Lalor Warriors nightmare start to the North Metro Cricket Association’s Jika Shield continued on Saturday.
Having lost their first two matches, it went from bad to worse for the Warriors against the Preston Baseballers.
Resuming at 0-4 chasing 208, the Warriors were bowled out for just 70.
Sent straight back in with the Baseballers searching for an outright win, the Warriors managed to survive 48 overs to avoid the outright loss.
They lost eight second innings wickets.
Warriors president Themi Tilkeridis said their performances with the bat this season hadn’t been up to scratch.
“It was a poor batting performance,” he said. “Batting has been our issue for a long time and that’s not unknown.
“Apart from our innings against Keon Park we haven’t batted well.”
Tilkeridis said avoiding an outright defeat was a massive thing in the context of their season and the psychological factor on the team.
Several players are set to return to the side in the coming weeks which will also give them a boost.
Captain-coach Angelo Pereira, who has missed the first three games while overseas, is expected to return this week.
Bhatiya Ratnayake, who led the Jika Shield’s batting average last season, is another who hasn’t played a game this season.
“We’ve been pretty much undermanned in every game,” Tilkeridis said.
“We haven’t been at full strength yet this season, but that’s no excuse for our performances.
“Angelo should be back next game and another two to come into the side. Bhatiya was the competition’s leading run-scorer last year, and we’re awaiting his arrival.
“Being the leading run-scorer, he’s obviously going to help with our batting.”
Despite sitting last, the Warriors aren’t giving up on finals just yet. Tilkeridis said if they find form, they were still with a shot.
“We are coming from a long way back,” he said. “We have to continue to be confident we can turn the results around. North Brunswick/Rosebank and Rivergum didn’t start well last season and played off in a grand final.
Meanwhile, Rivergum made it three from three with a strong win against Northern Socials. Defending 7-362, the Kookas restricted the Socials to 9-242.