An unbeaten century from coach Paul Marshall has put Mooroopna in a dominant position after its first day of its Haisman Shield A-grade two-day game against Tatura.
Marshall, who made 109 from 142 deliveries, was the stalwart of the Cats’ innings as the Tatura bowling attack failed to make meaningful inroads.
Import opener Will Hale crafted a patient 47 from 103 balls after Mooroopna fell to 2-23 early in the day, but from there it was all the Cats.
Partnerships of 78, 42 and a mammoth 152 followed on the way to an imposing total of 5-302 from the allotted 80 overs.
Captain Andrew Cowen (53) and No.6 Mark Kitto (65) each compiled half-centuries, but it was Marshall who stole the show to effectively take the match away from Tatura and give his side a sniff of a much-needed outright win.
‘‘The most pleasing part of the day was our ability to put big partnerships together after we lost a wicket,’’ Cowen said.
For Tatura no bowler managed to take multiple wickets, with opening bowler Jess Petherick finishing the most economical with figures of 1-32 from his 13 overs.
‘‘The pitch had a bit in it early but once you got in it was nice to bat on,’’ Cowen said.
Despite his side’s dominant batting display, Cowen said an outright victory was far from the Cats’ minds going into next week.
‘‘The message for the boys will be to focus on securing the points, after that we’ll see what happens but you never go into a day thinking you can take 20 wickets,’’ Cowen said.
Tatura captain Tim Kelly was full of praise for his opponents.
‘‘Full credit to Mooroopna, I thought we bowled well and to a plan but they barely gave a chance all day and batted superbly,’’ Kelly said.
Tatura faces an uphill battle to chase down the large total, but Kelly remained optimistic.
‘‘It’ll take our best performance for the year but we’ve definitely got it in us, someone just has to get a big score and the rest bat around him.’’
STATE OF PLAY AFTER DAY ONE
Mooroopna 5-302 (Paul Marshall 109 not out, Mark Kitto 65, Andrew Cowen 53, Jess Petherick 1-32, Tom Vibert, 1-41)
Paul Marshall (Mooroopna): The Cats’ coach was in fine form on day one, hitting an unbeaten 109 and providing a backbone to his side’s big score of 5-302. Was also involved in a massive 152-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Mark Kitto.