A 146-run second wicket stand guided Lavington to a thumping win over fellow premiership contenders Tallangatta on Saturday.
Nathan Brown missed his century when dismissed for 96, but the partnership with coach Sam O’Connor (76) guaranteed the home team batted its allotted 50 overs for the first time in the three rounds.
“It was spoken about internally a little bit, but I guess every side wants to bat out the 50 overs, you don’t want to leave any overs in the tank,” paceman David Tassell said.
“Even when we lost wickets, we still tried to score, we didn’t shut up shop.”
The premiers lasted 43.3 overs in posting 169 against St Patrick’s in round one and 41.2 in making 191 against North Albury.
Brown was bowled trying to whip quick Sam Stephens through mid-wicket.
“He came off and knew he was on 96,” Tassell said.
“He was playing aggressively anyway, I think he had the team in mind more than his own individual score.”
Brown smashed six sixes and eight boundaries off only 85 balls.
When he fell with the score on 180, the Panthers lost 4-12, but the work of the top order allowed the team to hit 9-247.
Medium pacer Fraser Bremner claimed 4-42 from 10 overs.
The Bushies lost early wickets in captain-coach Matt Armstrong (three) and Phil Neville (13), but while boom Indian batsman Sahib Malhotra was at the crease, the visitors had an outside chance.
He compiled a classy 72 from 106 balls, including two sixes and eight boundaries, but once he was dismissed, the Bushies were bowled out for 157 from 43.1 overs.
Fellow gun batsman Nathan Thompson was unavailable, robbing the Bushies of firepower.
Ex-Sri Lankan international player Dilhara Lokuhettige made 15, but was caught superbly on the boundary at long-off.
“Sam O’Connor’s catch was a game-changer, diving to his left,” Tassell said.
“Sam prides himself on his fielding.”
Spinner Michael Galvin grabbed 3-10, while Tassell finished with 2-23, claiming both openers leg before wicket.
Brown had his first bowl for the season due to an elbow injury, snaring 2-22.
The Panthers now face three teams out of the top six in New City, East Albury and Wodonga Raiders.
The Bushies host Belvoir in round four.
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