A home final within reach

By Andrew Johnston

ROCHESTER went into the final round of the Goulburn Murray Cricket season on the weekend with the simplest of tasks — stay alive.

With two days of cricket to be played, Rochester was mathematically a chance of missing the finals.

Their final game of the home-and-away didn’t need to be a big win, simply a win was enough.

One day of play remains, but it looks a foregone conclusion.

Rochester is all but a lock to win their final game of the season and it looks like they will win big.

In fact, they may just outright their opponent.

Taking on BLU in Bamawm, Rochester took the ball to start the game off, and made an immediate impression.

Vibhor Yadav was the first to strike, dismissing BLU opener Shannon Bish for three.

He then dismissed the remaining members of the top three, who combined to score just 13 runs.

Far from done, Yadav dismissed a further two batsmen, while Sean Williams joined in the party and contributed three wickets.

With Rochester’s bowlers well and truly on, BLU completed an almighty collapse.

The side was dismissed for a paltry score of 59, only lasting 35 overs.

With more than half of the day of cricket remaining, Rochester got the chance to set up an outright, given 45 overs to bat for the afternoon.

And with bat in hand, Yadav continued to put in work.

With the top three out for not many, Yadav combined with opening bowling partner Dylan Cuttriss to bat the day out, closing at 3/101 with a 42-run lead.

Yadav left the field with an unbeaten 42 to go with his 5/23 in what should be a man-of-the-match performance, even with one more day to play.

It gives Rochester a chance of being the first side in the GMC this season to claim an outright victory.

With Echuca playing for their season and sitting in the driver’s seat against second-placed Tongala, Rochester could find themselves back in second spot on the ladder as the season ends, securing a home final.

While Rochester can already look ahead to finals, the battle for fourth spot between Echuca and Moama is well and truly on.

Even with a victory against Tongala, Echuca still needs Moama to underperform.

However, Moama is on the verge of an outright win against Echuca South, a result that would end Echuca’s season irrelevant of a victory against Tongala.

The final day of play is shaping up as an intense one.