Two 61-run stands from Mat Finlay and Adam Wells weren’t enough to get South Dubbo over the line in their two-wicket defeat by Macquarie Blues.
The Blues won the toss and backed themselves to knock over the Hornets’ batters.
It was gamble that paid off in stifling conditions, Souths restricted to just 203 as Luke Carmen (3-36) saw off openers (Angus Norton, 8 and Josh Williams, 5) with ease.
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Finlay and Wells fired in the middle order but once the former was dismissed at 153, the final four wickets fell for just 20 runs.
Jason Green’s 82 provided a solid foundation for the Blues’ reply – he had them at 130 before he was cleaned up by Scott Tucker – and tail-ender Joe Haylock (37 not out) did the rest to deliver Macquarie the win with four-and-a-half overs to spare.
“It was a bit of a team effort,” Green said.
“It was so hot … it was always going to be difficult to bat second because you’re buggered from the heat.
“We had five away … knowing what we can do, we knew we were better off chasing.”
Green lauded the grounds staff for preparing “one of the best wickets we’ve played on”, with “good carry” and plenty of turn for the seamers.
The result sees Macquarie (20) join Rugby (20) in fourth place on the ladder while Souths, who are yet to record a win, languish in sixth.
“When you’re not winning games, it gets hard to keep turning up and doing your best … It’s hard to play those games in the heat when you know it’s not going to do much for the end of the season,” Green said. “All we can do is … keep trying.”