By Tara Murray
Gisborne is fired up for a challenge with the bat in its bid to end Bacchus Marsh’s winning streak in Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup Premier Firsts.
The game between the top two sides is the most evenly poised of the round after day
Dragons coach Glenn Waites said it was a match they had been eagerly anticipating.
The Dragons’ only loss this season was to the Bulls in a one-dayer.
“You’ve got two really good teams,” he said. “The boys were looking forward to enjoying this game – they wanted to see where they are at.”
Waites was happy after day one, his side having restricted the Bulls to 192. In the Bulls’ previous two two-day matches, they scored more than 300 both times.
“It’s a reasonable score, but it’s runs on the board,” Waites said of the Bulls’ total.
He said the Gardiner Reserve pitch had “a bit more” in it than previously.
“Our guys held up really well and kept the pressure on,” he said. There was no more than 10 minutes when we had a bit of a wobble.
“There was a bit of a rear-guard challenge … Brett McGrath batted perfectly.”
McGrath, coming in at No.8, top scored for the Bulls with 65.
The Dragons’ bowlers shared the wickets, with Jason Wilson taking three and Recordo Gordon, Joel Garbutt and Jarryd Vernon taking two wickets each.
Waites believes his side is up to the batting challenge ahead.
“With a day to bat, I would be disappointed if we don’t chase it down,” he said.
“They have a good bowling attack and they will have to bowl well. They will make it hard for us.”
Claiming a win this Saturday would close the gap between the Dragons and the Bulls. A big victory could even see the two sides switch positions.
Waites said they know how important a win is and how it would set up there season.
After this match, only a T20 round is left before the Christmas break.
In other matches, the batsmen dominated.
Wallan produced its best performance of the season in its game against Sunbury United, making 295 on the back of 118 from captain Kieran Atkin.
Romsey skipper Ben Way also had a good day, scoring 102 as his side made 9-301 against Diggers Rest Bulla.
Sunbury’s Craig Ballinger produced the highest score of the day in McIntyre Cup, making 135 as his side hit 8-271 against Woodend.
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