Finley’s Murray Valley Cricket Association Division One side continued their good form with a clinical win over Berrigan last weekend.
Berrigan won the toss and had no hesitation in batting on a hard, flat Berrigan Sportsground pitch.
The Saints got off to a solid start with Andrew Parr and Damien Taylor seeing off the opening combination of Anthony King and Darcy Webb.
The two Finley bowlers had with good line and length, suffocating both batsmen’s scoring ability and had the Cats on top after 10 overs with the score at 0/16.
Both Taylor and Parr continued to plug away at the Cats’ attack until Taylor top edged an Anderson (1/18 off four) delivery and was caught and bowled for seven leaving the Saints 1/35.
Tom Whelan joined Parr in the middle and the two only added another eight runs to the total before Parr (27) was out gloving one down leg side, caught behind off McGrath (1/9 off five).
The Saints were now 2/45 and the quick dismissals opened the flood gates for the Finley bowlers.
Zach Nugent was the next man for the Saints which saw another bowling change with Adnan Malik coming into the attack.
Finley’s bowlers began to strangle the Saints batsmen again with maidens starting to build up.
Three overs after drinks the Finley bowlers started to wreak havoc on the Saints’ batsmen.
Malik was the chief destroyer taking 4/9 off his eight overs.
Archie Mason and Massingham chipped in with two wickets each.
With the score on 51, Nugent was caught at square leg off Malik for three, Whelan caught behind for six off Massingham and Simon Packer bowled for a duck by Malik reducing the Saints to 5/51 after 25 overs.
Fraser Haintz and Graeme Parr were the fresh batsmen for the Saints, however their partnership did not last long with Parr caught for seven off Malik chasing a ball well outside off stump and the Saints were now 6/55.
Brad Loats joined Haintz in the middle getting off the mark with a two, before Malik struck again having him caught behind.
Vidura Gunaratne was the next man in for Berrigan and it was Massingham (2/8 off eight) to strike again clean bowling him for a duck and the Saints were now 8/57 in the 34th over.
John O’Neil joined Haintz in the middle and the two turned ones into twos with their pace between the wicket.
The two added another nine runs to the score before Archie Mason (2/8) claimed his first wicket, picking up Haintz for seven and the Saints were now 9/66.
Matt Whelan was the last batsman in for the Saints and with O’Neil, added another three runs to the score before Mason claimed his second wicket, bowling O’Neil for three and the Saints finished all out for 69 with Whelan not out without scoring.
Chasing small targets can be a problem for cricket teams, however this wasn’t the case for the Cats.
Malik and McGrath took control of the chase and made the Saints’ bowlers pay for any bad balls.
The two punished anything short and wide and made the most of the flat track. The Saints tried everything to try and get a wicket but the Cats batsmen didn’t give up.
Scoring at almost six runs an over Malik and McGrath got the Cats over the line in the 12th over to secure a 10-wicket win.
The win sees the Cats jump into first place on the Division One ladder and secure a semi final spot while the Saints slide to fifth.
Next week the Cats travel to Cobram to take on the Tigers and Saints will play Katunga away.
The Division Two Cats had a tough day at the office against Barooga.
Losing the toss and bowling first Finley’s bowlers had little success against a strong Hawks outfit.
Duncan Clarke (2/37 off seven) and Shadeau Brain (3/44 off six) were the only wicket takers for the Cats with Barooga scoring 215 off their 35 overs.
It was always going to be a difficult chase for the Cats and the aim was to keep Barooga in field for as long as possible.
With wickets falling at regular intervals the Hawks were continuing to maintain control of the game.
Eventually in the 24th the Cats were dismissed for 47, the best of the Cats batsmen being Clarke (14) and Tom Isedale (11).
Division Two host Nathalia on Saturday.