Diamond’s dazzling ton not enough for Warriors to prevail

Rohan Diamond made 119 off 114 on Saturday against top of the ladder Stratford. Photo: File

Josh Farrell

The first round back after the Christmas break for the Sale-Maffra Cricket Association found itself ravaged by positive COVID cases.

 

On Thursday, the association announced the Bundalaguah and Maffra clash along with the Collegians and Longford match-up would be moved to the reserve day this Sunday.

 

On Saturday morning, Boisdale-Briagolong and Sale succumbed to the impacts of COVID and their match was moved to this Sunday with the others.

 

Stratford and Rosedale-Kilmany were able to put together teams and a close match unfolded at the Warriors’ home ground.

 

The top-of-the-table Redbacks came into the round looking to continue their unbeaten run, but the Warriors were always going to put up a fight.

 

Stratford won the toss and elected to bat first with a team relatively unchanged from the side that had helped them to the top of the ladder in 2021.

 

The Redbacks picked up where they left off, the top six all got starts with the lowest score 19.

 

Chris Aurisch and Lachlan Channing got Stratford off to a strong start, Aurisch pushed the run rate hitting 43 off 31 deliveries which included four sixes and two fours while Channing was slightly more subdued hitting 22 from 47.

 

The two openers fell at a similar time with Aurisch succumbing to Spencer Fox and Channing lost his wicket to Ben Fleming.

 

Jack Rietschel made his return to the Redbacks and got into his work hitting 28 from 39 before he fell to Bailey Reid.

 

Through the middle-order it was Ben Channing and Lewis Bolton who continued the good start making 22 and 24 respectively.

 

A strong finish came from number nine Sam Anstee who scored 29 from 41 balls to help Stratford to 8/220 from their 45 overs.

 

The Warriors had a shaky start to their run chase losing Adam Diamond to find themselves at 1/8 early doors.

 

This brought Rohan Diamond to the crease and the Warriors star got into his work to attempt to chase the Redbacks score.

 

Diamond hit an astonishing 119 off 114 balls, milking the Redbacks’ bowling line-up in a blistering display.

 

He only hit eight boundaries in his innings which included five fours and three sixes in which hearts were in mouths for Jack Tatterson and his side in the field as the Warriors edged closer to their score.

 

The next highest score was Brandon McDonald who put on 20 at the top of the order, this shows the sheer dominance of Diamond’s innings.

 

Rosedale-Kilmany made 195 all out falling only 25 runs short of defeating league leading Redbacks.

 

For Stratford, the wickets were well spread between the bowlers, a pattern regularly seen so far this season.

 

Skipper Jack Tatterson and Simon Williams took three each and Lachie Dowd along with Jack Rietschel claimed two apiece.

 

While Stratford got the win, this match provided the blueprint to put pressure on the competition pacesetters in the rounds ahead.

 

Lowering the impact of spinners Ethan Albrecht and Sam Anstee give teams the opportunity to compete against the Redbacks.

 

This round of cricket is important in the context for the ladder positions, the Sunday matches will hold the key in understanding where the ladder will finish come March.