The Deni Rhinos have jumped up to second on the Murray Valley Cricket Association Premier Grade ladder following a dominant win at home.
The Rhinos made light work of the visiting Tocumwal side at Memorial Park, keeping the Bloods to 9/117 from their 45 overs.
A 44 run-stand by opening batsman Dean Edge, who hit eight boundaries, saw the home side storm to victory, with Deni chasing down the meagre total in 19.4 overs.
Rhinos skipper Brad Todd said that the win made up for last year’s shock loss to the Bloods, where Tocumwal upset Deni in the final round of the season.
‘‘I did mention at the start of the game that they did beat us last year before the finals, so we needed to be on our game otherwise the same thing could happen again,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m not sure whether that had too much to do with our performance but it was nice to knock them off and get another win.
‘‘Our fielding was a lot better than the game against CYU, we didn’t get a wicket until Ben Irwin had a direct hit from mid-off to dismiss Dan Hibberd.
‘‘After he was out, our bowlers kept the pressure on and didn’t give away too many bad balls and kept taking wickets along the way.
‘‘Evan Pocock bowled well taking three wickets for 17 runs, while Brodie Bennett (1/22 off nine) opened the bowling for the first time this year and bowled his nine straight with good control.
‘‘Dylan Rotherham (0/16 off seven) came on at first change and was quite economical only going for a bit over two an over.’’
Todd also performed well with the ball, taking 3/26 off his nine overs.
With a small target to chase down the Rhinos started scoring quickly with Edge and Todd (seven) pushing the score to 38 before the latter was caught.
Brodie Bennett (21) joined Edge in the middle as the pair continued to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
After a 41 run partnership, Edge’s bails were sent flying to have the Rhinos at 2/79.
Bennett managed two ‘fours’ and one ‘six’ before he was trapped in front, leaving Andrew Hogan and Liam Pitts in the middle.
Pitts (five) was caught soon after however as a mini collapse saw the home side at 4/96.
Hogan had other plans however, hitting five boundaries to finish 26 not out, to help steer the Rhinos home after 19.4 overs, with Ben Irwin finishing not out on zero.
‘‘We didn’t have any real plan with the small target, we just didn’t want to lose too many wickets up front to give Toc any chance,’’ Todd said.
‘‘I was out early which wasn’t great, but Dean, Brodie and Hoges (Hogan) ended up getting the job done for us in the end.
‘‘Dean has given the side runs up front for the past couple of games, and got us off to a great start.
‘‘Hopefully he can continue this through the remaining couple of one day games and keep getting us the starts we need.’’
The win saw the Rhinos finish the round second on the ladder.
Deni have another week off this week however, with Todd saying the bye is poorly timed for his side.
‘‘It’s not ideal playing one week then missing the next like we have done for the past couple of weeks, but we are currently sitting in second spot with three wins and one loss,’’ he said.
‘‘Hopefully we can perform next up against Nathalia over there after the bye and consolidate our spot in the top half of the ladder.’’