EXIES have defied a thumping century from Diggers' Jarrod Cahill to record a heart-stopping one-wicket win against the reigning Griffith cricket champions at Exies No. 2 on Saturday.
Cahill showed why he is arguably the form batsmen of first grade in the first month of the season, with his unbeaten 107 featuring nine towering sixes.
Exies were left to rue missed catches as Cahill made them pay to help his side score 206 from its 40 overs.
"He started off scratchy and we dropped him on about 25 and we didn't do that again until he was about 80," Exies captain Marc Tucker said.
"Some of the shots he was playing were just dropping short of the field or over people's heads and he was making it hard to bowl to him because no matter where you put the ball he was hitting it to the fence.
"It makes it hard to set fields as well, but our bowlers didn't drop their heads."
Exies made a promising start to their sizeable run-chase as Phil Burge (34) and Tom Valeri (25) added 56 for the opening stand, with Jamie Winkler chiming in with 47.
At 3-101 Exies looked well in the hunt to chase down the big total, but wickets to Aaron Eardley and Tom Webb and Cahill saw Exies fall to 7-162.
However, late runs from Alex Tucker (23) and Nathan Jones (26) saw Exies secure the winning runs with just four balls remaining in the innings.
"I think just to chase that total down against any side is a good confidence boost for our side early in the season," Tucker said.
"What we talked about at the start of the innings, that if batted our 40 overs out we'll win the game because the outfield is that quick at Exies No. 2."
Diggers captain Nathan Smith lamented the missed opportunity not to secure the victory on the back of Cahill's stellar knock.
"He's a pretty big hitter of the ball and once he gets his eye in, he can be pretty hard to stop," Smith said.
"We've got the batting there in our side this year, if we want to score some runs quickly, I can put him a bit further up and give him a chance, which came in handy this week.
"But we dropped a few too many catches when we were in the field, catches that we would take about 90 per cent of the time really.
"And they (Exies) have a good batting line-up and it goes pretty deep, so we never really though we had it in the bag because if there was a ground you could chase down more than 200, it's Exies No. 2."