By Lance Jenkinson
Taylors Lakes is reaping the rewards of shrewd recruiting and investment in youth.
The Lions have turned from last season’s cellar dwellers to one of this summer’s surprise packets in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association.
After six rounds, the Lions have far exceeded the points they picked up for the whole 2018-19 season, moving into a top six spot in the east-west group in the process.
The Lions hardly had a weak link in Saturday’s 50-run win over Endeavour Hills in a one-day game at Lionheart Reserve.
“It was a very good all-round team effort,” Lions captain Jarrod Wakeling said.
“Essentially, the batsmen and the bowlers delivered what we’ve been wanting to do all year and that’s be patient and disciplined.”
Taylors Lakes powered to 3-201 off its maximum 45 overs.
Youngster Lachlan Marr was at the forefront for the Lions, compiling 60 not out, including six fours and a six.
“He was the top scorer and probably our fastest scorer,” Wakeling said.
Marr featured in an unbroken 111-run stand that moved Taylors Lakes from 3-90 to its eventual total.
The man at the other end, West Indian import Marradon Bend, continued his sparkling form with 48 not out.
Bend has been superb for the Lions and is the leading run scorer in the competition with 311 runs at 62.2.
“The pitch today wasn’t as easy to bat on as the Taylors Lakes pitch has been the last four or five games,” Wakeling said.
“There was a bit of variable bounce – it was a bit low, it was a bit slow, so a lot of the shots we could get away with, like the flashy cover drives and flashy cut shots, just weren’t there.
“Bendy, with his innings, he started off quite slow and was very patient and played very straight.
“Then towards the end of the innings, he was hitting sixes for fun.”
Earlier in the innings, Michael Brne (22), Marcus Just (24) and Vishesh Bansal (35) gave Taylors Lakes the solid start it needed.
All five Lions batsmen displayed qualities that Wakeling had called for at training during the week.
“All in all, we were really pleased with the batting,” Wakeling said.
“We thought 200, on that pitch today, far exceeded par.”
Taylors Lakes managed to take all 10 Endeavour Hills wickets with a bit of breathing room. Youngster Aidan Brasher was outstanding with 3-18 off 8.1 overs.