An absolute thriller at Deniliquin’s Memorial Park has enabled Nathalia to pinch top spot on the Murray Valley Cricket Association ladder.
A staggering 26 wickets fell on a second day of play totally dominated by the bowlers — and it was the Purples who came out of the encounter on top.
Resuming at 4-55 chasing Nathalia’s 112, things quickly fell to pieces for the Rhinos.
Luke Carter took four wickets on the first day of play and added three more on day two, removing both not-out batsmen Andrew Hogan and Brad Todd as well as Liam Pitts to leave Deniliquin 7-79.
A run out got rid of Dean Edge before Liam Evans took the final two wickets to complete a brilliant turnaround, the Rhinos all out for 89.
In a second innings, the Purples slumped early with none of their top five batsmen getting to double figures.
Only Luke Quinn would stand up, the number six bat staying strong as the wickets continued to tumble around him, making an unbeaten 29.
The final-wicket partnership added a potentially game-changing 20, taking the Purples to 81 all out in 36 overs.
Remarkably, the Rhinos needed just 105 for victory, but it proved to be a treacherous task on a tough wicket.
And one-upping Carter’s seven first-innings’ wickets was Ash Quinn, who shredded the Deniliquin line-up with 8-33.
The Rhinos had started positively despite losing wickets, 4-61 needing another 45 for the win.
But Quinn took over with five of the last six wickets, Deniliquin losing its last six for 15 runs to be all out for 76 in 21 overs.
The outright win meant Nathalia jumped Barooga for top position, despite Barooga’s comfortable win against Katamatite.
Barooga had the points wrapped up on day one and batted on to make 177, a lead of 100 runs.
Brad Parnell took 5-66 as Katamatite’s best bowler.
Katamatite batted again, making 3-88 in 42 overs with Daniel Gattuso top-scoring with 48.
Cobram eased to a win against Cobram-Yarroweyah United at Cobram Showgrounds.
Resuming at 1-10 chasing Cobram’s 235, United offered little resistance to be bowled out for 91.
Tyron Baden led the way for Cobram with 4-25.
The hosts had another bat, using the remaining 47 overs to make 9-181.
James Daniel top scored with 38, while Manny Artavilla posted 29.
But some intrigue remains in the race for fourth place, after Waaia nailed an outright win against Finley.
Waaia’s bowlers delivered in a big way to bowl Finley out for 83, and after enforcing the follow-on repeated their dominance.
In its second innings, Finley found some more resistance with Russell Stockdale (40) and Daniel McHugh (30) leading their side to 173.
But it wasn’t enough to avoid the outright defeat with Waaia knocking off the needed 17 runs in three overs.
Waaia remains in fifth and 10 points behind Cobram, but would need Finley to beat Cobram and to record an outright win of its own against Deniliquin.