Wickets fly as Mount Clear square off against Brown Hill for title

THIS is one mighty final collision.

Many expected it would be close – an undefeated Mount Clear and Brown Hill have been clear leaders in Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts.

Few would have expected 27 wickets to fly in the opening two days of this four-day title match.

Seventeen of those that fell were yesterday, with Brown Hill skipper Jason Knowles making the day’s highest score of 27 runs.

Players have been on an emotional rollercoaster, depending on which team was at the crease.

A seaming wicket became batsmen’s nightmare and a bowlers’ delight at the Eastern Oval.

Mount Clear held a 134-run lead on Brown Hill by stumps yesterday.

But the Mounties are not resting easy.

They lost seven wickets for 34 runs inside 24 overs in the second innings and take some comfort in having captain Nathan Yates and day one saviour Hayden Cartledge to resume play on Saturday.

How long they will last against a freshly rested Bulls’ bowling attack will be the key. Bull Matt McMahon had the most bite with the ball in opening days.

McMahon has amassed nine wickets, including an impressive 6-46 off 21 overs on day one, while fellow quick Shane Harwood picked up the first of his three yesterday afternoon in a pivotal pairing with McMahon.

Yates has the best bowling figures, tearing through Brown Hill to collect 6-29 off 27 overs.

The bowling destruction started early on day one.

Mt Clear was 5-26 within 19 overs, forcing Mounties Dan Hopkinson (56 runs) and Hayden Cartledge (55 runs) to dig the team out of trouble and take the tally to 184 runs.

Brown Hill survived unscathed, 0-5, in eight overs at the crease to finish play on day one. 

The Bulls were obliterated for a tally of 87 runs within 48 overs yesterday.