IT was billed as the day-night game of the round. Unfortunately for Lake Albert, South Wagga's bowlers had other ideas.
The Robertson Oval lights weren't needed as the Blues routed the Bulls for one of the lowest scores in Wagga first grade history on Saturday afternoon.
The clash began at 2.30pm, but was over before 4pm as the defending premiers skittled Lake Albert for just 38 in just 12.2 overs.
Opening bowler Alex Smeeth (3-6) began the carnage by rolling through their top order, and Jake Hindmarsh (4-1) backed up by cleaning up the lower order in a dominant display.
Lake Albert's innings featured three ducks, while four other batters were dismissed for just one.
Brayden Ambler (17 not out) and Smeeth (23 not out) ensured South Wagga knocked off the paltry total without losing a wicket.
The victory ensured the Blues retain top spot over Wagga City on percentages, but the thrashing has put the Bulls' finals hopes in the balance.
Fourth-placed Lake Albert are now just a win ahead of Kooringal, and the Colts now have a better percentage after their eight-wicket win over Wagga RSL.
Hindmarsh, who began the season playing for Albury before the travel workload prompted him to return to the Blues, said it was one of those days where everything went right.
"We always talk about how important new ball wickets are with the white ball and Smeethy and Blake (Harper, 1-9) took four I think between them early on," Hindmarsh said.
"We just seemed to get a roll on, and it kept falling our way.
"I don't think I've done anything like that (take 4-1). It was good to get a few wickets, I haven't had that many at all between here and Albury this year.
"The boys did the job up front early on, and it made it pretty easy for the rest of us to do what we need to do. The pressure built up on them a bit and we seemed to keep rolling."
The nature of the win will only enhance the Blues' favouritism to defend their title, but Hindmarsh said they're used to being the hunted.
"I suppose it is (the norm). We just show up and if we stick to our plans, generally our cricket is good enough," he said.
"That's all we try and do is do that and not worry about the other side. Generally it pays off for us.
"Once we got a few early wickets you could see their body language just change pretty quickly. I know you're only defending 38, but out in the field they knew it was going to be over soon.
"Sadly for them it was just one of those days."
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