WHITTLESEA kept its hopes of a top-four finish alive with a rout of Greensborough in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association’s Mash Shield competition on Saturday.
The Eagles applied pressure from the opening overs after being sent in to bat by Greensborough.
Paceman Braydon Avola applied plenty of pressure and contributed in the field, taking three catches, while Nathan Somerville’s 3/20 from eight overs was a standout performance.
No Greensborough batsman scored more than 16 runs as the side was starved of opportunities, limping its way to 105 from 40 overs.
Whittlesea wasted no time in reply, with opener Brody Bell belting an unbeaten half century that included two sixes.
Keeper Rajitha Ratnayake contributed 23, while Suresh Fernando made a rapid-fire 24 not out to help the Eagles reach their target in only 23.2 overs and with seven wickets remaining.
Matthew Crawford was the best of the Greensborough bowlers on what was a dismal day, taking 2/29 from eight overs.
The results were not as good for Laurimar, which lost a heartbreaking encounter with Lower Plenty in the final over of the day.
Blasting its way to 5-234 on the back of 59 from James Ingham and scores in the 30s by skipper Jake Zerella, Luke Richardson, Rian Boddy and Daniel Roberts, the Power had reason to feel good about its chances.
But a mammoth opening stand of 147 by Lower Plenty openers Bill Jenkin (82) and Brad Wright (78) brought the home side back in the game.
The winning runs came on the final ball of the game, with Alexander Homer (39 not out) guiding his team to a memorable victory.
Mernda had a forgettable day in the Money Shield competition, falling 45 runs short of Research Eltham Collegians’ 6/195.
Opener Dushantha Ranatunga’s 46 was not enough to spur the Mernda run chase, with only two of his teammates reaching double figures in an innings of 9/150.
Thomas Hall was the only multiple wicket taker for Mernda, finishing with 2/29 from seven overs.