Lions in control

Hashan Wanasekara scored a century on the weekend. (Jacob Pattison) 395297_01

Tara Murray

Deer Park has its nose ahead after the first weekend of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division grand final, but isn’t getting ahead of itself.

The Lions enter the four-day grand final against Sydenham-Hillside as favourites having been the standout team all season.

The Lions showed why with a fighting performance with the bat and then strong performance with the ball to be on top after two days of play.

Lions coach Mick Andriadis said they had their nose in front after the first weekend but wasn’t getting too comfortable.

“It’s a long way from being secured,” he said. “It’s been a good battle so far with two good sides going at it.

“We’re in a good position early and Sydenham-Hillside fought back.”

The Lions batted first on their home deck and managed to make 225 bowled out in the 92nd over early on day two.

Hashan Wanasekara was the star of the show, making 101 at the top of the order.

Andriadis said the performance of Wanasekara in a final was massive.

“I’m rapt for him personally,” he said. “Especially at the top of innings to get 100 with 12 fours and one six.

“To get 54 in boundaries takes a bit of pressure off. Finals the run rate is a lot lower and players are frightened to go out and play a false shot.”

Gayashan Weerasekara took 7-47 to bring the Storm back into the game with his leg spin after being the eighth bowler used by the Storm.

The Lions bowlers than got to work and were able to restrict the Storm’s batters on Sunday.

Just one player, Anthony Alleyne, got going, with the Storm to resume at 8-141.

Alleyne will result on 76 not out. No one else scored more than 15.

Keon Harding, Fawad Malook and Angelo Emmanuel have two wickets each for the Lions after day two.

Andriadis said they would like to see the back of Alleyne quickly on day three. He said even once the Storm’s innings is over, there will still be a lot to play out.

“He is one of the premier batsmen in the competition,” he said. “As soon we get the two wickets, we’ll be back in, I think it’ll be a two innings game.

“Whatever we make then its a free hit for them. There’s still a lot of work to do.

“Our noses are in front and hopefully it’ll continue into the following week.”