Sunshine United to make most of second chance

Kaushal Lokuarachchi has joined Sunshine United. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 203635_10

Tara Murray

Sunshine United is hoping to make the most of a second chance in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division.

The Tigers finished seventh last season and were to be relegated, but earned a reprieve when the top division was expanded to 10 teams.

Tigers president Mark Dalrymple said they were looking forward to making the most of a second shot in the top grade.

“Had we been relegated it would have been really tough,” he said.

“We would have taken the medicine, but we did a little bit better than the results indicated.

“It was wise to move back to 10 teams, so it’s not so cut through.

“We have a second chance and we’re looking forward to it. You still have to perform on the day.”

Wanting to make an impact, the Tigers added a couple of key players to strengthen the side.

The biggest move was signing Kaushal Lokuarachchi, who had been playing for rival senior division team Keilor.

Lokuarachchi, who is an assistant coach this season, averaged nearly 45 with the bat last season, making the second most runs in the division.

He also chipped in with 21 wickets.

Dalrymple said one of the main reasons they recruited the former Sri Lankan test player was to help stay up in the top grade.

Former captain-coach Neetan Chouhan returns after several seasons off. He will skipper the side.

The third key addition is Michael Glowacki, who after a couple of injury-interrupted seasons, is fit and firing and ready for a big season.

“They are three good recruits which is exciting … they’ve been around a while and played a lot of cricket,” Dalrymple said.

“With our other core players we have a lot of experience.”

Dalrymple said there had been plenty of numbers at training with people keen to get back into sport after the lockdown.

They managed to get in a couple of practice matches before the season got under way, which was a good test of the COVID-19 protocols.

Dalrymple said they expected the one-day format this season to suit the side.

The Tigers kicked off their season on Saturday against Aberfeldie.

United was bowled out of 216 with contributions throughout the order.

Aberfeldie was bowled out for just 79.

Roshan Laksiri took four wickets for the Tigers.

The Tigers last week also kicked off their T20 campaign with a win against Sunshine YCW.

The Tigers bowled YCW out for 53, with Lokuarachchi taking three wickets.

It was easy work in the run chase, the Tigers finishing 1-54 off 10 overs.

Dalrymple said the T20 competition remained a big focus this season.

“We’re looking forward to the T20 competition just as much,” he said.

“It’s something we won last season and two seasons before that too.”

In other senior division results, Yarraville Club was too strong for Keilor, Druids easily accounted for Westmeadows, Strathmore beat Haig Fawkner and Doutta Stars beat St Albans.