Cats batting woes continue

By Daniel Hughes

A below par performance in the field and with the bat from Finley saw a visiting Katunga side score a big win on Saturday.

The Murray Valley Cricket Association Division One clash was the last game for the Cats this year, with the result arguably one of their worst for the season.

After losing the toss and being sent in to field, the Cats dominated the first passage of play, with the Swans heading into the drinks break 5/60.

Katunga's top order failed to produce any worrying partnerships before Adam Cook (69 runs) and Toby Miles (34) stepped onto the crease.

The 67 run sixth wicket partnership came to an end at the fall of Miles, however the away side were back in the driver's seat, at 6/127 with eight overs remaining.

During this illustrious partnership, the Cats’ fielding standards fell with three dropped catches and an array of misfields leading to extra runs.

At the loss of only two more wickets in the last eight overs, Katunga were able to pour on another 56 quick runs.

Darcy Webb (3/27 off eight) and Murray Urquhart (3/57 off eight) were the notable wicket takers on the day however, all eight bowlers used contributed to a total of 16 wides on the day, giving the bowling line-up plenty to work on during mid-season break.

Having to chase 183 in 40 overs, the Cats went in with a big task on their hands, and after losing captain Cougar McGrath (five) and opener Matthew Wilson (0) in the first four overs leaving the score 2/14.

Dan Hughes (37) and Murray Urquhart (21) came to the crease and put on a short 34 run partnership before Urquhart, whose big hitting 21 came in five boundaries and a single, fell to a Zac Dixon catch in the deep, bowled by Shaun McAllister (4/15 off eight).

Ian Swain (13) entered to provide support to Hughes, the pair able to put on an extra 21 before the break.

Shortly after the break, Swain, Adnan Malik (one), Damon Anderson (one) and Hughes all lost their wickets within four overs of each other.

After the Cats’ top and middle order who all failed to perform as needed, the Cats tail end was cleaned up in the next six overs, with the home side all out for 105.

The Cats will regroup over the break and hone in to what needs to be improved with a hope to keep themselves in a good position to reach the finals for a second year in a row.