By Jackson Russell
KILMORE kept its undefeated season alive on the back of an unbeaten 66 from Shane Topham in an 83-run away win over Alexandra.
Alexandra, playing at home, won the toss, but sent the ladder leader in. It looked as if the move might have worked early on.
Kilmore lost both openers relatively early, with Dale Tassone caught for five after an 18-run opening partnership.
Captain Josh Buttler (14) and Jacob Walton (12) were both bowled shortly after to have Kilmore 3/38.
Topham and Ben Dawson were able to settle into a 66-run partnership before Dawson was caught for 35 with Kilmore 4/104.
Topham was joined in the middle by Kevin Craddock (24*) and the pair proceeded to see out Kilmore’s innings, putting on 74 together as Kilmore set a target of 179 for the hosts.
Kilmore’s father-son duo of Brett and Josh Buttler combined to each take two of Alexandra’s first four wickets as the hosts’ top order collapsed to 4/16.
After a 35-run Alexandra partnership to consolidate the innings, Jayme Lowe (3/23) struck, bowling Jacob Bourke for 22 for his first of three wickets on the day, spelling the beginning of the end for Alexandra.
Kilmore did not allow Alexandra to create partnerships, taking wickets consistently, with two to Tassone and one to Corey Dennehy, to bowl the hosts out for 95 from 36.1 overs.
Buttler said his side was surprised to be sent in.
“It paid dividends for them early. It wasn’t a particularly great batting track early, but once the ball started to get a bit older, the likes of Topham, Dawson and Craddock made the most of it and put us in a comfortable position where our score was above par,” he said.
“The pitch was much the same for them when we bowled so it was about putting the balls in the right spots, capitalising and putting them on the back foot early. We made it a difficult run chase where we were in control of the game early.”
Buttler said the club was ‘rapt’ with its 5-0 start but was not getting ahead of itself.
“We’ve still got to work out the right mix in our side and we’ve got a lot of areas we can improve, which is pleasing in itself that we don’t think we’ve peaked yet,” he said.
“At the end of the day, the goal is to win a premiership and it’s about carrying these performances through to the end of the year and keeping on improving.”
Broadford back on track
Broadford returned to the winners’ list following last week’s loss with a six-wicket win against Eastern Hill at home.
Broadford was stingy with the ball, bowling Eastern Hill out for 114 from 42.4 overs.
Early wickets had the hosts in control, before the middle order steadied the ship. However, a lower order collapse, losing 5/10, was Eastern Hill’s downfall.
Paceman Jeremy Bradshaw led the hosts’ attack, taking an economical 4/16 from 7.4 overs with one maiden, while captain-wicketkeeper Ash Wood took three catches.
Wood also stepped up with the bat, making 65 from 74 balls to lead his side to the win in just 26.2 overs.
Tallarook improved its record to 3-2 with its six-wicket win against the still-winless Pyalong.
Ben Cooney (4/27 from 8.1 overs with three maidens) and Leigh Irving (45*) were standouts.
Yea also had a comfortable 42-run win against Seymour.