Second spot on the Murray Valley Cricket Association ladder could be up for grabs when Nathalia’s round 13 match with Deniliquin Rhinos resumes tomorrow.
The Rhinos excelled on day one, bowling their opponent out for 112 thanks to destructive displays from Andrew Hogan (4-29) and Anthony Bradley (4-40).
But in response, late wickets meant they will still need 58 runs on day two to claim the points, resuming at 4-55.
Hogan and Brad Todd are the not out batsmen, with a partnership between the two critical.
Hogan particularly has had a stunning campaign with 488 runs at an average of 69.7, meaning his side’s fate will be greatly influenced by his ability to produce another monster score.
The all-rounder could not be denied in the round seven meeting between the sides, making an unbeaten 60.
Luke Carter’s four wickets on day one gave Nathalia hope and it will look to him again to boost the team’s chances.
Fellow opening bowler Ash Quinn will also be key after a sensational season with 35 wickets at a strong average of 6.6.
The Rhinos sit third on the table, seven points back from Nathalia with one game to come after this weekend before finals.
Both sides are gunning for top side Barooga, but the league leader has already locked up the points in its clash with Katamatite.
Katamatite was swept aside last weekend, knocked over for 77 with Barooga racing to 3-78 at stumps.
Only an outright result is still to play for, with Barooga’s middle-order surely in search of some quick runs early on day two before having another crack with the ball.
At Cobram, the hosts are in the box seat against cross-town rival Cobram-Yarroweyah United.
Cobram made 235 in 70 overs last weekend and picked up CYU opener Brett Andrew before stumps.
CYU is 1-10 and in trouble.
Waaia is in a similar position against Finley, with 240 on the board from last week thanks to Mitch Cleeland’s unbeaten 116.
Finley lost two key wickets before stumps with Daniel Hibberd and Chris Shaw back in the sheds, still needing 207 runs to take the points.
While mathematically possible fifth-placed Waaia could break into the finals picture, it seems unlikely given Cobram’s strong position against CYU.