MANDURANG captain Matt Giri fell just short of what would have been his second century of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season on Saturday as the Rangas bolted to an eight-wicket win over Axe Creek.
Chasing the Cowboys' 132 at Longlea, Mandurang needed just 15.5 overs to answer with 1-136, with Giri blasting the home side all over the park.
The hard-hitting opener smashed 97 off just 40 deliveries, with his whirlwind innings featuring 84 runs through fours (18) and sixes (two).
Giri had scored 97 of the Rangas' 111 runs before he was caught by Ash Dixon off Jakk Trenfield (1-54).
It's the second swashbuckling innings Giri has played this season after he began with an unbeaten 126 off just 59 balls against Sedgwick in round one.
Having also made 9 off 11 against United in round two, Giri has 232 runs from just 110 balls for the season, with 30 boundaries and 11 sixes.
Earlier, opener Travis Nolan (40) top-scored for the Cowboys after they won the toss and batted.
Nolan had to work hard to hold the innings together after the Cowboys at one stage fell from 1-25 to 5-48.
Beau Roy-Clements (4-32) claimed four wickets for the Rangas. Before his fireworks with the bat Giri also had an influence with the ball, taking the last three wickets to finish with 3-39.
Opening bowler James Bailey was economical with 2-8 off eight overs, which included ending Nolan's 90-ball stay at the crease.
* Sedgwick held off a gallant California Gully to win by nine runs.
Bailey Ilsley and skipper Jordan Ilsley both made half-centuries in the Rams' tally of 6-189 batting first at Club Court.
Opening the batting Bailey compiled 67 off 88 balls, before Jordan later clubbed four sixes and five boundaries in an unbeaten 57 off 42.
Having carried his bat in each of the Rams' first three games, opener Greg Thomas (8) was dismissed for the first time this season by Aidan White (1-26).
The Rams' total proved just out of reach of the Cobras, who batted out their 40 overs, but were held to 9-180.
The Cobras had been 2-30 before a 77-run partnership for the third wicket between skipper Marcus McKern (59) and Kansas Varker (36).
Bailey Ilsley capped a solid all-round game with 3-14 for the Rams, while for the second week in a row all-rounder Thomas (3-33) snared three wickets.
* Spring Gully accounted for West Bendigo by 87 runs.
Batting first, the Crows had only star batsman Rhys Webb (62), Byron Perrin (37) and Alex Sutton (30) reach double figures in their 179.
Webb's 62 gives him 202 runs for the season from his first two hits following his 140 n.o. the previous week against California Gully.
Josh Eastley (3-30), Zac Makeham (2-13) and Josh Connolly (2-43) were all multiple wicket-takers for the Redbacks, who struggled with the bat in reply and were all out for 92.
Perrin (4-13) and Shaun O'Shea (4-21) led the impressive bowling performance for the Crows, while Redbacks' opener Travis O'Connell occupied the crease for 60 balls in making 30.
* Flag favourite United remained unbeaten and retained top spot on the ladder with its win over Marong.
Having been sent in, captain David Blume played a lone hand for the Panthers in scoring an unbeaten 85 in their tally of 7-137.
Blume struck 10 boundaries in his second half-century of the season.
Jarrod Starr (3-28) was the pick of the bowlers for United, which answered with 2-154.
Broderick Williams (52) and gun recruit Alex Code (47 n.o.) both continued their solid form with the bat for the Tigers, with the pair now already having 374 runs between them.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Bendigo Advertiser, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thankyou very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Bendigo's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.