MORTLAKE veteran Shane Slater ensured his side’s South West Cricket premiership defence got under way in perfect fashion last Sunday.
Playing Cobden at D.C. Farran Oval, Slater blasted the first century of the season to lead the Cats to a score of 7/252 from their 50 overs, which they successfully defended with the ball.
Cats skipper Todd Lamont said it was a good result for the side, praising the effort of his batsmen who helped post a score over 250 first-up.
“We had a really good opening pair (Slater and Oliver Mahncke),” he said.
“They looked like they would bat the innings, so we were really happy to get 250 on the board.”
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Slater and Mahncke built a steady partnership for the home side, putting on a century stand for the first wicket.
Mahncke (59) was the first to depart with the score on 167 before Slater’s brilliant innings finally came to end when he was dismissed for 112, with Mortlake still in a strong position at 2/193.
Lamont said the pair formed a good combination and were both pretty solid at the crease.
“Shane was probably double Ollie’s score for most of the innings,” he said.
“He probably lifted the run rate up and Ollie just kept knocking it around.
“They complemented each other well.”
Clinton Baker pressed on to make 36 in his innings, with the rest of the Cats batsman falling cheaply, apart from Jimmy Tarbolton (15 not out), finishing on 7/252 from their 50 overs.
The Knights fought back in the final overs, claiming three late wickets, with Mortlake adding a further 12 runs to finish their 50 overs on 7/252.
In reply, Cobden was able to string together several handy partnerships, but never appeared to threaten the Cats score.
Johno Benallack (47), Jackson Rock (39), Kappy McCann (26) and Angus Uwland (21) all made contributions, with the Knights finishing 6/187 from their 50 overs.
Lamont said the Knights appeared to want to try to bat out their innings on a day where wickets were hard to come by.
“Jackson Rock came in and belted them around and got about 30 odd,” he said.
“Other than him, you could probably say they wanted to bat the innings out than get the runs
“But it was also more a batting day than a bowling day.”
Five Mortlake bowlers finished with wickets, with Lehmann (1/22), Cody-Davis (1/23), Baker (1/26), Will Kain (1/26) and McDonald (1/37) sharing the load, while Mahncke picked up with a run-out.
The Cats will again play at home this weekend, taking on Noorat at D.C. Farran Oval, with Lamont unsure what to expect of their opponent after a loss to Heytesbury.
“Their team didn’t look too bad last week when I read it in the paper, but it depends on what team rocks up,” he said.
“Hopefully we get Isaac Wareham back and Neil Kelly, which will strengthen us.
“We’ll just approach the game the same way by trying to make as many runs as possible and bowling them out as cheaply as we can.”
In division two, Mortlake was able to chase down Cobden’s score of 8/141, finishing their 40 overs on 4/150
Triston Gray produced a strong all-round performance taking 4/23 and making an unbeaten 37, while Jason Lehmann also finished 49 not out in the Cats innings.
The side plays Ecklin away this weekend, while division three begins its season against Bookaar at home.