Pruden, Cline hold nerve to clinch chase

November 20, 2017

Numurkah had to dig deep for Haisman Shield win number five on Saturday.

Numurkah had to dig deep for Haisman Shield win number five on Saturday.

After skittling Kyabram for just 118, the Blues nearly fell short of their chasing target after losing their seventh wicket with 22 runs still required.

But James Pruden (five not out) and Andrew Cline (15 not out) stood tall to steer the home side over the line with less than three overs remaining in the contest.

Tim Braybon had wreaked havoc throughout Kyabram’s batting order, taking 5-18 from 9.1 overs by moving the ball late in its trajectory time and again.

Redbacks captain Alec Young (36) and opener Billy McLay (22) showed the most resistance with the bat, but the rest of their teammates failed to reach double figures.

It was the first time for McLay, 17, at the top of the order and coach Glenn Hart was impressed with his resolve.

‘‘It was his first time opening and he really stuck around and put a value on his wicket,’’ Hart said.

Numurkah also struggled to get going at the crease, but strong contributions — in the context of this clash at least — from Shaun Downie (34) and Jahlan Lau (24) helped set up the platform their side needed to claim victory.

‘‘The top six are looking to make sure when they get a chance they cash in and there are positive signs,’’ Numurkah captain Liam Gledhill said.

‘‘It was good for Downie, he’s batting well and threatening to go large, so it’s going to happen sooner or later.’’

The news will only get better for Blues fans, with South African import Michael Eckard set to play for the club next week and fast bowler Tim Arnel also slated to return to the field against Old Students.

‘‘We’re looking forward to a couple of big ins,’’ Gledhill said.

‘‘(Eckard) bats in the top four and bowls offies, so he’ll be a good addition and Timmy Arnel will be back as well.’’

For the Redbacks it is a case of putting another poor batting performance behind them and preparing to tackle Katandra on the rebound.

‘‘Again the batsmen have let us down, it’s frustrating because it’s an all-too common theme at the moment,’’ Hart said.

‘‘It’s disappointing, but we have to move on, Katandra will be tough.’’

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