THE EVCA DECADE SERIES:
UNITED captain Harry Whittle's hot form with the ball continued in the Emu Valley Cricket Association with a six-wicket haul against Mandurang on Saturday.
All-rounder Whittle bagged 6-61 in the Rangas' tally of 241 at Epsom-Huntly.
Whittle now has 22 wickets in his past four games for the Tigers, which includes three bags of at least five.
Among Whittle's six wickets was the scalp of Mandurang captain James Pietromonaco, who fell agonisingly short of a first century for the Rangas when he was dismissed for 98.
There was plenty of lusty hitting during Pietromonaco's 147-ball stay at the crease, with his innings including nine sixes.
After winning the toss and batting the Rangas were on the backfoot early at 4-32, with Whittle and Joe Hartney (2-61) both having struck twice.
However, Pietromonaco and Corey Dickins (72) swung the momentum back the way of Mandurang with a 155-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Pietromonaco batted through until he was the sixth wicket to fall with the score on 225 when caught by Hartney off Whittle.
Pietromonaco's departure was the beginning of a loss of 5-16 for the Rangas, who were bowled out in the 71st over.
Whittle's 6-61 came off 27.3 overs as he continued his heavy workload.
Over the past four games during which he has taken 22 wickets for 214 runs, Whittle has bowled 108 overs.
* Marong grinded its way to 128 against a Spring Gully bowling attack spearheaded by Nick Skeen's six wickets.
Skeen ripped through the Panthers' top order on the way to 6-41 off 24 overs.
The Panthers had been 4-21, with Skeen having taken all four wickets - Scott Ross (2), David Blume (6), Duane Anderson (0) and previous round century-maker Zach Samuel (10).
As well as Skeen's six-for - he went on to take the first six of the innings - the Crows also had veteran Byron Perrin chip in with 3-18.
The Panthers batted 73 overs for their 128, scoring at a run-rate of just 1.75 per over, leading to some economical figures for the Crows.
James Fox's 13 overs cost just 12 runs, Rhys Webb conceded just nine runs off his 15 overs, while Perrin also kept it tight with just 18 runs from his 11 overs.
More than half the overs bowled by the Crows were maidens - 38.
Adam Brown battled well under pressure for Marong at No.6 to make a gritty 53 off 140 balls, which included 10 boundaries.
And having earned a call-up to the division one side, Nathan Green made a valuable 24 at No.10.
* Veterans Dustin Elliott and Andrew Sheehan both made half-centuries for Sedgwick against West Bendigo.
Coming off a pair of outright losses in its past two games, West Bendigo won the toss and bowled at Club Court, with the decision paying off early when the Redbacks' Tarran Kilcullen dismissed Sedgwick openers Greg Thomas (5) and Alan Friswell (0) cheaply.
But from 2-25, Elliott and Sheehan led the way in the rebuild as the reigning premier Rams posted 269.
Left-hander Elliott was in fine touch with a knock of 83 off 96, while Sheehan scored 73 off 97.
Between the pair, who put on 95 for the third wicket, they struck 26 boundaries and two sixes.
The batting depth of the Rams was on show when from 7-201 the last three wickets added 68, which included 36 from the final pair of Declan McMahon (19) and Patrick Grelis (15).
Kilcullen's two early breakthroughs were part of his 3-50 off 19 overs for the Redbacks, while Tom Floyd (2-50) and Shannon Murphy (2-27) picked up two wickets each.
* California Gully found scoring difficult against the tight Emu Creek attack led by captain Todd Brown.
The Cobras were all out for 145 in an innings that lasted into the 67th over.
The spin of Brown proved hard to get away for the Cobras as he produced the tidy figures of 4-28 off 24 overs with 10 maidens.
Brent Downie (1-8 off 9) also dried the runs up for the Cobras, who had just one partnership of more than 30.
Travis Nolan battled valiantly to keep the California Gully innings together. He came in at 3-44 and spent 154 balls at the crease for an unbeaten 40.
* Axe Creek made its highest score of the season so far with its tally of 169 against Maiden Gully.
Captain Ash Dixon became the first Cowboys player to make a half-century this season with his innings of 59 that ended when he was run out.
The Cowboys also got middle-order contributions from Paul Barber (30) and James O'Bryen (27), before the Lions ran through their lower order.
From 5-161 the Cowboys lost 5-8 to be all out in the 69th over.
Brett Haw (3-28) and Rob Brown (2-30) were multiple wicket-takers for the unbeaten Lions.
* MEANWHILE, there were only two games played in the Upper Loddon Cricket Association.
Top side Newbridge (9-113) edged out Arnold (107) in an entertaining clash.
And Wedderburn (4-148) proved far too strong for Boort-Yando (45), which endured another tough day with the bat.
Kingower beat Inglewood by forfeit and Bridgewater defeated Serpentine by forfeit.
In the Northern United Cricket Association Calivil broke through for its first win of the season against Goornong.
Calivil's tally of 161 proved out of reach for Goornong, which was all out for 133 in reply. Calivil's David Dennis led the attack with 6-23.
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