Lions in tough spot

Aamir Raza (Jacob Pattison)386773_05

Taylors Lakes hopes of playing Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association finals are in jeopardy after suffering a first innings loss on Saturday against fellow finals hopefuls Hoppers Crossing.

After electing to bat the Lions were on the back foot early, losing three wickets within the first five overs. With the Cats’ opening bowler Brett Smith having an immediate impact dismissing the Lions’ captain Aamir Raza in the first over.

Following the Cats’ opening bowlers successful spell, the competition’s premier spinner Fawad Ahmed continued to do what he has done all season and run through the middle and lower order.

Ahmed finished with 6-29, taking his season tally to 47 wickets at an average of 8.46.

Smith then returned to finish the Lions’ innings at 73 from just 37 overs. Batting at four Nilan Fernando top scored for this side with 32.

“Obviously it wasn’t ideal what happened,” Raza said.

“We came up against a world class bowler in Fawad Ahmed and I think the league has seen that sometimes he is a little bit unplayable as he was on Saturday, he took six in the end and that probably was the difference in the game.”

With the ball, the Lions were also able to strike early, having the Cats on the back foot at 2-18. The Lions opening bowlers were able to have the most success with Arafat Bhuiyan leading the way with 5-40.

Apart from the Cats’ skippers knock of 68, opening the batting, the two sides batting innings were very similar, as the Cats were knocked over for 152 in the 41st over.

While the Lions will go into next week 79 runs down, Raza said he remains confident his side could potentially reverse the result on Saturday.

“They’ve got a lead of 80 but with our bowling we feel like if we can get 100, 120, 130 in front, you never know what can happen,” he said.

“We were always chasing the game after being bowled out for 70. There was no pressure on even if they lose a couple early ones 70 is never enough in any cricket, regardless of the pitch.

“The key next week is getting ourselves into a position where potentially, no guarantees but potentially reversing the outright. There’s no point turning up if we’re not going to try and do that.

“We didn’t have a good day but if we can have a good day next week, you never know.”

Harper Sercombe