A strong fightback from Benalla Violet Town United’s bowling attack has the side in the driver’s seat against Greta.
In the penultimate round of the season, BVTU avoided having to chase a much larger total than the 139 set by Greta thanks to strong bowling from Sam Hazell, who took four wickets.
Played at Greta Sporting Complex on a good batting pitch, the home side set to work from the outset.
After a Tom Williams delivery was cut to the safe hands of Matthew Holmes, Andrew Squires was brought to the crease.
Squires wasted no time in swinging the game back into the home side’s favour, hitting six boundaries, including back-to-back sixes to bring up his 50.
The next over however, Squires nicked behind off Holmes’s bowling for 51.
After the fall of another wicket, Greta’s Nick Pell held down the fort and saw the home side sail past 100 to be 3-114.
But Williams and Ryan Lloyd-Williams struck in consecutive balls to have Greta reeling at 5-114.
Hazell was also brought back into the attack and produced a decisive spell of 4-6 from seven overs to turn the tide in the Diggers’ favour as they restricted Greta to a modest 137.
The visitors were rewarded for their hard work in searing conditions.
Promising leg spinner Lloyd-Williams again proved how deadly he can be when called upon.
Hazell’s spell of seven overs giving up only six runs also showed his worth in the side.
Greta tail-ender and veteran Jamie Ramage parked the bus in front of the stumps as Greta stubbornly held onto its final wicket for a number of overs until captain Rob Saker snuck one through Liam Barber’s defence.
Following the final wicket, BVTU’s opening batsmen Jarrod Morham and Simon Holmes negotiated five overs at the end of day one.
But Holmes and Morham got through the Greta attack with minimum fuss, and knocked 14 runs off the chase.
This Saturday sees BVTU needing a further 124 runs to secure its spot in the finals for a consecutive season.