Sunshine Heights opening bowler Mohsin Abbas is like the Energizer bunny – he just keeps going and going and going.
Abbas’ work rate was one of the keys to the Heights’ satisfying 97-run local derby win over Sunshine YCW in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association north-west B1 at Kinder Smith Reserve on Saturday.
Abbas bowled a marathon 20 overs unchanged to take 4-52 and help restrict YCW to 7-107 from 40 overs.
“Twenty overs from one end in any grade of cricket is outstanding,” Heights captain Luke Simpson said.
“He’s a workhorse, he’ll give you an out-swinger, he’ll give you an in-swinger, he’ll give you one that will drop low, one that will go around your neck, he’s just a really good bowler who knows his craft.”
The cricket gods were smiling on Sunshine Heights on this occasion. Unlike the game prior when the Heights lost the toss on a wet track, they got their own chance to take advantage of bowler-friendly conditions this time around.
It was Abbas and first change bowler Muhammad Afzal who took full advantage.
Afzal built tremendous pressure with a characteristically tight 1-17 off 11 overs.
“The boys just bowled line and length,” Simpson said.
“We don’t have an attack that will get you out, but we’ve got an attack that will grind you out.”
Simpson thought the low run chase could be “a bit challenging” given the conditions, but Sunshine Heights did it comfortably in the end.
The Heights passed the target three down, finishing on 6-204 from their 40 overs.
A hot start was crucial and Simpson (56) and Shane Ramsay (29) put on 56 for the first wicket. That was just the entree to a tasty run feast provided by Saman Gonawala (51 not out) and Afzal (49).
Afzal produced some of the sweetest hitting you will see with three fours and three sixes, while Gonawala made Simpson reiterate his belief that “he’s the best batsman in the comp”.
Sunshine Heights remains in the top four with four wins from five starts, while Sunshine YCW is rock bottom and still looking for its first victory of the season.
Simpson said it was extra special to beat YCW.
“There’s always a bit of rivalry, a bit of banter out there, but it doesn’t matter who you play, you’ve got to win the game,” he said.
“In this comp with how tight it is, we’ve just got to win every game we can.”
Meanwhile, Deer Park remains on top of north-west B1 after a 46-run win over East Keilor at John McLeod Oval.
Nilanka Vedagedara was a star for the Lions with 4-43 and has taken a division-best 16 wickets.
In senior division, Keilor suffered a 67-run defeat to Doutta Stars, despite Daniel Stavris posting 61. The Blues have fallen out of the top four for the first time this season.