Bathurst have survived a middle order collapse to scrape home by one wicket against Cowra on Sunday in Western Zone Premier League at The Scots School.
A win was crucial on Sunday to keep their dream of a top two finish alive.
A lose would’ve all but ruled them out for a chance to play in the final on February 17, but the the win now gives them hope for success.
Cowra won the toss and elected to bat first, putting on a score of 168 off 48.1 overs, before Bathurst responded with 9-169 off 32.5, despite losing four wickets in the space of 15 runs.
Bathurst skipper Jameel Qureshi said the plan was to go for bonus points, but things didn’t go exactly to plan.
“We kinda got caught between playing two games in the one, because of the situation we put ourselves [in previous rounds],” he said.
“We were going for the bonus points and we needed to get the runs before 30 overs. We were cruising along and then we had a bit of a collapse. We got into trouble and had to reevaluate and we got ourselves out of trouble thanks to the boys playing down the bottom of the order.
“But it was a good game of cricket.”
Pete Guthrie and Josh Carmody opened the batting for Cowra, the duo scoring 32 runs between them (22 and 10 respectively).
Eight of the nine first batsman for Cowra all managed to score double digit figures, but no significant totals (Jacob McNaught topped scored with 27) meant Cowra weren’t able to post a threatening score, the team all out for 168 off 48.1 overs.
Bathurst bowler Matt Stephen proved too good with the ball, four Cowra batsmen falling victim to his bowling.
But while Cowra’s score wasn’t too threatening, Bathurst still had a job to do and they looked on track to reach their opponent’s score comfortably.
Henry Shoemark and Jaden Ekert opened the batting for Bathurst, hitting 38 and 23 respectively.
When Imran Qureshi was dismissed, Bathurst were at 4-77, still on track to claim bonus points.
And when Adam Ryan was dismissed, Bathurst were at 5-113, but the host were still poised to claim victory.
But than Jameel Qureshi was gone a run later, than Wayne Sellers and Matt Stephen fell and Bathurst were looking in trouble at 8-128.
Tanvir Singh fell meaning Connor Slattery and Sam Macpherson were the last two batsmen left for Bathurst, but they remained calm and withheld the pressure from Cowra to claim a narrow victory.
“It was good to get the win. We did what we had to do in the end,” Qureshi said.
“Full credit to Cowra though, they played very well.
“Cowra did really well. They showed a lot of fight. Full credit to them.
“Obviously they’re punching above their weight, being from a small town. They don’t necessarily have the pull of players the likes of Bathurst or Orange or Dubbo have. I thought they batted really well, especially the guys at the end that batted right to the end.”
Bathurst will next be in action on February 3, a crucial match against Orange at Wade Park.
A win would keep Bathurst in the mix for the final, while a loss would end their chances.