A SEVEN-WICKET win in Sunday's Mitchell Cricket Council colts preliminary final has gifted Orange the perfect chance for redemption.
A week ago the baby blues were handed arguably their worst MCC loss, with Mudgee opening pair Ryan Kurtz and Cameron Cox putting together a triple-century stand in a mammoth 133-run triumph to earn the first place in next Sunday’s colts grand final.
With somewhat of a point to prove and the final decider berth on the line, the Orange bowlers stood tall against Bathurst, dismissing their opposition for just 111.
Charlie Litchfield (3-13) and Sam Nicholls (3-22) were the chief destroyers before Max Dodds (45 not out), Cam Williams (27) and Matt Corben (21no) completed the seven-wicket rout with the bat at Jack Brabham Park.
Labelling the win as “pleasing”, Orange co-coach Steve Warrington said his side was desperate for another crack at Mudgee.
“That was a fairly good win,” Warrington said, with the must-win match moved to Jack Brabham’s synthetic pitch following the weekend rain.
“We had a hell of a lot better side to the one we took to Mudgee and that’s not degrading the guys we took to Mudgee, they tried their hardest, but we’ll go back over there with knowledge of the fact they couldn’t bowl us out and we still scored nearly 200.
“We’re looking at a 90 per cent improvement and [Mudgee] can only improve maybe 10 [per cent].
“If we can get another crack at them and get some runs on the board, we’re pretty confident we can come away with the prize.”
Winning the toss and batting first, Bathurst’s battles began in the opening over when a brilliant piece of fielding from Litchfield resulted in Blake Glasson being run-out for a duck.
And aside from Blake Aubin’s 44 and a brief cameo from Wayne Sellers (24), no other Bathurst batsmen reached double figures as the visitors went on to lose their last five wickets for 23 runs in the paltry innings total of 111.
Warrington praised his side’s “good line” as the catalyst for the Bathurst collapse, but his counterpart Scott Inwood was a little more blunt in his assessment of their batting woes.
“In a nutshell, it was a terrible batting performance,” Inwood fired.
“It was just bad. A part from Blake Aubin, it was shocking. There wasn’t much patience. I think playing on synthetic they thought it was going to be easy, but it was overcast and the ball was moving around a fair bit. It wasn’t easy batting.
“We fell in a heap and it’s pretty hard to recover from that.”
Orange will now meet Mudgee in Mudgee in the MCC colts grand final next Sunday.