Footscray is confident it can claim a much-needed Premier Cricket win when its clash with Ringwood resumes this week.
Despite a David King century, and just six wickets for the day, Footscray finds itself in a strong position after sending in the visitors to bat and toiling away for 96 overs.
The Rams got to stumps on 6-249, but Dogs coach Stan Nell said his side was in the box seat.
“I thought our guys bowled and fielded really well, I mean to keep a side to 240-odd in 96 overs of Premier Cricket is an awesome effort,” Nell said.
“When you see one guy make 130 of those, it shows how well we bowled all day. It was a batting deck, very flat, so full credit has to go to our guys.
“We thought sending them in was a good move as Ringwood haven’t been going that well with the bat, so on our home deck that we know well and how to bowl on it gave us an opportunity to set the game up.”
Despite good batting conditions, the Dogs sent the struggling Ringwood in to bat and kept things tight early as both Hamish Winter-Irving and Tallan Wright strangled the Rams’ openers.
It would be a feature of the day, with all the visiting batsmen registering low strike rates as the Dogs hunted as a pack.
Jackson Freeman (7) was the first to go, after struggling for 56 balls to get his innings going, and even former Ryder medallist Ian Holland (33 off 90 balls) struggled for fluency.
While the new ball pair bowled well without picking up a wicket, it was the change bowlers who did the damage as the day wore on, with Jack Sheppard (2-46) and Lucas Dredge (2-32) the best.
David King showed his class at the top of the order to register another Premier Cricket century, with Sheppard getting the prized wicket just before stumps when he accepted a return catch. King had anchored the day to post 131 off 287 balls.
With new rules on compulsory closure coming in this season, Ringwood would need to declare on its overnight score to deny Footscray the chance to bat out a draw this weekend.
The Rams can bat a maximum of 10 overs on the second day before the Dogs have the chance to chase.
Nell said his side would be confident whatever the case was.
“We’ll be backing ourselves with 86 overs, or anywhere near 90 overs to chase these runs,” he said.
“We’ve had some close losses so we always felt like our best form was coming.”
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