TALLAROOK is still in search of its first Seymour District Cricket Association A Grade win of the season after a rare tie against reigning premier Yea Tigers on Saturday.
Playing at home at Tallarook Recreation Reserve, the ‘Rook were eager to atone for a subpar batting display in their first match against Kilmore.
The Tigers elected to bat after winning the toss and despite batting out their 45 overs, were held to a reasonable total by the Tallarook attack.
Fill-in player Simon D’Elia took 3/30 in his nine overs, while skipper Lachlan Watts also picked up three wickets.
Youngster Xavier Arandt impressed with 1/19 in an economical display, and Ben Tarran chipped in with two wickets of his own.
Four Tigers got starts, but none surpassed 27 as the team was all out for 139 on the final ball of the innings.
Tallarook set about building a diligent run chase, with openers Tarran and Luke Marshall putting on 51 runs before Marshall was dismissed for 24 off the bowling of Cam Armstrong.
Watts stepped in to forge an 86-run partnership with Tarran, putting Tallarook in a commanding position with only a few overs to go.
But just when victory seemed within the Rookers’ grasp, things began to go wrong.
The batsmen misplayed several shots in the waning overs, leading to Watts’ dismissal for 38 in the final over.
Leigh Irving made one run and Tarran finished unbeaten on 63, sealing a tie.
Watts said the result was unsatisfying, but still represented an improvement on Tallarook’s first game of the season.
“[Ties don’t] happen too often. I don’t think I’ve been involved in too many in my time,” he said.
“We thought we were in a good position, but just didn’t execute in the last couple of overs – we lost our way a little bit and missed a few we shouldn’t have missed.
“I think because of the position we were in, it felt at the end of the game like we’d lost in a sense.
“In saying that to come out and bowl pretty well and bat well to the extent that we were in a position to win with a couple of overs left was good.”
Tallarook will now face Eastern Hill, which is a surprise ladder leader early in the season after defeating Kilmore by eight wickets.
The Kilmore bats struggled to make noise against the Seymour attack, with only Ryan Cumberland (15), Jacob Walton (10), Kevin Craddock (12) and Mitch Van De Duim (12*) reaching double figures in a team total of 67.
Eastern Hill had little trouble reaching the total, taking less than 24 overs as Ben Bryant finished unbeaten on 35.
Broadford also had an easy win, chasing Seymour’s total of 102 in only 15.4 overs as Riley Mason (53) and Ash Wood (41*) led the way.
Kilmore will host Broadford in round four on Saturday, while Seymour will take on Yea Tigers at Yea Recreation Reserve.