A BRILLIANT 120 from Cam Taylor was the catalyst for Bendigo's stunning win over Sale-Maffra on day two of Melbourne Country Week.
Needing to win to keep its finals hopes alive, Bendigo reeled in Sale-Maffra's imposing total of 8-271 at Princes Park in Carlton.
Taylor's unbeaten 120 came off 114 balls and included 10 fours and two sixes.
He put on a match-winning fourth-wicket partnership of 171 with skipper Linton Jacobs.
Jacobs made 73 off 98 balls, including three fours.
They came together with Bendigo in a spot of trouble at 3-53 after the early wickets of Mick Hanson (2), Travis King (22) and Isaac Conway (14).
When Jacobs was dimissed Bendigo still required 50 runs off the final eight overs.
Adrian Pappin eased the nerves with a quickfire 17 off 10 balls, before Ben DeAraugo (19 off 19 balls) and Taylor combined to see Bendigo over the line.
Bendigo finished with 5-280 off its 50 overs.
Earlier, Bendigo looked to have the game in control when Sale slumped to 6-79.
However, a brilliant 109-run partnership between Jon Cheer (126 not out) and Matt Doswett (78 off 42 balls) allowed Sale to surge to 8-271.
Adam Burns (2-15 off 10) bowled his overs in one spell at the start of the innings.
Ben DeAraugo and Sam Johnston also picked up two wickets.
Bendigo is in third place on the ladder, just seven runs behind Geelong.
Top side Mornington is the only unbeaten team, with Geelong, Bendigo, Sale-Maffra, Murray Valley, South West and Bairnsdale all on one win each.
Bendigo plays bottom side Leongatha on Wednesday, before facing Mornington on Thursday.
The top two teams clash in the grand final at the MCG on Friday.