Lions through again

Angelo Emmanuel (Jacob Pattison)386770_01

Tara Murray

Deer Park batted itself into a second straight Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division grand final on the weekend.

The top side all season, the Lions put on a show with the bat before being top with the ball against Aberfeldie when the game was called off due to heat.

Lions international Keon Harding said the win was good, but the job was still unfinished and that they still have one more step to take.

Aberfeldie won the toss and elected to bowl. Deer Park made 4-193 off 56 overs on day one after the heat prevented a full day’s play.

The Lions then had 12 overs to bat early on day two which would turn the game.

“We felt like with a score of 193 that another 100 runs in those 12 overs would put the game out of reach,” Harding said.

“Someone would have had to play a pretty special knock to chase that down.”

After Angelo Emmanuel was the star on day one with 127, it was Harding who picked up the pace on Sunday.

He made 92 off 76 balls to help guide his side to 8-312.

Harding said he just stuck to his plan and it was able to come off. He was full of praise for Emmanuel.

“His innings was the key to being able to launch like that,” he said. “He set the foundation for us to play freely and get the runs we got.”

Aberfeldie was trouble early with the Lions on top when the players left the field due to heat. Aberfeldie was 5-70 when the match was declared a draw with the Lions progressing due to being the highest ranked team.

Harding said the pressure on Aberfeldie to score from the get go played a key in those early wickets.

Fawad Malook took 4-10 for the Lions.

Harding, who joined the club midway through the season, said he had been enjoying his time at the club and the players were looking after him.

He like the others have a clear focus heading into the grand final.

“From what I’ve been told, we have never won this cup,” he said “For me and the team we want to do something that has not been done, we’re looking forward to it.”

The Lions will face Sydenham-Hillside in the grand final.

The Storm beat Yarraville Club in their semi final to do what Deer Park did last season, make a grand final in the first season of senior division.

The Storm made 6-306 from its 80 overs after being sent in with skipper Anthony Alleyne leading the way with 109.

The Storm’s bowlers were then able to back up the work of the batters, bowling Yarraville Club out for 147 in the 50th over.

Harding, who played in the Lions win against the Storm earlier in the season, said they were looking forward to the challenge.

“You go into games against teams you’ve played before and aim to be better than last time.

“It’s a little bit of a chess match.”