Another dominant performance from Nagambie captain Mark Nolan drove the Lakers to a commanding position against Tatura in Saturday’s Haisman Shield clash.
Nolan proved unstoppable with the ball, helping himself to 6-32 to skittle Tatura for 140 as the Lakers continued to prove one of the competition’s true contenders.
In minutes, Tatura was in a world of trouble after Michael Archer and Mat Cornwall fell with the score at just two, with captain Tim Kelly joining them back in the sheds at 3-13.
Jayden Armstrong led the resistance with 58 and found help down the order, but Nolan knew his side ended the day well-positioned.
‘‘It was a pretty good all-round performance with the ball, we let them get away a bit at the end, but to hold them to 140 was good and we’re pretty happy with it,’’ Nolan said.
‘‘We just bowled tight all day and built pressure, in the end they played a couple of false shots and we were able to take our chances.’’
At 7-55, Tatura faced a genuine crisis while Nolan and his side were licking their lips at the thought of keeping the total to less than 100, before late contributions from teens Raj Singh (18 runs), Blake Armstrong (11) and Bailey Archer (eight not out) helped the side nearly bat out the 80 overs.
‘‘We were hoping to get them for a few less at that stage, but they put on a really good partnership before tea,’’ Nolan said.
‘‘They were really hot conditions and we struggled a bit in the lead-up to tea, but after the break we picked it up again and got the rest.’’
Tatura’s Kelly — encouraged by his young players’ fight — said Armstrong’s strong half-century had kept his side in with some sort of winning chance.
‘‘It’s not as many runs as we would have liked, we were in real trouble there for the first half-an-hour,’’ Kelly said.
‘‘I was really happy with how we almost batted out the overs, a few of our younger guys stood up, it was a really gutsy effort.
‘‘Jayden was in inside three overs, he’s been promoted up the order after making a few runs further down. He took that opportunity with both hands, it was his first half-century in A-grade and we were rapt with how he went, he shows plenty of promise with the bat.’’
Kelly said early wickets — particularly that of Nolan — would be a must should his side pull off the upset on day two.
STATE OF PLAY
Tatura 140 (Jayden Armstong 58, Rajiv Singh 18, Mark Nolan 6-32) v Nagambie 0-1
Mark Nolan (Nagambie): Continued to make his case as the competition’s best all-rounder, claiming six wickets including the vital Tatura top three of Archer, Kelly and Cornwall. Took his tally to 19 wickets at 10.4 this season.