Cavaliers will face Orange City in a blockbuster Orange District Cricket Association preliminary final next weekend after the former side dismantled Centrals by an innings, thanks largely to Richie Venner and Josh Doherty.
Doherty snared 2-22 in Centrals’ first innings of 144 before Venner blasted 97 in Cavaliers’ dig of 233.
Doherty then turned it on with the ball in the second dig and took 6-24 to help skittle Centrals 11 short of making his side bat again, claiming match figures of 8-44 from just 14.4 overs – his best since moving into the ODCA senior ranks.
A big outright win against a quality side like Centrals gives us all plenty of confidence.
The outright win secured Cavaliers a whopping 18.33 competition points, which pushes the side into second behind competition leaders CYMS. Orange City finished a tick under six points further back in third.
With CYMS progressing straight to the grand final, the two other perennial heavyweights will face off at Wade Park for the right to face the green and golds in the decider.
“They came out alright,” Doherty said, understating his performance severely.
“It’s always nice to do well and it is my first five-wicket haul in first grade, but getting that kind of win going into the finals is far more important.
“A big outright win against a quality side like Centrals gives us all plenty of confidence, we know Orange City will come out firing next weekend though and they’re probably the best team in the competition on paper, so we’ll need to try and keep this form going.”
Cavaliers resumed day two at 4-152 but lost 4-13 before Chris Martin (34) and Brad Wright (32) pushed the side to 233.
Then Doherty did his thing, running through Centrals to seal a huge victory and second spot for the maroons.
Harry Pearce (1-20), Scott Kennedy (1-8) and Brad Wright (1-11) all took wickets as well in Centrals’ second innings dig of 78.
“We had a little Cavalapse but then Brad Wright and Chris Martin steadied the ship. They were fantastic,” Doherty said.
“It was good to see some vintage Brad Wright, hitting cut shots for fun. Then young Harry Pearce snaveled up Deano in his first over and it just went from there.”