Kyle Mueller makes it back-to-back centuries

By Alex Mitchell

Kyabram captain Kyle Mueller continued to roll as the Haisman Shield’s hottest batsman, walloping Old Student bowlers to all parts of Kialla Park in making the season’s highest individual score.

Mueller smashed a huge 146 including 18 fours and a six, passing Karramomus’ Luke Forge’s previous highest mark of 136 not out, made in round two against Mooroopna.

It helped the Redbacks to a commanding total of 287, bowled out in the closing overs of the innings.

The innings effectively ended the Students’ chances of playing finals, having entered the round needing an outright victory to jump their opposition into sixth.

It means they will have missed finals in consecutive seasons after winning the 2016-17 Haisman Shield from sixth on the ladder.

But for Redbacks captain Mueller, it was the final step of the tightrope his side has walked since a 1-4 start to the season, entering the weekend riding a five-match win streak.

‘‘It was good to see the team going all right,’’ Mueller said.

‘‘The key was just batting for a bit of time, we just got through as many overs as we could and after tea it was a bit easier for the batsmen.

‘‘We’ve been trying to build for the last month really. We’ve pretty much had to win every game since Christmas to play finals and we’ve done that so far. We’ll just keep trying to build from here.’’

Mueller entered at 2-24 after Troy Thomson (seven) and Jackson McLay (five) fell early, and along with Billy McLay, the duo got things moving quickly.

‘‘It wasn’t too bad, it was nice to get away a bit and bat for so long,’’ Mueller said.

‘‘It was just about buying time so we could regroup. We always work on not losing wickets in clumps, that was important for us.

‘‘We just had to bite the bullet a bit and stay out there for as long as we could and see what happened.’’

It turned into another huge day for the skipper, backing up the previous weekend’s 101 not out with another ton, taking his run tally to 443 for the year at an impressive average of 63.3.

But just as important for Mueller — and the Redbacks in general — was brother Cade’s 65, his highest score of the campaign by some distance.

Heading into the game, Cade had compiled just 103 runs at 12.9, which the skipper knew was a long way off his best.

‘‘He’s starting to hit some form, he’s been working really hard in the last month to get back on track,’’ Kyle said.

‘‘It was definitely a bit better performance from him, but it was just nice to get the chance to bat with my brother for so long.’’

For the Students, Felix Odell was the best performer, claiming 4-44 including the prized scalp of Mueller.

The 2014 Lightfoot medallist Nick Breslin delivered on his enormous talent, picking up two wickets.