St George collapse against Fairfield-Liverpool as Sutherland hunt victory against Penrith

A batting collapse on Saturday has left St George on the brink of a deflating first innings defeat to Fairfield-Liverpool. 

The Lions are one wicket away from their first win of the season in the two-day, round seven fixture after St George had looked to be cruising towards victory at Rosedale Oval.

Lions captain Harmon Sandhu’s decision to bat after winning the toss looked a poor one as Tom Ortiz destroyed their top order, eventually finishing with 4-31.

Peter Francis (5-28) took his second five-wicket haul in first grade as Saints rolled the winless hosts for just 129 inside 56 overs.

But St George suffered a disastrous start to their run chase with Matt Hopkins (0), Mitch Gray (1) and Luke Bartier (3) all dismissed to leave Saints struggling at 3-5.

Captain Nick Stapleton (23) tried to steady the ship but when he fell St George were left reeling at 7-51.

Ortiz (1 not out) and Eric Denhartog (3 not out) are Saints’ only hope of salvaging a miraculous first innings victory with St George finishing day one at 9-72, still 58 runs short of victory.

At Howell Oval, Peter Saroukos turned Sutherland’s match with Penrith with a devastating five-over spell.

With Penrith 6-278 and Tyran Liddiard and Michael Collins well set, Sharks captain Chris Williams threw Saroukos the ball.

Saroukos ended their 128-run partnership, first picking up Collins (60) before knocking over Liddiard five runs short of his century.

Saroukos finished with 3-9 as Penrith were bowled out for 316, with Sutherland 0-20 in reply.