SOUTH COAST CRICKET
A five-wicket haul to skipper Ben Mitchell has Shellharbour in pole position to claim first innings points from Oak Flats after day one of their round-11 clash.
Mitchell continued his form as the dominant bowler of the first grade competition, taking 5-35 from 20 overs to help restrict the Rats to just 95.
Rats skipper Kieran Gray (29) got Oak Flats off to a reasonable start with the score at 1-41, but his dismissal allowed Mitchell to tear through the Rats middle order.
Matt Rae (3-13) and Alex Brown (2-26) chipped in with the remaining scalps.
"We went with a game plan to try and really get the spin on early. Obviously, myself and our leg-spinner bowled really well," Mitchell said.
"Their openers are probably two of the best in the competition and we know they love the pace coming on from the ball so we just tried to take it off and it worked in our favour.
"I think they put on about 40 or 45 and the rest just sort of tumbled. I guess they haven't been put in that sort of position this year, so it was good to sort of just run through them."
Shellharbour finished the day at 3-53, needing another 43 runs to gain the points.
Elsewhere, Lake Illawarra are on the verge of victory against Gerringong-Jamberoo.
Lake won the toss and elected to bat at Kevin Walsh Oval, posting 215 in 57.3 overs at the crease.
David Lambert led the way, scoring his first half-century of the season, with Brendan White (45) and Tony McCabe (25) showing solid support.
Lake teammate Jamie Crowhurst then left Gerringong-Jamberoo reeling at 9-62, as he took 5-11 in a devastating spell.
Albion Park have work to do to keep their undefeated two-day record intact, as they trail after day one against The Rail.
Park were bowled out for 97 before The Rail were 9-132 at stumps.
At Cavalier Park, the match between Kookas and Kiama remains in the balance.
Matt O'Brien's figures of 5-34 helped keep Kookas to 131, but Kiama are struggling at 6-77 in reply.