REIGNING premier Mortlake delivered a blow to Bookaar’s finals push at D.C. Farran Oval on Saturday.
The Pelicans were humbled to the tune of 80 runs, unable to chase down the Cats’ total of 5/240, with the result a missed chance for Simon Baker’s side to push further clear in the top four.
After losing the toss and being forced to bowl first, Bookaar was unable to take regular wickets early in the innings but stemmed the flow of runs through the first 34 overs, with the Cats entering the second drinks break at 3/104.
From that point onwards however the runs began to accumulate, with Clinton Baker (78 not out) and Todd Lamont (37) playing key roles as the Cats blasted 136 runs off the last 102 balls.
The Pelicans let what could have been a gettable total slip in those final overs, with what was looking like a score of around 200 blowing out to almost a total of 250.
The task at hand also became much more difficult early in the run chase, with the Pelicans losing Eddie Lucas (zero) and Rohan Symes (four) cheaply in the first four overs.
Their losses allowed Mortlake’s bowlers to build pressure on Bookaar’s middle order and although they could not gain another breakthrough, they were able to limit the Pelicans’ ability to score.
Fraser Lucas (16) and Simon Baker added 46 runs in about 20 overs before Lucas fell and even though Tim Fitzgerald managed a quick fire 17, the Cats were still well and truly on top at 5/91 after 31 overs.
Josh O’Dowd (11) then joined his skipper at the crease and while he made a small start, he was unable to support Baker, who played a key role through the innings despite the difficulty to score.
Baker was eventually dismissed for 65 with only a handful of overs remaining, with Shaun Moloney (21 not out) and Zach Sinnott (three not out) seeing the innings through as the Pelicans finished the match 7/160.
The loss failed to dislodge Bookaar from fourth position, but it was a chance missed to go further clear of fifth placed Camperdown, who lost to Pomborneit.
The Pelicans will now have the chance to rebound against bottom side Noorat, with that game to be played at Noorat Recreation Reserve.
In division three, Bookaar recorded a big 191 run win following a comprehensive batting display at Boorcan.
The Pelicans posted a mammoth 6/321 from their 40 overs with the bat, with six of their batsmen making scores of 20 or more.
Hamish Sinnott (75) and Taj Merrett (64) led the way with the bat, before Greg Teal (2/17), Stephen Fitzgerald (2/20) and Louis Darcy (2/23) played their roles with the ball.
They all took two wickets apiece as Boorcan was dismissed for 130 in the 36th over.
The win lifted Bookaar back into the top four, with the Pelicans set to host ladder leaders Woorndoo at Camperdown Showgrounds this Saturday.