A stellar all-round performance from veteran Anthony Bradley steered the Deni Rhinos to a 45 run win over Cobram-Yarroweyah United in the opening round of the Murray Valley Cricket Association.
With CYU winning the toss and electing to bat on their home ground, Bradley showed his skill with ball in hand first, the off-spinner taking 3/18 from his nine overs.
The right hand batsman then proved crucial in the Rhinos’ run chase, coming in at number six with the Rhinos on their knees at 5/77.
Bradley steadied the ship for his side, hitting nine boundaries on his way to an unbeaten 53 to steer the Rhinos home chasing 131 for victory.
Rhinos coach John Arthur was thrilled with the efforts of the experienced all-rounder.
‘‘Wriggler’s (Bradley) off-spinners had good flight and CYU struggled to cope with them,’’ he said.
‘‘With the bat he took full advantage of the quick outfield. We needed that bit of composure when he came in as we were looking a bit shaky at that stage.’’
Bradley’s spell along with an impressive showing from paceman Andrew Hogan (3/14 off nine overs) helped the Rhinos keep CYU to 9/131 after the allotted 45 overs.
Harry Ukich top scored for CYU with 28, while import William Robertshaw (25) and number three Kieran Andrew (22) also contributed.
Rhinos debutant Dylan Rotherham impressed with his pace, the 15 year-old opening the bowling and finishing with a tidy 1/30 from eight overs.
‘‘Dylan had a couple of spells and looked quite comfortable with the ball in hand,’’ Arthur said.
‘‘Our fielding was also tremendous. We held on to our catches and only put one down throughout the innings.
‘‘Brad Todd took an impressive diving catch at mid-on and Dean Edge caught one above his head at gully, so it was great to see us taking full advantage of our opportunities.’’
The Rhinos’ run chase didn’t get off to a good start, with opening batsmen Tim Hillier and Ash Germano struggling to find runs early.
After eight overs, Hillier was dismissed on six, CYU’s Kane Goldsworthy (2/39 off nine) sending the bails flying, with the Rhinos 1/19.
Germano (12) lost his wicket soon after and then Jonty Tubb fell for a duck, caught and bowled by Joshua Kneebone (2/39 off eight) leaving the Rhinos at 3/33 with Todd and Hogan at the crease.
Hogan (18) looked comfortable before an impressive catch from Tom Pemberton ended a 23 run partnership.
Todd settled in well with Bradley joining him, and the pair added 21 runs before Todd was trapped in front by Goldsworthy on 26.
Bradley partnered with Edge (two) and scored the lion’s share of a 24-run partnership, before the latter was caught, leaving the Rhinos on 6/101, needing 31 runs for victory.
Experienced lower order batsman Chris Pyle (23 runs) joined Bradley at the crease, with the pair guiding the Rhinos home.
The visitors passed CYU’s score with six overs remaining, the pair smashing their way to a 65-run partnership before Pyle, who hit four boundaries, was caught.
Young debutant Harry Hillier made his way to the middle adding six runs with the Rhinos finishing 7/176 after 45 overs.
‘‘I can’t recall Chris (Pyle) playing at a ball and missing on Saturday,’’ Arthur said.
‘‘Harry (Hillier) also looked quite comfortable at the crease in his first game. He didn’t get much time out there, but I was impressed with what I saw.
‘‘CYU have definitely improved from last year, and it was good to get a win early.’’
The Deni Rhinos’ scheduled Division One match against Nathalia was postponed due to a lack of numbers from both sides. They will now meet on October 28 at Memorial Park.