AN improved fielding effort has seen Kookaburras hold on for a gripping one-day win over Mornington at Kitchener Park on Saturday.
Kookaburras captain Cameron Milne was the lynch pin in his side’s innings, after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Milne (73 not out) scored his fifth half-century of the summer to help guide his side to a competitive total of 9-155.
“It was a pretty solid team effort all around,” Milne said.
“That’s our focus, playing as a unit with the bat, with the ball and in the field.
“It’s what we need to do and I think we did it pretty well on Saturday.”
Milne said his sides running between the wickets “was probably the difference in the end”.
“So far this season our tail hasn’t really wagged, but it did on Saturday, which was pleasing,” he said.
“I think we were pretty happy to pick up singles when they were on offer and push to turn singles into twos.
“Late in our innings, it was exactly what was needed.”
Jono Middlebrook (3-25) and Callum Hayne (2-10) were the best with the ball for Mornington in conditions Milne described as “very challenging”.
“It was probably one of the hottest days of cricket I have experienced in my time in Gunnedah,” he said.
“There was little to no breeze for most of the day so it was really quite stifling.
“After the game I was sitting in the rooms with a few of the other boys and that’s when it really took its toll.
“I think its a credit to both sides to have such a good game in conditions like that.”
In reply, Mornington was aided by strong performances from Justin Carter (37), Stan Gaynor (32) and Trent Lumby (24).
However, the efforts were not quite enough as Mornington fell five runs short to finish the innings at 9-151.
“It was a really hard-fought game,” Milne said.
“There’s no doubt Mornington have really improved and so have we.
“Our fielding efforts from the start of the year compared to now are like chalk and cheese.
“Not only that, our enthusiasm in the field has certainly lifted as well and I think at times it helped provide chances for us in the field.
“Certainly, our improvement and Mornington’s improvement is good for the league.”
Kookaburras will look to continue their winning form when they clash with Court House on Saturday.
“I suspect Court House will be pretty much back to full-strength on Saturday,” Milne said.
“So for us the focus will be on putting in a full-team effort, that’s what we will need to do to win, so that’s our focus.”