat in their afternoon match against Terang, with the Steamrollers making some changes to the line-up that took on the Rebels.

Bernie Harris was one player that didn’t feature in the morning match, but opened the innings for Noorat and top scored with 45.

Gus Bourke (30), Isaac Kenna (25 not out) and Ben Kenna (24) made runs through the middle order as the Steamrollers finished 5/158.

In reply, Terang fell 22 runs shy of the required target, with Noorat’s bowlers stemming the early flow of runs.

After Terang made a strong start, the dismissal of Tyson Hay (46) swung the game back in Noorat’s favour, as the Steamrollers claimed three more wickets.

James Moloney (2/17), Nick Kenna (1/19) and Isaac Kenna (1/41) were best with the ball for Noorat, as Terang finished at 4/136 from their 20 overs.

Comments are closed.