Skipper’s knock helps lead Cobras to hard-fought EVCA win over Redbacks

CAPTAIN Brad Webster made the highest score by a Golden Gully player so far this season to help lift his side to a fighting victory over West Bendigo in the Emu Valley Cricket Association on Saturday.

CAPTAIN'S INNINGS: Brad Webster's 59 on Saturday was the highest score by a Golden Gully player so far this season. The Cobras recovered from 8-107 to chase down West Bendigo's 178 in round 12 of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

CAPTAIN'S INNINGS: Brad Webster's 59 on Saturday was the highest score by a Golden Gully player so far this season. The Cobras recovered from 8-107 to chase down West Bendigo's 178 in round 12 of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

The Redbacks, with 178 on the board, were in the box seat when Webster walked to the wicket to join Jarrod Whelan with the Cobras’ reeling at 8-107.

However, Webster and Whelan showed plenty of fighting spirit with a match-winning partnership to guide the Cobras to their third win of the season.

From 8-107 the Cobras finished at 233, with Webster making 59 and Whelan an unbeaten 43, while No.11 Bradley Smith (20) helped to put the finishing touches to the innings.

Webster’s 59 is only the second score of more than 50 by a Golden Gully player this season – the other being Kansas Varker’s 54 against West Bendigo in round nine.

Webster’s crucial 59 followed his 4-65 on day one in what was a fine all-round game.

Darren De Marchi (3-30) was the leading wicket-taker for the Redbacks, who suffered their first defeat since round four.

EVCA top 10 leading run-scorers.

EVCA top 10 leading run-scorers.

• Maiden Gully took West Bendigo’s position in the top four following its win over United, which now has the Tigers facing the possibility of a rare season out of the finals.

The Tigers were all out for 161 chasing the Gully’s 229 in an innings where they were on the back foot early at 3-18.

Shane Rabbitt (2-27) and Brett Haw (2-39) were both multiple wicket-takers for Maiden Gully, which proved too good for the Tigers for the second time this season.

The Maiden Gully attack also featured some economical bowling from Dallas Gill (1-9 off 10) and Alex Gorrie (1-15 off 11) – a combined 2-24 off 21 overs.

Gun all-rounder Keiran Nihill played a lone hand with the bat for the Tigers with his knock of 81.

EVCA top 10 leading wicket-takers.

EVCA top 10 leading wicket-takers.

• Spring Gully moved a step closer to a top-two finish after the last-wicket pair of Liam Pilcher and Nick Skeen combined to overhaul Mandurang’s 243 in the battle of second verus third.

The Crows looked in trouble at 9-223, but Pilcher (42) with support from Skeen (1 n.o.) stood up under pressure with a 49-run stand that pushed the Crows’ tally to 272 and a 29-run victory.

Spring Gully was tracking well at 6-213, before losing 3-10 that left it up to Pilcher and Skeen to get the Crows over the line.

Earlier, top-order batsmen Alex Sutton (73) and Rhys Webb (55) both made half-centuries for the Crows, whose run-chase had got off to a strong start when they were 1-113 before Sutton’s dismissal.

KEY INNINGS: Spring Gully captain Alex Sutton top-scored for the Crows with 73 in Saturday's victory.

KEY INNINGS: Spring Gully captain Alex Sutton top-scored for the Crows with 73 in Saturday's victory.

James Bailey (4-57) was the best of the bowlers for the Rangas

• Ladder-leader Sedgwick bowled its way to victory against Marong.

The Panthers resumed their innings at 2-35 in reply to the Rams’ 184.

However, the Panthers added just 58 more runs before they were bowled out for 93.

Quinton Bentley led the way with the ball for the Rams in taking 4-19 off 14.3 overs.

On what was a disappointing scorecard for the Panthers, five players made ducks, while only opener Scott Ross (22) – who was dismissed late on day one – made more than 20.