EAST Albury has held Tallangatta to its lowest first innings score of the two-day competition and in doing so set up a mouth-watering run chase next week.
But it could have been even worse for the Bushies, with only a rearguard action by the son of one of the club’s greats helping them to a defendable target.
Tallangatta was restricted to 9-159 after batting out its 80 overs at Alexandra Park on Saturday.
At one stage the visitors were 1-77 but lost 8-52 midway through the afternoon’s play.
Only Nicholas Wood, the teenage son of star player Steve Wood and in his first full year of senior provincial cricket, provided any fight, with 34, and an unbeaten last-wicket partnership of 30 with Tim Farrant.
The Crows’ Joel Shepherd said it was a good start but that the job was only half done.
“We would be pretty confident of getting the runs next week but we know they are a quality side and we need to get through that first hour of play,” he said.
“Any day you keep Tallangatta to that sort of score you should be happy but when they were 8-120 we expected to roll them for less than 150.
“We still need to do everything right next week.”
Tom Wells took four wickets for the Crows, with the rest of the bowlers sharing the spoils — high profile recruit James McNeil conceded just 27 runs from his 21 overs, including nine maidens.
But Shepherd said dropped catches had cost them dearly.
“McNeil took a great catch in the slips, diving to his left, to get rid of the opener but then we put down a couple of catches we should have taken,” he said.
“The pitch wasn’t too bad despite the rain on Friday but they didn’t really look to play their shots — they tended to just let the ball go.
“In the end, Wells got the wickets but Cameron White and Gurjit Sandhu went past the bat so many times that either could have had a bag full.
“But Nick Woods for Tallangatta looked really good, he’s a left-hander and very technical and will obviously go a long way with his cricket.”
East Albury sits on top of the Provincial ladder but only a game separates the top four, including its opponents this week.