Footscray’s failure to execute with the ball has proven costly in a two-wicket loss to Prahran in a one-day season opener at Merv Hughes Oval on Saturday.
The Bulldogs posted a competitive 7-227 off their 50 overs, but Prahran reached the target with four balls to spare after being given a leg-up from the hosts.
The wayward Dogs gifted extra runs and deliveries after sending down 18 wides and a no-ball.
“It cost us the game,” Footscray president Geoff Collinson said.
“There was one waist-high no-ball they hit for six and they get another ball with the free hit. It’s disappointing.”
Footscray got off the perfect start with a 60-run opening stand between man of the moment Dean Russ and his opening partner Greg Munro.
Russ was locked in from the start and went on to record a century. The veteran batted from the first ball to the last en route to 115 off 135 balls, including six fours and three sixes.
“He’s a fantastic player and a true professional,” Collinson said.
“Last year he made four centuries and was out for six weeks with a broken hand.
“If he keeps going the way he is, he might have a very, very good season.”
Munro’s knock served as a precursor to the bulk of Russ’s partnerships.
Most of the Footscray batsmen got starts and assisted Russ in raising the bat for the ton, but none could bolster the scoring to the point where they could bat Prahran out of the game.
Skipper Dylan Kight added 21 off 34, Matt Underwood contributed 10 off 22, Tim Buszard made 19 off 26 before he was run out and Hamish Winter-Irving provided a handy 17 off 14 – not enough collectively with the benefit of hindsight.
Prahran got a century through Shaun Miller, who came in at first drop to make 123 not out off 154 balls.
Will Sutherland provided ample assistance for Miller with 55 to get the visitors close to the target.
Despite a stellar bowling performance from Footscray medium pacer Ben Green, Prahran managed to reach the target in the final over.
“He’s a very good white ball bowler,” Collinson said of Green.
“He bowls good full length yorkers, so he’s very good in the one dayers and the Twenty20s.”
Just like the opening round, Footscray will host an away game at home due to its opponent not having a ground ready for play.
The Bulldogs will entertain Northcote in a one-day game on Saturday with the visitors ground unfit for play.
“It helps that we’ve got a very good relationship with the Maribyrnong council,” Collinson said.
“We were ready for play two weeks before the start of the season.”