A RUN-A-BALL innings of 90 from Ajith Rajapaksha has helped St Marys bounce back to form in A-Grade cricket with a comprehensive victory over Margaret River Hawks at Barnard Park on Saturday.
The Sri Lankan import was the difference between the sides, as Saints totalled an impressive 9-216 from 50 overs before bundling out Hawks for 77 in 22 overs in reply.
Jono Lloyd (31) and Marc Ford (30) played solid supporting roles for Saints, while allrounder Shane Joyce captured three wickets for Hawks.
Margaret River's Chris McLean contributed the spectacular highlight of the day with a brilliant one-handed catch at square leg to dismiss Ryan Lohr.
Chasing 217 to win, Hawks had a breezy opening stand of 22 between Brad Kelly and McLean before the wickets tumbled.
Ben Mattock (4-22) took his season's tally to an impressive 20 wickets at an average of 8.7.
The other A-Grade game, played at the Dunsborough Playing Fields, saw Yallingup-Oddbods stay in touch with the leaders by beating Dunsborough by six wickets with 7.3 overs to spare.
Dunsborough's total of 9-163 featured another impressive performance from opener Alex Roberts, who batted through the 50 overs for an unbeaten 90.
Chasing 164 to win, YOBS were challenged by the loss of two early wickets before the match-winning century stand between Chris Brook (35) and Nayton Colombera, who hit a polished 77, decided the affair.
In B-Grade cricket, Hawks turned the tables on St Marys at Margaret River by chasing down a target of 201 in just 41 overs.
Batting first, Saints totalled 7-200 with Ash Leaney (46), Danny Hatton (41) and Kurt Davis (41 not out) all contributing well.
Hawks' best bat of the day was Jay Wynd (61), while Al Wilkie (31), Cody Rodgers (38) and Seb Donovan (39 not out) all played their part in the impressive win for the home team.
The other B-Grade game saw Yallingup-Oddbods hit 143 (including 45 from Rian McDonald) before being overtaken by Dunsborough (4-144 in 35.4 overs), with Bruce Siney (67 not out) leading the way with help from skipper Cam Morris (50).
Josh van Zyl and Lincoln Gray captured two wickets each for Yallingup-Oddbods.
In C-Grade cricket there were three tight finishes, with Cowaramup (8-181, with the unbowlable Jude Bowler-Wright hitting another unbeaten 65) going down to Dunsborough (5-184) with only seven balls remaining.
Teenager Harrison Allardyce hit an impressive 70 to lead Dunsborough home.
At the Margaret River Nippers Oval, only 5 runs separated Hawks (176, with the consistent George Worsley hitting 59) and Nannup (171).
Allrounder Troy Rasmussen had a great game for Nannup with 4-14 (including a wicket off the first ball of the match) and 47 runs to nearly get his side home.
The other close game took place at Vasse Playing Fields, where Vasse kept their unbeaten record this season intact with a thrilling 3-run win over bottom side St Marys.
Vasse were bowled out for 162 but defended the total when Saints were restricted to 6-159 from their 40 overs, with Spencer Drummond hitting 41.
The other C-Grade game saw Yallingup-Oddbods hold off YOBS Academy by 20 runs at Bovell Park.