Karramomus has simplified the Haisman Shield finals equation after successfully negotiating a tricky chase against Tatura on Saturday.
If the Bloods beat Numurkah in the last round starting on Saturday, they are virtually guaranteed a chance to play finals, with the Blues and fellow challengers Kyabram and Northeners six points behind.
Tatura did its best to send a scare through the Karramomus camp after reducing it to 4-56, but opener Rob Salter held his nerve while wickets fell at the other end to anchor the Bloods’ innings.
‘‘We were definitely worried at one point there, they (Tatura) were bowling really well and there was a bit in the pitch so it wasn’t easy to get runs,’’ Bloods captain Jason Ibbotson said.
‘‘We were lucky that Rob dug in, it wasn’t an easy day with the weather and he showed great character to lead from the front.’’
Salter’s 61-run, 135-ball and 193 minute resistance came to an end with 35 still required for victory, but wicketkeeper Luke Forge (34 not out) and Paul Trevaskis (17 not out) ensured he was the last man to fall as they steered the total to 6-175.
The Bloods only batted 55 overs, citing the conditions as the main reason for not pushing onwards to get some practice in.
‘‘If the heat wasn’t a factor we would’ve batted on, but it didn’t seem right in the spirit of cricket to keep going,’’ Ibbotson said.
‘‘It was about five o’clock by the time we got through 50 odd overs anyway due to extra drinks breaks, so I thought everyone was pretty much done.’’
Zavier Ballis and Jess Petherick were the pick of the bowlers for Tatura, taking 2-36 and 3-55 respectively in the extreme conditions.
‘‘I was really happy with the overall performance, the boys bowled good areas at a good pace,’’ Tatura captain Tim Kelly said.
‘‘In the end we just didn’t have enough runs on the board, which meant we couldn’t build enough pressure.’’
The Bloods are certainly happy their finals destiny is in their own hands.
‘‘It’s pleasing that we’re getting a side together and really starting to play some good cricket,’’ Ibbotson said.
‘‘But we know we still have to win next week to make sure of it (finals).’’
Meanwhile, Tatura has one last chance to engineer another victory for the season when it travels to face Old Students in the final round.
‘‘We’ve invested heavily in the kids, we’ve got four under 20, and there’s been a lot of improvement and belief there,’’ Kelly said.
‘‘We’re rapt with the bowling progress and the aim is to put it all together and hopefully get that win.’’
Tatura 165 (Mathew Cornwall 45, Thomas Miller 39, Mitch McGrath 4-19, Stuart Turner 3-27) lost to Karramomus 6-175 (Rob Salter 61, Luke Forge 34 not out, Jess Petherick 3-55, Zavier Ballis 2-36).
Rob Salter (Karramomus): The Bloods opener defied a juicy pitch, extreme heat, sluggish outfield and tight bowling to resolutely park himself at one end in the successful chase. Salter’s 61 came from 135 deliveries and more than three hours at the crease and was crucial in catapulting Karramomus into sixth spot on the ladder.