Run machine Russell leads Cats to big win

By Daniel Hughes

A mighty century from Cats’ Russell Anderson led the way to a big away win against Cobram on Saturday, February 8 in Division One of the Murray Valley Cricket Association.

Anderson managed to find the boundary on 13 occasions during his knock of 105 runs.

It was his third century with the club having scored 110 not out against Barooga in the 2010/2011 season, before achieving another ton the following season with 136 not out against Tocumwal.

“It didn’t sink in until the end of the game,” Anderson said.

“We needed to get the win first or it wouldn’t have been worth it.

“That’s what it’s all about, getting the win was more important.”

Despite losing the toss the Cats were sent in to bat on a batting friendly pitch.

Anderson and Matt Wilson (11) got Finley off to a solid start.

The opening pair pushed the ball into gaps and punished any loose balls, getting out to a quick 30 runs within the first six overs.

Wilson was sent back to the sheds soon after however, falling to a Bryan Eddy catch at point off the bowling of Jon Frankel (1/30 off eight) in the seventh.

This begun a grueling 138 run second wicket partnership between Anderson and Dan Hughes (55).

Anderson did a lot of the damage in the partnership with punishing stroke play over the infield to blast 13 fours for his innings.

After returning from holiday, Hughes’ first half century for the season was overshadowed by his seemingly lack of form with the bat that saw almost as many edges as runs scored.

In a six bowler attack from Cobram, the Tigers did their best to break the partnership, with Frankel, Andrew Hogan, Wade Sullivan and Doug Edwards Jnr all bowling the maximum eight overs.

As the pair looked on the side of worse for wear with both batsmen dealing with their own injuries, the partnership continued to grow into the later overs of the innings.

Hughes eventually fell to a lofted drive that did not find the middle against the bowling of Brodie Seccull (2/23 off three) with single digit overs left to bring in Ben Spence (eight) for his second innings of the season.

The third wicket pair saw out the remaining overs which included the raising of the bat for Anderson's well deserved century.

Anderson fell to an attempted loft shot on the last ball of the innings to Seccull, with Finley going into the sheds at 3/188 off 40.

Defending a big total, Cats opening bowler Bailey Coombs (2/31 off seven) ensured that he made a difficult task for Cobram, dismissing Bryan Eddy (0) on just the second ball of the innings, the ball nearly ripping out off stump.

Brett Gallagher (12) and Albert Zito (16) did their best to get things back on track, before Coombs dismissed Gallagher off a solid catch at mid-off from Wilson.

Zito and Hogan (35) proceeded to put on a solid 39 run partnership which looked dangerous to the Cats’ defending efforts before the athletic Andrew King broke the pair with a safe catch taken by Coombs.

Newly appointed captain Murray Urquhart (4/17 off eight) looked to play his part for the Cats who struck at the heart of the Tigers run chase, taking the prize wicket of Hogan off a screaming one handed take from young-gun Archie Mason.

The next three wickets were taken within just 19 runs of each other, Wilson taking his second catch of the match off the bowling of Urquhart, Adnan Malik's darty off-spin earning him a clean bowled wicket and Urquhart striking again by sending the bails flying.

Tigers’ Edwards offered some late game resilience top scoring with 36 but fell to a miss-communication between the wickets.

Late call-up of youngster Harrison King, in his first Division One game for the year, got the kind run out from a throw at long-on.

Cobram managed to stick around until the end of their 40 overs, finishing at 9/155.

The Cats have now leaped into third position and with only three rounds left.

They will look to solidify their semi-finals appearance in their first pink ball match of the season, with a twilight clash against sixth ranked Barooga at Barooga Recreation Reserve.