BAXTER is in line to pull off one of the wins of the season in round 10 of MPCA Provincial cricket.
Baxter is looking down the barrel of an outright win against Heatherhill after rolling the visitors for just 85.
Coming into the second-last match of the season, Baxter was sitting outside of the top four, albeit equal on points with third-placed Mt Eliza, fourth-placed Langwarrin and sixth-placed Long Island.
The loser of the Langwarrin versus Long Island game can kiss the finals goodbye.
Mt Eliza was always going to get the job done against Moorooduc and, while Baxter was favourite to beat the Hills, they needed to do it convincingly to improve their percentage.
On Saturday, it was Marc Uccello who did the damage for Baxter.
Opening bowlers Adrian Mack and Dale Irving took early wickets to have the Hills 2/3. However, it was Uccello’s 6/30 from 16 overs that placed Baxter in a sensational position.
Kristian Miller was the only Hills player to offer any resistance, top scoring with 26.
Baxter then batted for 26 overs and clubbed 3/133 before declaring, Shane McComb scoring 59 and Daniel Warwick an unbeaten 51.
With nine overs left in the day, Baxter decided to have another crack at the Hills. Dale Irving promptly claimed a wicket, to have the Hills at 1/17 heading into day two.
An outright win will guarantee Baxter a place in the finals.
Langwarrin will resume at 1/14 this Saturday after bowling out Long Island for just 141.
For the second week in succession, the Kangas had the opposition in all kinds of trouble before a partnership threatened to take the match away from them.
Against Crib Point, the Kangas had them five down for less than 50, only to see them score 190-odd and win the game.
On Saturday against the Islanders, the Kangas had the opposition 6/78, only to let them score another 63 runs. Michael Chaplin was the difference for the Islanders with 43.
Mal Coutts was the best of the Langwarrin bowlers with 3/26 from 20.5 overs while Dwayne Doig claimed 3/34.
Needing to face the last nine overs of the day, like the last match, David Ross couldn’t bat through to stumps, dismissed leg-before off the bowling of Scott Phillips for a duck.
Langwarrin does have Phillips-phobia and this could see the Islanders defend their modest total. Langwarrin will resume at 1/14.
The other team in the finals equation, Mt Eliza, will defend 265 against Moorooduc.
Tristian Faithful scored 80 and Rob Maskiell 45 for the Mounties while Sushant Gupta and Greg Pullen each claimed three wickets for the Ducs.
Having to face the last three overs of the day, the Ducs survived and will resume at 0/8.
In the battle to avoid relegation, Mt Martha and Rye are locked in an intriguing battle, with the Demons holding the upper hand.
Mt Martha batted first on their home deck but could only manage 99.
Darren Groves was superb for the Demons with 4/16, while Tom Barrand claimed 3/19.
In reply, the Demons are 3/67, Andrew Hitchener top scoring with 29.
The Demons just need to bat for the entire day this Saturday to claim the win. The Reds will be hoping they can pull off a reverse outright.
Sorrento star Nick Jewell belted a magnificent 185 against Crib Point on Saturday to help his side to 4/330. Liam O’Connor was there for much of Jewell’s innings, scoring 69.
In the final game, Mornington shouldn’t have any trouble tracking down Peninsula Old Boys’ 171.
Matt Foon (3/30), Michael Heib (3/40) and Matt Foon (3/30) were the best of the Doggies’ bowlers while Dylan O’Malley top scored for the Old Boys with 74.