REIGNING premier Mandurang responded to its first loss of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season by smashing 9-370 against Axe Creek on Saturday.
A week after struggling with the bat against United, the Rangas’ top-order fired against the Cowboys, with four of their top-five batsmen making half-centuries.
The run-spree was led by in-form captain Warrick Behrens (90 n.o.), opener Cain Ladiges (80), Ben Rodda (73) and former skipper Leigh Haw (59).
The innings included a 96-run partnership for the second wicket between Ladiges and Rodda, and 127 for the third wicket between Rodda and Haw.
While it was a dominant performance by the Rangas, the day had got off to a shaky start when opener Rhys Williams (0) was dismissed without a run scored.
There was also a stage when the Cowboys picked up 4-21 mid-innings, but by then the Rangas already had more than 220 on the board and were well on the way to their big score.
Travis Nolan (2-64) and Jamie Morgan (2-66) took two wickets each for Axe Creek.
● Emu Creek’s Tim Hobbs scored a century against Maiden Gully.
Hobbs compiled 122 in Emu Creek’s 8-364 off 75 overs.
Emu Creek had been under pressure at 2-29 after Maiden Gully’s Rob Brown dismissed openers Brad Rowe (8) and Daniel Chamberlain (12).
However, a 134-run partnership for the second wicket between Hobbs and previous round century-maker Simon Marwood (49) put Emu Creek back in control.
Hobbs is having a superb season for Emu Creek, having made scores of 122, 97 and 72 among his four innings.
Also batting well for Emu Creek, which after finishing bottom last season will reach the Christmas break entrenched in the top four, was Shane Hamilton (68).
Brown finished with 3-111 for Maiden Gully, while Mark Roberts, the sixth bowler used, took 5-95 off 25 overs.
● After making 467 runs against Spring Gully last round, Marong found the going much tougher against United.
The Panthers could muster just 184 in what was a battle of two sides in the top four.
Marong got off to a solid start when it was 1-82, before the Tigers were able to take regular wickets for the rest of the innings.
Seven Marong batsmen made double figures, but none cashed in with a big score.
Coming off an unbeaten 283 in his last innings, Scott Ross scored 36 to be the best of the Panthers’ batsmen.
United recruit Rod Smyth showed his class by taking 5-40 off 16.4 overs.
● Spring Gully has given itself a chance of winning its first game of the season by making 234 against Sedgwick. Some familiar faces lined up for the Crows, with Andrew Curran making 69 and Scott Gray scoring 16.
Opener Des Gilmore played a solid innings at the top of the order for the Crows in making 44, while Shaun Makepeace made 34.
Jordan Knight (3-25) and wily veteran Scott McKenzie (3-37) took three wickets each for the Rams.