Taylors Lakes finds top-order form

Taylors Lakes
Taylors Lakes batsman Chris Marr. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Lance Jenkinson

Taylors Lakes finished a rain-interrupted first day against Balwyn in a strong position on 7-196 in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association east-west group at Lionheart Reserve on Saturday.

The Lions will begin the second day with a further 15 overs to bat and the benefit of knowing the situation in the game and what they want to achieve out of the pointy end of their innings.

Lions captain Jarrod Wakeling has set a target of 230-plus, but, above all, has preached the same patience shown from his batsmen as they produced on an impressive first day.

“The first half an hour, it’s a matter of the guys playing themselves in, getting comfortable with the wicket, having a look at the bowlers and getting back into game mode,” he said.

“We won’t go out all guns blazing, we’ll try and work into the day.

“If we face 15 overs with three wickets in hand, if we can get 30 or 40 extra runs in that time, it probably puts us in a good position transitioning into our bowling.”

Taylors Lakes’ top order was rock solid to start the game.

The Lions went out with a plan and stuck to it to the nth degree.

Michael Brne and Chris Marr got the innings off to a strong start with a 68-run opening stand.

Taylors Lakes
Taylors Lakes batsman Marcus Just. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

PHOTO GALLERY: Taylors Lakes vs Balwyn

Brne was the aggressor with 45, including 10 fours, while Marr played the steady hand with 37.

Brne’s knock was one of the most eye-catching of the day.

“He went out and played his normal game, which is aggressive and anything pitched up, he’ll whack over your head,” Wakeling said.

“That type of batting put us on the front foot.

“He played some unorthodox shots that got us a few boundaries and really got us going.

“The other opener [Marr] was more patient, left the good ball, defended well and was involved in a couple of partnerships.”

Marcus Just picked up the baton when Brne was dismissed and made 37.

Backing up from his 32 a game prior, Just appears to be on the verge of a big score in the not-too-distant future.

Marradon Bend, who scored an unbeaten half century in the season opener, made a handy contribution with 21, while Lachlan Marr dazzled with a quick-fire 33, including seven fours.

There was a lot to like about how Taylors Lakes’ top order went about its business.

“We wanted guys to be patient, put some value on their wicket and take their time and everyone in the top five did exactly that,” Wakeling said.

“They all got really good starts and put on some partnerships.

“Moving forward, it would be nice for one of them 30s or 40s to turn into 70s, 80s or 100, but given that we had some goals at the start of the day and all the boys did what we wanted to do, it’s put us in a good position.

“The boys were happy that they spent some time in the middle, but it was good to see there was disappointment there that they didn’t go on with it.”

Taylors Lakes negotiated most of what Balwyn’s attack threw its way.

However, Balwyn off spinner George Drissell, who took 3-37 off 18 overs, caused a few headaches.

“He was extremely accurate and very patient with the ball,” Wakeling said.