SALE-MAFFRA needs to win Thursday’s match against Warrnambool to avoid relegation to division two for next year’s cricket Melbourne Country Week.
Despite winning two of their three group matches, the Sharks missed the provincial division semi-finals because of an inferior net run rate.
Finishing third in its group, Sale-Maffra will now take part in a play-off to avoid relegation.
On Wednesday, the Sharks had an eight-run victory over Ferntree Gully, which progressed from the group to the semi-finals along with Mornington Peninsula.
Opening batsman Cloete Buitendag scored 118 runs off 117 balls faced as Sale-Maffra made 229. Lee Hopkins scored 37 and Jack Wrigglesworth 21.
Ferntree Gully was bowled out for 217, with Matthew Mulcahy scoring an unbeaten 54.
Brad Scott, Jack Rietschel, Jack Tatterson and Dylan Bolton each claimed two wickets for the Sharks.