Mandurang primed for shot at EVCA flag against Golden Gully

UP AND ABOUT: Mandurang will be hoping there's plenty to high-five about this weekend in the EVCA grand final. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
UP AND ABOUT: Mandurang will be hoping there's plenty to high-five about this weekend in the EVCA grand final. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

A PAIR of cut-throat victories in its past two games has Mandurang primed and in its best form of the season heading into this weekend’s Emu Valley Cricket Association grand final.

The Rangas will meet Golden Gully for the EVCA flag at Ewing Park, qualifying for a shot at the premiership after toppling ladder-leader United in last weekend’s semi-final.

The previous week the Rangas comfortably defeated Spring Gully in the final round in what was an all-or-nothing clash for both teams where the winner would play finals, while it would be curtains for the loser.

While their past two wins have combined to create this weekend’s grand final opportunity, the Rangas’ journey to the flag decider also received a lucky break when they were awarded 12 points last month after a Maiden Gully team sheet error against them in December was discovered.

Without receiving the 12 points, the Rangas wouldn’t have made the finals after they only scraped into the top four ahead of Spring Gully by 3.09 points. 

“We’ve moved on from what happened there… it was a bit of a luck for us, but as a club we’ve put in a lot of work to get a good side together after we lost a few players from last year,” Rangas’ co captain-coach Matt Pask said this week.

“In the last round we needed to beat Spring Gully to make the finals and the way we did that was really pleasing, and we’ve got the attitude in the finals that if we stick to our plans and play the sort of cricket we’ve been playing late in the season then we’ll give ourselves every chance.

EXPLOSIVE: Mandurang opening batsman Matt Giri has blasted 691 runs, including two centuries this season. Picture: DARREN HOWE

EXPLOSIVE: Mandurang opening batsman Matt Giri has blasted 691 runs, including two centuries this season. Picture: DARREN HOWE

“We feel we’re playing our best cricket at the moment… the bowlers are doing the job, the fielders are jumping on everything and with the batting, we’d probably like one or two more to stand up.”

Explosive opener Matt Giri (691 runs) and Pask (528) – who is coming off knocks of 95 and 84 the past two games – have been the two most consistent batsmen for the Rangas, both averaging above 50 and combining for 1219 runs.

Luke Rafferty (293) is the only other Mandurang player to have made more than 200 runs.

With the ball, co captain-coach James Pietromonaco has been superb.

Not only has he taken 34 wickets at an average of 9.79, but Pietromonaco has an economy rate of just 1.89 from 176 overs.

Clinton Botham (29) has also had a fine season with the ball, particularly since the Christmas-New Year break.

ALL-ROUNDER: Cain Ladiges has combined 190 runs with 15 wickets for Mandurang this season. Picture: DARREN HOWE

ALL-ROUNDER: Cain Ladiges has combined 190 runs with 15 wickets for Mandurang this season. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Since the resumption of the season Botham has picked up 21 scalps, including three five-wicket hauls.

All-rounder Michael Healy, who played his first game of the season last week, showed how valuable an inclusion he is with 4-62 against United, while the Rangas also have the likes of Cain Ladiges and the returning Phil Berry who can have an impact with bat and ball.

This weekend will be the fifth grand final the Rangas have played in during their nine seasons since returning to division one in 2009-10.

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SEASON RESULTS:

Rd 2: 6-346 def West Bendigo 70 & 5-82

Rd 3: 282 lt Sedgwick 9-289

Rd 4: 9-246 lt Golden Gully 7-284

Rd 5: 9-292 def Emu Creek 174

Rd 6: 139 lt Maiden Gully 143 (awarded points)

Rd 7: Bye

Rd 8: 8-356 def West Bendigo 54

Rd 1: 9-191 lt Maiden Gully 7-243

Rd 9: 3-102 def Marong 90 & 143

Rd 10: Bye

Rd 11: 181 lt United 184

Rd 12: 208 & 5-101 def Spring Gully 130 & 4-191

SF: 232 def United 212

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PLAYER STATS:

JAMES PIETROMONACO

Runs: 131 Avr: 16.3

Wkts: 34 Avr: 9.7

Fielding: 4/0

Rank points: 851

………………………………

MATT PASK

Runs: 528 Avr: 52.8

Wkts: 5 Avr: 27.0

Fielding: 8/0

Rank points: 708

………………………………

WILL ANDERSON

Runs: 28 Avr: 4.6

Fielding: 3/1

Rank points: 73

………………………………

PHIL BERRY

Runs: 163 Avr: 18.1

Wkts: 9 Avr: 18.4

Fielding: 4/0

Rank points: 383

………………………………

CLINTON BOTHAM

Runs: 56 Avr: 11.2

Wkts: 29 Avr: 11.9

Fielding: 7/0

Rank points: 706

………………………………

MATT GIRI

Runs: 691 Avr: 57.5

Wkts: 6 Avr: 34.1

Fielding: 15/1

Rank points: 976

………………………………

JEREMY HANCOCK

Runs: 48 Avr: 24.0

Wkts: 9 Avr: 30.8

Fielding: 3/1

Rank points: 273

………………………………

MICHAEL HEALY

Runs: 21 Avr: 21.0

Wkts: 4 Avr: 15.5

Fielding: 0/0

Rank points: 101

………………………………

CHARLTON HINDLE

Runs: 56 Avr: 9.3

Wkts: 3 Avr: 51.3

Fielding: 2/0

Rank points: 136

………………………………

CAIN LADIGES

Runs: 190 Avr: 17.2

Wkts: 15 Avr: 26.2

Fielding: 3/0

Rank points: 520

………………………………

PAUL MARTIN

Runs: 197 Avr: 21.8

Wkts: 0 Avr: NA

Fielding: 6/0

Rank points: 257

………………………………

LUKE RAFFERTY

Runs: 293 Avr: 36.6

Fielding: 3/2

Rank points: 353

  • RANK POINTS – 1 run = 1 point; 1 wicket = 20 points; 1 catch = 10 points; 1 run out/stumping = 15 points.