A CAREER best haul of 7-27 from captain Fraser Lucas has Bookaar poised for outright victory in its match against Simpson at Simpson Recreation Reserve.
Bookaar secured first innings points against Simpson and have a chance to gain valuable bonus points if things go their way this weekend.
But the Pelicans’ efforts with the bat on Saturday left much to be desired after they were bowled out for 132 in 45.4 overs.
Simpson put pressure on Bookaar early, sending them in to bat and taking regular wickets as the visitors struggled to get partnerships going.
“We probably didn’t get as many runs as I would’ve liked and that all came down to how well Simpson bowled,” Lucas said.
“The first four or five (wickets) fell fairly quickly and they came and went.
“As we went on, we got a good little partnership at the end that lifted us to 132.”
Contributions of 26 from veteran Simon Baker, 24 not out from Matthew Field and 18 from Lachie Green kept the runs ticking over for Bookaar, but it was an underwhelming total from a team trying to cement its place in the top four.
Field and Luke O’Neil (12 runs) steered Bookaar through to what Lucas felt was a defendable total after the Pelicans had been 9-104.
Things soon turned around in the bowling, with Lucas and Joe Muir (3-11) cleaning up as Simpson was bowled out for 75 in the 27th over.
After Bookaar took a couple of early wickets, Simpson rallied, led by captain Nick Harding, who made 24.
“They got a little partnership going with Nick Harding and he started to look fairly dangerous,” Lucas said.
“Once we saw him out, the wickets fell fairly quickly.”
With two overs left in the day, Bookaar’s opening pair of Tosh Merrett and Henry Green saw the Pelicans through to 0-6 at stumps.
The final make-up of the top four is yet to be determined, with only Mortlake looking secure in top spot, but an outright win would all but guarantee Bookaar a place in the semi-finals.
But Lucas felt the fourth-placed Pelicans had done enough in the match, even if the outright win did not eventuate.
“It would be good to get it, but if it doesn’t happen, we’ve taken a fair few points already, so we’ve just got to hope other results go our way,” he said.
In other Webber and Chivell Division One matches, Noorat’s Stephen Staunton claimed yet another five wicket haul, taking 5-61 off 26.4 overs, including nine maidens, against Terang at Noorat Recreation Reserve.
The visitors made 191 batting first, with Tommy Moloney (70 runs) leading the charge.
Terang’s number two-to-five batsmen made the bulk of the runs, with the final six batsmen all removed for single figures.
Noorat’s opening batsmen safely saw out the one over they had to face before stumps, leaving the home side on 0-7 heading into day two.
Heytesbury Rebels secured first innings points against Pomborneit, bowling the Bulls out for 140 in 43 overs and reaching 4-144 by stumps.
Captain Jeff Rosolin was unbeaten on 58 at the close of play as the Rebels chase bonus points in an 11th-hour bid to keep their finals hopes alive.
The match between Mortlake and Cobden has been reduced to a one-day contest after the game did not get under way on Saturday due to a rain-affected pitch at Cobden Recreation Reserve following Friday’s storms.