In a clash where they posted a whopping 4-366 declared on the opening day, Cavaliers’ bowling attack actually managed outshine their willow-wielding counterparts to help the maroons post one of the biggest victories in recent Orange District Cricket Association memory.
Following Matt Corben’s magical, unbeaten 170 the week before the maroons’ attack, led by left-arm finger-spinner Mitch Black, tore through Centrals twice at Wade Park on Saturday afternoon, skittling the red and blacks for 43 and then 120 to secure an outright victory to the tune of an innings and 203 runs.
Black finished with incredible match figures of 9-59 from 35 overs – 14 of which were maidens – after snaring 3-13 in Centrals’ first innings and backing that up later in the afternoon by taking 6-45 in the second dig, his first five-wicket haul for his new club.
The former Wagga RSL Bulldogs spinner’s only other five-wicket haul this season has come in Orange colours when he took 8-19 against Lithgow. That’s a nod to his consistency, with last weekend’s effort pushing him to the top of the competition’s wicket-taking stakes.
With three rounds still to play before the finals Blacks’ taken 28 scalps at a miserly average of 6.6.
“Blacky just did his thing at the start,” Cavaliers all-rounder Josh Doherty, who took four wickets for the game himself, said.
“His dot-ball pressure is second to none and as we’ve seen all summer he’s a serious wicket-taker, he thinks hard about his variations and is a very clever bowler so it’s not a surprise to us to see him clean up like that.
“His second innings effort was incredible, but everyone bowled pretty well, Mark Maybin made a big difference at the end of the first innings.”
Maybin cleaned up at the end of Centrals’ first dig, astonishingly finishing with figures of 4-0 from 1.5 overs, three of those wickets coming in his second set.
“His pace and unpredictability was the big difference there,” Doherty said.
After losing George Olsen (2), Matt Ripps (0) and Will Richard (0) late on the opening day Centrals resumed on Saturday at 3-11, which quickly became 5-20 on a wicket that had a little bit in it after the rain late last week.
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Nick Dunlop (13) and Jack Dodds (10) tried to spark some sort of resurgence by adding 23 for the sixth wicket but after they both fell with the score on 43, no more Centrals bats could add to the tally as Maybin rolled through the tail.
Outside him and Black Doherty was Cavaliers’ other wicket-taker, snaring 3-24.
With a lead of 323 and at least 64 overs left in the day Corben, the maroons’ skipper, had no hesitation in immediately asking the red and blacks to follow on.
Centrals managed to hold on for 42 of those overs but with Black running rampant from one end and Doherty (1-21), Maybin (1-17) and Hugh Middleton (2-27) providing great support from the other the red and blacks couldn’t stop the rout.
They went into the 12th round in a share of the competition lead with Orange City but after taking maximum points and the Warriors earning none from the bye, Cavaliers have rocketed 12 points clear on top.
While the maroons now enjoy a two-day bye of their own, which will give Orange City a chance to reduce that gap, they’re now well and truly in the box seat to win the minor premiership and progress straight to the grand final.
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