Tatts Cricket Club’s first XI moved into outright first position on the Narrabri District Cricket Association 2019-20 first grade one day ladder on Saturday afternoon after producing one of the most remarkable victories of the season.

Tatts took on the Western Imperial Razorbacks at Leitch Oval in round 11 and won by just one run after batting first and making 73 before defending its lowest first innings total of the season.

The defending champions restricted the Wee Waa-based side to 72 runs to claim the one-run victory which saw it move six points clear at the top of the ladder.

It was the second time Tatts has defeated the Razorbacks by one run this season, after the defending champs downed the Wee Waa-based team by that margin in the season opener back on Saturday, October 12.

Tatts entered Saturday’s penultimate round locked on 46 points alongside second-placed Civeo, with Tatts’ superior net run rate ranking it at the top of the table.

However Civeo lost its round 11 match at Collins Park against RSL (see report on page 13) which meant that it fell six point behind the now outright leaders.

At Leitch Oval on Saturday Tatts batted first after winning the toss and was struggling at 6-28 in the 17th over after Dylan Smith, Justin Knight and Josh Trindall tore through the batting team’s top and middle order.

The only top six batsman to reach double figures for Tatts was Chase Magner who departed in the 16th over for 10 runs.

The sixth wicket, which saw Jakeb Nipperess (3) bowled by Trindall, left Michael Cain at the crease with Jacob Nichols and the pair put on a 22-run partnership which was the top-ranked team’s best of the game.

When Tatts reached 50 in the 21st over Nichols (9) was dismissed for what was his team’s third-highest individual total.

Three overs later the Razorbacks finally removed Cain who scored what turned out to be a match-saving 21 from the number seven position.

Smith was the Razorbacks’ best with the ball with 3-9 from six overs while Trindall (3-12 from nine overs) and Knight (3-26 from eight overs) also claimed three scalps each.

The Razorbacks were determined to get off to a positive start but it was anything but as O’Neil dismissed Knight and Toby Reynolds for ducks early to make the score 2-7 after three overs.

Those wickets left Ty Baker and Hadley Sevil in the middle and the pair guided the Razorbacks past 40 runs to get the innings back on track.

After 20 overs the chasing side was cruising at 2-45, requiring less than 30 runs to win, before it lost four wickets in four overs as the score became 6-56 after 24 overs.

Those wickets, which included Baker (25) and Sevil (18) left Smith and Steve Phelps together at the crease and the pair combined for a 15-run partnership to take the Razorbacks to 6-71 after 30 overs.

With just 10 batsmen at their disposal the Razorbacks only had three more wickets to lose, however at that stage the match seemed well and truly over.

Tatts desperately needed someone to bowl a game-changing over and the team’s captain Tom Craig did just that.

In the 31st over Craig stood up when his team needed him most, producing a double wicket maiden to remove Smith (5) and Jay Hall (0) to make the score 8-71 after 31 overs.

Jonty Schwager then took the ball for the 32nd over with Tatts needing one wicket to win and the Razorbacks requiring just three runs for victory.

Schwager conceded one run from a no ball in that over which made the score 8-72 before he produced the game-winning wicket to dismiss Phelps (10) who was caught by Luke Morgan which saw Tatts snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

This Saturday in the 12th and final round of the season Tatts will play for the top spot when it challenges RSL at Collins Park, while the Razorbacks and Civeo will go head-to-head at Leitch Oval.

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