Emu Creek and Mandurang’s battle for second spot is in the balance halfway through round eight in the Emu Valley Cricket Association.
After winning the toss at J.G. Edwards Oval, the Emus sent second-placed Mandurang in to bat and the visitors scored 9-260 declared from 59.1 overs.
Opening batsman Matthew Giri smashed 114 for the reigning premiers in his first division one match this season.
Giri had a solid opening partnership of 49 with Rhys Williams (15), before putting on 95 with Ben Rodda (26) and 40 with Leigh Haw (26).
Giri, who in round six made 124 in division two in his only other match this season, was the third man out with the score at 184.
Skipper Warrick Behrens added 37 to take the score to 5-230 before Mandurang lost its next four wickets for 30 runs.
Andrew Harris bowled superbly for the Emus, taking 6-51 from 13 overs, and opening bowler Simon Marwood picked up 2-36 off 14.1 overs with four maidens.
Emu Creek opening batsman Shane Hamilton got his side off to a flying start in the run-chase, scoring 39 of his team’s 0-45 from nine overs before stumps.
Sedgwick’s bowlers have the chance to deliver an upset win against the ladder-leading United after its batsmen posted a competitive 196 at Ewing Park.
United sent the Rams in and had the visitors in trouble at 6-98, before number seven Michael Frilay struck with 64.
Frilay had great support from number eight Steven Pope (30 not out) in a 88-run partnership for the seventh wicket, until Frilay became Lachlan Shawyer’s fifth wicket with the score at 186.
Shawyer took 5-46 from 16 overs, which included four maiden, and while new-ball partner Alexander Collins cleaned-up the final three wickets to finish with 4-47 from 15.1 overs.
Sedgwick’s Leigh Gorrie struck early in United’s innings to leave the home team at 1-12 in reply.
Top-four aspirants Marong and Axe Creek are evenly placed in their clash at Longlea Oval.
Marong’s Richard Murphy made the most of his side being sent in to bat by compiling 128 to lead his team to 234 from just 49.2 overs.
In reply, Axe Creek is 2-69 from 14 overs.
After going to the crease with Marong on 3-40, Murphy blasted his team out of trouble and was the only player to score more than 20 runs.
Anthony Rogers struck two early blows by removing both of Marong’s openers to finish with 2-12 from seven overs, while Travis Nolan claimed three lower-order wickets to end with 3-40 from his 13 overs.
Rob Fisher claimed 2-8 from 2.2 overs, before being not out 19, with fellow opener Rogers (31) as the Cowboys reached 2-69 at stumps.
Second-bottom team Spring Gully recovered from being 3-7 to post 171 against fourth-placed West Bendigo.
Spring Gully lost openers Shaun Makepeace and Jarrod Quirk for ducks at Ken Wust Oval, with number three Deepam Shah dismissed for two.
But captain Ricky Mannix (57) and Scott Gray (64) pulled the Crows out of trouble with a 105-run stand for the fourth-wicket.
The duo were the only players to score double figures for the Crows, which slumped from 3-112 to all out 171.
Four bowlers picked up two wickets for the Redbacks, which is 2-28 in its run-chase.
Maiden Gully heaped more misery on bottom team Golden Gully, amassing 7-337 from its 75 overs at California Gully Oval.
Opening batsman Brenden Pearce smashed 111 and opening partner Craig Green hit 86 after being sent in to bat.
Cobras captain Seb Olle toiled to take 2-69 from 17 overs, while Paul Barber was the only other multiple wicket-taker as he finished with 2-74 from 14 overs.