Keilor wobbles but wins

Keilor’s Upal Bandara in full flight during his pivotal innings against Doutta Stars on Saturday. Picture Damian Visentini

Keilor grabbed first-innings points over Doutta Stars in Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division action on Saturday, but not before a middle-order collapse threatened to spoil the party.

Resuming on 1-98 in pursuit of the host’s first-innings score of 136, Keilor was in early trouble when overnight batsmen Nathan Beever (41) and Daniel Stavris (45) were both dismissed and then veteran Robert Clements was run-out for a duck.

The three quick wickets left the visitors at 4-107 and the middle order under pressure.

Keilor captain Kaushal Lokuarachchi was bowled for just a single run, and when Bill Anderson and Luke Delbridge both had their stumps rattled it appeared as though the visitors were throwing away what should have been a comfortable win.

But at 7-128, the combination of Upal Bandara and Tawalampolage Darshanapriya was able to safely guide Keilor to first-innings points before going on to pile on the runs and give the scorecard some respectability.

The pair added 95 for the eighth wicket, with Darshanapriya missing out on what would have been a deserved half-century when he was bowled for 49.

Bandara backed up his three wickets from day one with a superb 87 not out, dominating the end of the innings as the last two batsmen contributed just two runs between them as Keilor finished on 268.

With still half a day of play available, Doutta Stars faced 41 overs in their second innings and moved to 7-175 at the close of play. Chris Lee was the pick of the bowlers with 3-25, with Stavris grabbing 2-10.

Keilor’s second XI could not match the feats of the ones, enduring a long day in the field as Doutta Stars piled on the runs.

Defending their 274 from last week, Keilor struggled to make inroads as four of the visiting batsmen passed 50, with one of them going on to register three figures.

Doutta Stars were eventually all out for 399 as they batted out the day, with openers Ben Tankard (79) and Nick Shea (56) and Robert Lamberti (61) and Blair McFarlane (105) doing the bulk of the damage.

For Keilor, Luke McManus toiled hard all day and dismissed both openers to finish with 2-107 off 19 overs. Matthew Strachan grabbed his best senior figures as he finished his 22 overs with 5-96.