YOUNG East Albury all-rounder Chris Bridle stepped up superbly with the ball to lead the Crows to an emphatic six-wicket victory over Belvoir in their CAW provincial semi-final at Alexandra Park.
With strike weapon Gurjit Sandhu returning to England last week, Bridle thrived on the opportunity to assume more responsibility by ripping the heart out of the Eagles’ top-order.
Bridle picked up the wickets of opener Braden Younger and dangerman Nat Sariman inside the first hour on day one in a spell that gave the home team all the momentum.
“We set it up pretty well from the start,” Shepherd said.
“Chris Bridle got a couple of early ones and it went from there.
“It was a good team performance which keeps us in the mix.”
Belvoir mustered 152 after being in diabolical trouble at 6-55 with John Spencer (46), Zach Simmonds (23) and Julian Butters (22) at least giving their bowlers something to defend.
But East Albury survived a tense five overs before stumps and Hayden Coulson (37), James McNeil (23), Dominic Wild (39no) and Shepherd (29no) were able to knock off the remaining runs yesterday with a minimum of fuss.
Coulson underlined his status as one of the most improved batsmen in the competition with another gritty innings, while Wild also continued his impressive finish to the season.