Katandra will enter day two of its clash against Old Students needing just 59 runs to secure a home final.
The Eagles put in an outstanding bowling performance to dismiss the Students for just 94 in the second rematch of last season’s Haisman Shield grand final before reaching 1-36 at stumps.
The Students won the toss and batted first at Katandra Recreation Reserve, but lost wickets at regular intervals throughout their innings - which lasted just 58 overs.
Gino Saracino (21) and import Faisal Khan (22) provided the only scoring impetus of any note for the away side, although most of their line-up was able to defend well while at the crease.
The pressure put on by Katandra’s bowlers was highlighted by the 22 maidens the group sent down, allowing Corey Hickford (3-15 from 12 overs), Chris Skolyarev (2-10 from nine) and Hadleigh Sirett (2-26) to cash in with multiple wickets throughout the innings.
‘‘We bowled well as a unit which was really good,’’ Eagles captain Jedd Wright said.
‘‘We always talk about building pressure and being able to bowl over 20 maidens really helped us do that.’’
Katandra coach Ben Clurey was the only man to fall before stumps, making 16 from 38 deliveries before Ranji Thirachchelvan claimed his wicket.
Skolyarev (12 not out) and Luke Nolan (seven not out) will resume proceedings on the final day of the regular season with the goal of facing another 80 overs and tuning up well for what the Eagles hope is a deep finals campaign.
‘‘That’s the plan,’’ Wright said.
‘‘Obviously we still have to focus on winning the game first, but if we can do that then hopefully we can bat out our 80 overs.
‘‘We’ll be looking to make as many 50-run partnerships as we can to be able to bat all day.’’
Meanwhile, the Students must make early inroads next week if they are going to be any chance of rising from the bottom of the table.
Young-gun Connor Hangan (0-12) bowled well during his six overs on Saturday and will be looking for more reward on day two, while Gerald Sabri has not yet conceded a run after sending down three maidens before stumps.