Sunshine digs in to hold upper hand

Sunshine vs Werribee Centrals. Pic of Sunshine batsman Sam Magnano. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 202948_06

Lance Jenkinson

Sunshine has one hand on the premiership heading into day three of its four-day Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 2 grand final against Newport-Digman at Bryan Martyn Oval this Saturday.

The Crows took out the first innings by 39 runs to hold a priceless advantage in the game.

What the lead does is does is future proof the Crows should the match fall foul to bad weather or be cut short because of the coronavirus.

You would certainly prefer to be in Sunshine’s shoes given the current social climate.

Crows captain-coach Troy Stone is not thinking about anything other than two full days of cricket to play.

“We expect to turn up next week and get the job done,” he said.

“We’re going to have to win the game.

“They’re going to give us a target to chase.

“I’ve got confidence in our batting line up to bat long periods of time.”

Sunshine kept it tight with the ball to bowl Newport-Digman out for 121 in 51.1 overs.

Four bowlers – Charith Fernando (2-8), Asela Aluthge (2-14), Ashen Perera (2-26) and Ruwan Jayaweera (2-25) – took two wickets apiece for the Crows.

“All the wickets were shared around, there were plenty of contributors, which is good,” Stone said.

Sunshine was happy to bat time, posting 160 off 100.4 overs.

The Crows passed the target four down, but did not really rub salt into the Newport-Digman wounds.

“We would’ve like to have batted into next week for a bit of the mental game,” Stone said.

Sunshine opener Sam Magnano will be causing sleepless nights for the Newport-Digman bowlers.

Magnano, one of the toughest batsmen to get out in the competition, is tailor-made for essentially timeless batting.

He took 60 overs to make his 45 and could end up with a man of the match award if Sunshine’s holds on to win the game.

The only way Magnano was going to get out was by shooting himself in the foot.

“He’s sort of the rock,” Stone said.

“He just knows how to bat long periods of time.

“I don’t believe he would’ve gone out if he didn’t run himself out.”

The other key to Sunshine’s first innings lead was Prasanna Ketheenshwaran with 39.

Newport-Digman is still alive in the game, advancing to stumps on 0-5 with a deficit of 34 runs.

In the division 3 grand final, Sydenham Hillside holds a slender 23-run lead over Williamstown Imperials at Hillside Recreation Reserve.

Alston Bobb had a fine opening weekend for the Storm with 32 and 5-40.

In the division 4 decider, Grand United will be looking to build on their 178-run lead against St Andrews at JR Parsons Reserve and have five second innings wickets in hand to do so.

Lance Jenkinson