Exies through to first grade semi

A DOMINANT bowling performance has lead Exies to a convincing first-innings win against Diggers in the elimination final.

Marc Tucker and Andrew Arnold were equally destructive as the did their best to limit the scoring opportunities of Diggers.

Diggers were on the back foot early as they lost Dom Brown (0) and Brendan Wade (4) were dismissed by Arnold while Leon Vico (5) was dismissed by Tucker to leave Diggers at 3/15.

Diggers’ captain Pat Whittard (7) and Scott Smith (16) tried to put their head down as they got the side to 29, however, Arnold struck again.

The fall of Simon Miller (5) spelt another collapse as Diggers fell to 8/47 and looked to be in a difficult condition.

Jack Favell (12) and Dean Aylett tried to get some late runs, however, with the fall of Aylett and Favell Diggers were bowled out for 71 off 43 overs.

Exies captain Phil Burge said his bowler's performance was the backbone of their success.

“We bowled some good areas and got on a bit of a roll,” he said.

“Andy Arnold bowled well and put us on the front foot.”

It was just about not losing any wickets early and continuing on from where he (Craig) put us.

Exies captain Phil Burge

Having to face out a few overs before stumps, Burge knew it was crucial not to lose wickets heading into the second day.

Craig and Phil Burge started the innings well, getting through the difficult day ending session and got the side to 80 before Craig (48) fell to the bowling of Craig Lugton (1/39).

“Craig batted well on Saturday arvo,” he said.

“It was just about not losing any wickets early and continuing on from where he put us.”

Andy Arnold (12) and Phil Burge went about doing so as they lifted the score past 100 when he fell to the bowling of Dom Brown (2/45) with the score on 106.

Jamie Winkler combined with Burge to ensure the slide wouldn’t become a factor as they pair lifted the side to 154 with a lead of 83.

When Burge was bowled by Dean Aylett (1/45) and Winkler was caught by Miller off the bowling of Brown the side had elevated their lead to 97.

Dean Ashcroft (4*) and Michael Shepherd (15*) closed out the innings as after facing 80 overs the game was called with a winning margin of 115 runs.

The win will see Exies take on Leagues after they lost the qualifying final against Coro while it’s the end of the season for Diggers.