Dot balls don’t do it as Taylors Lakes cops first defeat

Taylors Lakes slipped to its first loss of the sub-district cricket east-west season, going down to Mt Waverley in a twilight T20 clash on Saturday.

After starting its inaugural subbies campaign with two strong wins, Taylors Lakes fell agonisingly short at Mount Waverley Reserve as the home side passed the target with the final ball of the day.

Defending 5-113, Taylors Lakes weathered an early Mount Waverley batting onslaught but looked shot when the home side tied the scores with two overs to play.

Remarkably, the Lions bowled 11 consecutive dot balls to take the game to the final delivery before the home side scraped through for the winning single on the final ball as the fielders scrambled for the run out.

While disappointed with the result, Taylors Lakes coach Kris McMullen said the performances of the bowlers, particularly late in the game, was a positive.

“To the boys’ credit, they hung in there and were able to consistently take wickets,” McMullen said. “The last eight to 10 overs, our bowling was impeccable – to bowl 11 dot balls in the final two overs of a T20 is just outstanding.”

Earlier, Taylors Lakes batted first and put up a score that McMullen thought was about par considering the pitch conditions. Shaun Guerra was the stand-out with 40 not out, but a lack of late-order hitting cost the Lions the handful of runs that could have delivered victory.

“We thought about 120 on that wicket was a par score,” McMullen said. “It turned out we were right – if we had scraped another five or six runs late, with a bit more hitting, we would have got over the line.

“Our start was pretty good with 3-70 early on, but we lost some momentum in the middle. We still thought it was a competitive score on that wicket, but unfortunately their opening batters got a hold of us early.”

Mt Waverley got to 1-60 off seven overs to establish a strong platform, but 3-24 for Yoshan Kumara and 2-16 to Rashid Bashir – including both openers – got the visitors back into the contest and set up the thrilling finish.

While Taylors Lakes lost this one, McMullen said he felt the side was tracking well early in the season ahead of a clash with unbeaten Werribee this weekend.

“The message to the boys after the game was that we are good enough at this level and ready to compete against some of the stronger teams,” he said.