THE Preston brothers, Mick and Jeremy, have led Jeparit to the West Wimmera Cricket Association Premiership for 2016-17.
On Saturday they made the two top scores, Mick twenty eight runs and Jeremy twenty six runs, combined for a partnership of twenty eight runs after Jeparit had slumped to 3/22.
The Jeparit innings also featured a solid contribution from Victor Lothian who made thirteen runs, adding thirty runs with Mick. Then late in the innings, youngster Liam Preston, not to be overshadowed by his father and uncle, made fourteen valuable runs which helped push the total to 119. The Winiam bowlers made life very difficult for the Jeparit batsmen. Tom Driscoll was outstanding, finishing with figures of 5/16 off his twelve overs while Brad Clark also bowled well to take 2/17. Resuming at 0/8 on Sunday the Winiam batsmen also found runs hard to come by against some impressive Jeparit bowling and fielding.
They ground their way towards the target with Brad Clark and Dylan Webb looking likely to take the game away from Jeparit. Then, with the score on 2/55 off twenty seven overs, Mick Preston switched to the railway end of Davis Park and found the edge on Clark’s bat with the catch being taken by wicket keeper Adrian King. This was the start of an amazing collapse with Winiam losing their last eight wickets for fourteen runs in eight overs against some impressive swing bowling from the Preston brothers.
Mick finished with the outstanding figures of 6/15 off ten overs with Jeremy taking 3/24. Tim Braendler did some good work early in the innings, bowling with pace and control to finish with 1/11 off his nine overs while Adrian King took four catches behind the stumps. Clark with twenty eight runs, Webb fifteen runs and opener Mick Purchase with ten runs were the only Winiam batsmen to reach double figures. With thirty overs remaining in the day Jeparit batted again with Winiam pressing for early wickets to force an unlikely win.
With Jeparit slumping to 2/12 after losing Adrian King and Trevor James early the game took another twist but steady batting by Jeremy Preston and Tim Braendler took the score to fifty one before Braendler was dismissed for sixteen.
The game ending soon after with a few overs still to be bowled as there was no way Jeparit could lose; Jeremy finishing with twenty three runs. Tom Driscoll continued on with his outstanding bowling, not conceding a run in his five overs and taking a wicket. A jubilant Jeparit team was then able to celebrate a hard fought win.