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19 February 2020
While Grampians Cricket Association A Grade finalists are confirmed, their exact finishing order is still unknown.
After day one of the final home-and-away round, three of the finalists are in a strong position to push for the maximum 10 points, which might drastically alter the top four. Swifts-Great Western and Youth Club can finish first or second and St Andrews and Pomonal either third or fourth depending on results.
At Ararat’s Alexandra Oval, after a rain-delayed start due to thunderstorms on Friday, Swifts-Great Western invited St Andrews to bat and dismissed its opponent for 80 runs with Jayden McCarthy the destroyer with a season best 6-19.
Spinner Albert Eldridge chimed in with 3-18, only the Saints’ Michael Harricks resisted with 29.
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The Combine’s innings closed at 2-78 at stumps with unbeaten batsmen Tom Eckel, 15, and Travis Nicholson, 1, at the crease. Earlier captain Sam Cocks had made 54.
With only three runs to make and eight wickets in hand it will be interesting to see what tactics the Combine adopt.
The side will be mindful that second-placed Youth Club is in a good position to outright Halls Gap.
The Clubbers are 6-126 having dismissed the Gappers for 106, the bulk of the Clubbers’ runs coming from Ethan Marrow who sits on 77 not out.
Earlier, the Clubbers’ Harvey Evans ran through the Gappers with 6-59 from 18 overs. The only Halls Gap batsmen to reach double figures were Rikki McIntosh, 21, and Faizan Butt, 23. The Clubbers are also faced with the problem of how to go about gaining the maximum points that might enable them to finish first.
In the remaining match, Pomonal has a chance of leaping over the Saints to finish third. Pomonal won the toss and managed only 125, but then bowled Chalambar out for 79.
In its second innings, Pomonal is 1-11 and with a lead of 58 runs will attempt to inflict another outright defeat on Chalambar.
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