Taylors Lakes caught in the spin

Jared Wakeling. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Ewen McRae

Taylors Lakes spilled to its second loss of the sub-district cricket season on Saturday, after it was unable to capitalise on a strong start against Werribee.

While the top order set up a good platform, the middle order crumbled as the Lions managed 9-160 from their 45 overs.

In reply, the hosts had no answer for Werribee captain Tim O’Brien, who’s unbeaten 80 guided his side home with 27 balls to spare.

Taylors Lakes president Rob Arnold said his side was getting closer but just fell short at times throughout the day.

“We were in the ballpark but just couldn’t get over the line,” Arnold said.

“Their spinners got on top of us in the middle overs, and then when we got to 10-15 overs left with wickets in the shed we tried to push it along and that’s when wickets can happen.

“At the time, we thought 160 would be competitive if we bowled well, but in hindsight maybe 180 was needed. There wasn’t much bad fielding or dropped catches, they just gave us less chances and batted really well, so credit to them.”

The day started well for the Lions, with Michael Brne and Chris Marr getting off to a strong start after the home side won the toss and elected to bat.

Taylors Lakes batsman Sam Clark. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

Photo Gallery: Taylors Lakes vs Werribee 

Brne was particularly aggressive on anything loose, hitting nine boundaries on his way to 50 off 45 balls, before he was the first to go to have the Lions 1-69.

Marr was more watchful at the other end, but when Vishesh Bansal (6) was dismissed, and Marr (34 off 76 balls) was trapped in front, the home side’s innings started to lose momentum.

Werribee’s spinners dried up the runs through the middle of the innings, with the home side unable to pierce the field and use the fast outfield to full effect.

Kamal Guraya (16 off 64 balls) struggled to turn over the strike, while Nipun Sumanasinghe’s 26 was the final score in double figures as Werribee’s bowlers ran through the middle and lower order.

From 4-132, the Lions slumped to 8-148 as opening bowler Bradley Apps (3-47) returned to tidy up the tail, and O’Brien (2-27) did his bit.

The chase began with Andrew Ford and Shaun Dean, who laid a solid platform with a composed 26-run partnership.

When Ford fell for 18 it brought O’Brien to the crease, and he proceeded to turn the game in the visitors’ favour with some fluent strokeplay and smart running.

Despite losing Dean (14) and Adam Alifraco (7) with the job only half done, the combination of the Werribee skipper and Chris Hennessy (34 not out) was too much for the Lions bowlers as the visitors grabbed their first win of the year.

With games to come against southern powerhouses Caulfield and Oakleigh, Arnold said his developing side was ready for the challenges ahead.

“I think those two finished one and two in their division last year, so it’s a good test for us,” he said. “Whatever eventuates this year, it’s another year of cricket under the belt for our young guys so it will hold us in good stead for the years to come.”