TIGHT: Cavaliers batsman Fraser White's innings comes to an end while (inset) Bushrangers bowler Zubair Khan takes a catch to dismiss Luke McCully.
TIGHT: Cavaliers batsman Fraser White's innings comes to an end while (inset) Bushrangers bowler Zubair Khan takes a catch to dismiss Luke McCully. Alistair Brightman

Bushies sneak home to open season with one-wicket win

CRICKET: Jesse Riley wasn't exactly comfortable sitting on the sideline but the Bushranger will gladly take the result.

Bushrangers took on Cavaliers in the first game of the Fraser Coast A-grade 40 Over competition on Saturday, the Hervey Bay clubs going to toe-to-toe as the region's cricket bodies realigned for combined competitions for the first time since the 2016-17 summer.

Cavaliers got off to a shaky start after Cody Williams earned the first duck of the season. Williams was clean bowled by Jason Riley on the third ball he faced, dropping Cavaliers to 1-2.

Hervey Bay cricket - Cavaliers (batting) v Bushrangers (fielding). Zubair Khan takes a catch in the outfield.
Hervey Bay cricket - Cavaliers (batting) v Bushrangers (fielding). Zubair Khan takes a catch in the outfield. Alistair Brightman

Fellow opener and Cavaliers captain John Kosmidis didn't have the same trouble as Williams. He crafted a 52-ball, 26-run innings as wickets tumbled at the other end. New Bushrangers bowler Zubair Khan was the chief destroyer with 4-25 from six overs, though Jason Riley's 2-20 and Jason Frohling's economical 0-14 from seven overs applied pressure.

Dan Overington (21 not out) and Dan Ould (21) shared a 35-run partnership, Cavaliers' best, to boost their total to 116.

"It was a really dry wicket so the ball was low holding up,” Jesse Riley offered.

Henry Watter top-scored in his first game for Bushrangers, but even his 31-run knock, coupled with Nick Kelsey's 25, couldn't stop the collapse.

"The middle order just fell apart,” Jesse Riley said. "We were cruising but Luke McCully (4-9 from seven overs) was outstanding. He slowed us right up but the guys put their head down and got it done.”

Tailender Sagar Shreeragh's defensive effort - a 14-ball duck - allowed Jacob Kelsey (13) to score the winning runs.

Maryborough teams Past Grammars and Australs, faced off at Maryborough Cricket Club, though results were not available at time of print.