Caroline Springs is in a prime position for a win against Barkley Street Uniting that will further strengthen its Victorian Turf Cricket Association north A1 finals hopes.
Sitting fourth heading into the second last round, Caroline Springs’ clear focus against the bottom side is to get as many points as possible.
After day one, Caroline Springs is well on top with an outright victory not out of the equation.
But skipper Kane Sevior said his side wasn’t getting carried away.
Just 11 points separate first-placed East Coburg and fifth-placed Moonee Valley, with all finals spots up for grabs.
“Obviously, Barkley are struggling a bit,” Sevior said. “We said we need to secure the win here and then see what happens against [second-placed] Sunshine.
“Every point is vital.
“We’ll maximise points if we can get an outright and I’d sign for that right here and now.”
Sevior was a happy man after his side dominated day one.
Its batsmen put on 3-229 off just 51 overs, with plenty of runs coming after tea.
The instructions to the batsmen were to hit out, but even Sevior was surprised by how quickly that happened.
“Nick Alexander made his first century and Gayashan Weerasekara made 85,” he said.
“The two put on a 180-odd partnership. When I said to them at the tea break to lift the run rate so we could have a bowl, I thought we might get 15 to 20 overs at them. We ended up bowling 29 overs.”
Without regular opening bowler Chris Vulic, who was out because of illness, two of Caroline Springs’ younger bowlers, Jermone Arandez, 18, and Lucas Blackman, 15, were the keys as Uniting tumbled to 5-42.
Arandez took three wickets and Blackman bowled well at good speeds, showing the club’s focus on youth continues to pay off.
In other games, third-placed Sydenham-Hillside has a battle on its hands against Sunshine. Sunshine was 9-237 at stumps after day one.
In west A1, Melton South Royals is on top after day one of the derby against Melton Centrals.
Centrals was bowled out for 103, with the Royals 1-41 in reply. The Royals need a win to keep finals hopes alive.