CHARLTON bowler Andrew Wright has started Bendigo Country Week in style, collecting 11 wickets in Wimmera-Mallee's opening two Division Two matches.
Wright picked up four wickets in Wimmera-Mallee's first round loss to Portland and District at Canterbury Park on Monday, before tearing through Benalla and District on Tuesday morning, finishing with figures of 7-43 off 12.2 overs.
Wimmera-Mallee vice-captain Tim Bell said it was a superb spell of bowling from Wright, and backed up by the rest of the bowling group.
"He bowled really quick and really good lines," he said.
"Today we bowled really well before drinks; they were 2-1 at one stage."
Despite Wright's four wickets on the opening day, Wimmera-Mallee couldn't snare a win, being bowled out for 145 in reply to Portland and District's 241.
Bell also claimed three wickets, while Bruce Hando chipped in with two and skipper Jake Leith took one, after the Portland side got off to a flying start.
The side's vice-captain said Lachie Patching also bowled well into the wind, without reward.
Leith played a lone hand with the bat, scoring 45, with Wright the next best on 21.
Bell said the team started to come together on the opening day, and grew in confidence as the game went on.
"We were a bit nervous yesterday morning, and have got a few young blokes," he said.
"Once we got to know each other we started to have a bit of fun and click together."
Wright's seven wickets yesterday and a wicket each to Bell, Patching and Riley Doran helped dismiss Benalla and District for 198.
Wimmera-Mallee were still chasing the total when the Mail-Times went to press. See Friday's edition for the result.