The Deniliquin Rhinos’ season balances on a knife edge after a thrilling first day of play where 17 wickets fell.
After winning the toss and batting against Katamatite, the fifth-placed Rhinos crumbled to all out for 122 in just 34.2 overs thanks to some brilliant bowling from Brad Parnell.
The opening bowler cut through the Rhinos, taking 5-27 from 12 overs to seemingly drive a stake through their Murray Valley premier division finals aspirations.
Rhino Andrew Hogan had something to say about that, though.
Hogan did all but breathe fire with ball in hand, reducing Katamatite to 6-23 at one stage with figures of 4-18 from 13 overs, including six maidens.
If it was not for Tom Pendlebury’s hard-fought 37, this match would likely already be over.
Pendlebury combined well with Lachlan Sharp (17 not out) for a 44-run partnership before perishing late in the day to leave the game poised tantalisingly with Katamatite 7-71 from 45 overs and still needing 52 for victory.
Meanwhile, Cobram has already taken first innings points against Katunga and is in a great position to push for an outright victory when play resumes.
Nicholas Hoban was the pick of the bowlers for the home side with his 3-16 helping bowl Katunga out for a paltry 86.
In reply, Adam Wiffen (42) and Izac Artavilla (32) remain not out overnight as Cobram reached the target with eight wickets in hand.
The second-placed Tigers will resume on 2-104 looking for quick runs to inflict more pain on their opponents.
In a clash of finals bound sides, Nathalia batted first against top side Barooga and piled on 242 runs thanks largely to a 112-run partnership between Luke Carter (65) and Luke Quinn (63).
Joel Cahir led the bowling fightback for Barooga, helping to reduce Nathalia from 3-171 to 6-171 with two quick wickets in his 4-45.
Waaia has taken complete control of the final match of the round against Cobram-Yarroweyah United as it hopes to cement fourth spot on the ladder.
Matthew Stuart’s 4-30 reduced United to all out for 96 in 51 overs before Waaia’s top order scored at more than five an over to help it reach 2-154 at stumps.
Openers Greg Meyland (52) and Michael Mitchell (43 not out) did the damage with the willow.