A FIGHTING 92 not out from Centrals batsman Dean Turner has guided the red and blacks into the Orange District Cricket Association top four and a sudden death semi-final against minor premiers Cavaliers.
Joining Max Dodds at the crease with Centrals at 5-66, the pair put together a match-winning sixth-wicket stand of 126 to steer their side past Orange City’s first innings total of 188 on the weekend.
Against an attack that led Orange City to last year’s ODCA first grade premiership, Turner said both he and Dodds (26no) worked perfectly together at the crease.
“Me and Doddsy saw it out to the end,” Turner said.
“He batted really well and I was the loose one. We complemented each other well.
“I’m naturally more aggressive, so it worked out well. Maxie turned the strike over to me and we went from there. We got the runs with 17 overs left.”
An evenly poised contest until Turner and Dodds lifted Centrals, Orange City started well with the bat and it was their own sixth-wicket stand that gave the Warriors a more-than-defendable total.
With top scorer Shaun Grenfell (46) back in the sheds, wicketkeeper-batsman Lincoln Duncan hit 30 while spinner Ben Findlay chimed in with 38 to contribute 49 as a partnership to Orange City’s all-out innings of 188.
Tearing in all day, Pat Russell had his best game in the top grade for Centrals, bowling a marathon 20 overs to be rewarded with 3-50.
Chris Huchinson (3-26) and Josh Coyte (2-16) were the other major wicket-takers.
Chasing, Nick Dunlop held the red and blacks’ top order together but a devastating spell from Grenfell (4-51) meant Orange City was always in the box seat with the ball, particularly when Dunlop eventually fell for 42 with the score at 5-66.
But Dodds and Turner stole the show.
“The way Deano and Max came together, when we were 5-for-60-odd, to then put on 100 was fantastic,” Centrals skipper Jake Pauletto said.
“We’ll take this win and hopefully it’s one we can build on with the finals next week.”
Centrals will face minor premiers Cavaliers next week.