Sitting pretty

By Southern Riverina News

The decision to drop from Premier Division to Division One in the Murray Valley Cricket Association seems to have paid off for Finley.

The Cats sit second on the ladder behind the undefeated Katunga with six wins from eight matches, after going winless in the 2017/18 season.

Finley are two wins ahead of third place Berrigan with four wins.

Club president Matt Whitty said the club has performed above expectation.

‘‘So far we’re going well,’’ he said.

‘‘The boys are enjoying their cricket and winning games helps with that.

‘‘To be sitting second on the ladder at this point of the season is an extremely good effort,’’ Whitty said.

Leading the way with the bat had been Adnan Malik with 184 runs in five matches, plus captain Cougar McGrath has scored 186 runs from six games.

Veterans Russell Anderson and Paul Massingham are averaging about 25 runs per innings.

Anthony King has also led the way with the ball claiming 15 wickets with an average of 8.73. King is the third highest wicket taker in Division One behind Berrigan’s Damien Taylor (16) and Katunga’s Toby Miles (24).

King is ably assisted by quality bowling from Darcy Webb (12), McGrath (11), Massingham (11) and Damon Anderson (10).

Whitty said the highlight for the season was the round three match against Berrigan played under lights.

In a thrilling match, the Cats batted first scoring 205 in the 40 overs with Malik scoring 52 and McGrath getting agonisingly close to a century with 96.

In reply it was the Berrigan opening pair of Zach Nugent and Andrew Parr who put on a 92 run partnership but it didn’t phase Finley who managed to hold Berrigan to 194 after 40 overs.

‘‘The way both teams played was really special,’’ Whitty said.

‘‘It was a tight game and it was a joy to walk away with the points.

‘‘Unfortunately we lost veteran Ian Armer through injury in the game,’’ Whitty said.

The team will be hoping to get off to a strong start when the season resumes this Saturday against seventh placed Deniliquin Rhinos.

Whitty said he is expecting an ‘‘arm wrestle’’ between the two sides.

‘‘Last time we played Deni they had a few guys missing, so with a full strength squad they will be tough to beat.’’