BOOKAAR tightened its grip on fourth position with victory over Noorat on Saturday.
Led by a Simon Baker century, the Pelicans pushed 18 points clear of Camperdown with a 23 run win, bowling their opponents out for 166 in pursuit of their score of 9/189.
Baker was the mainstay of the Pelicans’ innings on what was a slow outfield, with the skipper bringing up another century in what coincided with his son Paddy’s debut.
He came to the crease after Eddie Lucas (30) got the Pelicans off to a solid start, establishing several partnerships as the Pelicans pushed towards another competitive score.
Some late hitting from Henry Green (19) saw Bookaar reach 188 before a flurry of wickets fell in the final over to finish their innings.
In reply, Noorat got off to a steady start and put 28 runs on the board before the Pelicans took two quick wickets to regain control.
The Pelicans were able to restrict the flow of runs, but the Steamrollers’ batsmen were proving difficult to remove up until the introduction of slow bowling.
Eddie Lucas (3/37) and Josh O’Dowd (1/22) bowled in partnership and while they both conceded runs, they brought Noorat’s batsmen unstuck.
They took four wickets between them to see the Steamrollers fall from 2/54 to 6/90, with the Pelicans well in control of the match from that point.
Noorat batsman Pat Heffernan (58) continued to play a lone hand for his side and pushed the Steamrollers to 132 before he holed out to Deiter McDonald (2/25).
McDonald then claimed another wicket the next ball, before the Steamrollers steadied again briefly to remain in the contest.
With two wickets needed from the last six overs, Paddy Baker (1/6) stepped up for Bookaar, with the debutant claiming a run-out and a wicket to bowl out Noorat in the final over.
The win gives Bookaar some breathing space in the top four ahead of its clash with Cobden at Camperdown Showgrounds this weekend.
In division three, Bookaar handed Woorndoo its first loss of the season with an upset two wicket victory.
The Pelicans dismissed the Tigers for 119 in the first innings, before passing the target with two overs to spare.
Nick Jones (23), Stephen Fitzgerald (22 and 2/11), Bailey McDonald (20 not out), Hamish Sinnott (3/16) and Luke O’Neil (2/21) all performed strongly in the win.
The victory pushed Bookaar into the top four with three games to go, with the side set to face Camperdown this weekend.