GRASSMERE’S task of hanging on to fourth spot is more challenging after Saturday’s opening day of the final match of the season.
Nanjing Night Net

It entered the match against reigning premier, top side Panmure, needing a win to secure a finals berth. But after losing the toss and bowling in Saturday’s stifling conditions, Grassmere needs to produce its biggest batting performance of the season next week to chase down Panmure’s imposing 360.

Captain Chris Lenehan, while conceding Panmure had the upper hand, said his Meerkats teammates were remaining positive.

“Our highest score has been around 250 this season so we will have to have a day out,” Lenehan said.

“But we are going to try and get the runs. We will try our best and if we don’t happen to get them we will rely on other results.”

Lenehan said his bowlers stuck to their task in the searing heat but Panmure’s batting depth was significant.

Lenehan said his side knew where it stood. “We are still in the four,” he said. “Last year we were out of it by Christmas, this year we are in it right up to the last week so there has been some improvement.”

Panmure’s 360 included half-centuries to James McKinnon (70) and Tim Hunt (62) and significant hands from captain Chris Bant (43), Daniel Meade (40) and Greg Byrce (32). McKinnon and Meade shared a 108-run stand in the middle-order.

If Grassmere doesn’t make the runs next week, it needs seventh-placed Wangoom to upset fifth-placed Mailors Flat. Wangoom made a good start, making 9-251 declared. Mailors Flat was 0-15 at stumps.

In other games, the finals-bound Hawkesdale faces a challenging run chase on Saturday after Yambuk made 9-236. Second-placed Killarney will resume at 3-29 chasing Purnim’s 158.

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