Sport

Yadav’s 161 lifts new club up high

By Andrew Johnston

THERE has been one dream for the new Rochester Cricket Club.

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Rochester United and the Rochester Tigers, the new entity wanted a premiership to bring home to the now united town.

Now, they are two days away from glory.

Rochester dominated Tongala to the tune of 139-runs to book a grand final spot against Kyabram Fire Brigade.

Vibhor Yadav starred, rescuing his side by belting 161 off 243 balls.

The Blues sent Rochester in on Saturday afternoon, a decision that immediately paid off as top three Brandon Byrne, Sean Williams and Tim Bubb combined for six, all scored by Bubb.

Angus Martin (31) and Jake Perry (26) made contributions, but no other player was able to make a score in double digits – seven suffering the indignity of having being outscored by the extras.

While his team collapsed around him, Yadav batted for four and a half hours, scoring two thirds of the team total.

With a defendable score on the board, spearhead Dylan Cuttriss cleaned up four of the top five batsmen in the Tongala line-up, finishing with 4/36.

Jayden Tucker was the sole resistance, out for 53 off 99 balls.

It wasn’t going to be enough.

The Blues were all out for 103 and Rochester was through to the grand final.

Rochester captain Tim Bubb held the highest of praise for Yadav.

“I think in terms of pure batting it’s the best innings I’ve seen in this competition,” he said.

“The ball was bouncing and zipping around early which caused wickets to fall.

“He had to work hard to get himself in, but one he got past 30 or 40, you could tell he was going to make a big score.”

Bubb said the grand final had been the goal from the side since the merger was announced.

“We knew we were going to have a list good enough to make the grand final,” he said.

“We’ve had our moments where we didn’t play our best, but we have hit a bit of form late, especially in the past two games which will give us a lot of confidence going into the grand final.”

If that doesn’t, the fact that Rochester have knocked off Fire Brigade twice this year will.

“We’ve played well against them and a lot of our guys have come up against them in the past grand finals as United players,” he said.

“These guys know what they have to do to bring home the premiership.”

The game will be a spiritual grand final rematch of United and Fire Brigade’s past three grand finals — and the appearance will add to a tradition of GMC dominance.

In the eight year history of the GMC a Rochester side has appeared in the decider on five occasions – including a United and Tigers show down in 2012/13.

Now, the united force of Rochester cricket will look to claim a title for the whole town.