Opening batsman Matthew Frydas has given Altona North a fighting chance of defending its undefeated record in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association north west division.
Frydas posted an entertaining 80 as the wickets crumbled around him to lead North to a competitive 7-153 off 58 overs on a rain-interrupted opening day against Sunshine United at Selwyn Park.
With North in trouble on 5-70, Frydas combined with Phil Auciello (23) for a 53-run sixth wicket partnership that turned the tide and had the game in the balance when play was stopped for rain.
North will have another 11 overs to bat when play resumes on day two before Sunshine United gets 69 overs for its run chase.
“We weren’t going too well and then Matty Frydas and Phil Auciello really steadied the ship,” North captain Haydn Wilkinson said.
“We kind of clawed it back a bit, so from where we were to where we are now, we’re pretty happy with that.
“We’ve got 11 more overs to bat, so we can still post a pretty good score next week.
“We don’t have to go out there all guns blazing from ball one, we can work the field around a little bit before going.
“Our guys are up for the challenge and we’re looking forward to next week already.”
One of the cornerstones of Altona North’s hot early season form has been the runs that Frydas has made at the top of the order.
Frydas was one of North’s most consistent batsmen last summer, averaging 30.2 across all forms. But Frydas has stepped up and become a match-winner for North in the early rounds of this season and has been doing it in style.
“He’s gone to another level this year,” Wilkinson said.
“He came off 100 last week and got an 80 today, so he’s really lifted.
“He’s a pivotal point in our batting line-up.
“He doesn’t have much fear, he just plays his shots.”
Elsewhere in the north west division, Laverton posted a commanding 2-203 off 57 overs away to Airport West-St Christophers.
Dallas Treherne led the Magpies with 101 not out, while Broderick Williams carved out 63 not out.
In senior division, Yarraville Club cruised to 2-182 before rain stopped play, with Konrad Kurta top-scoring with 84 not out.
Spotswood bowled superbly to have Tullamarine 9-103.
In north west A1, St Andrews Footscray, who made 122, are locked in a tense battle with Werribee Centrals, who are 6-71 in reply. Thanancheyan Arunthavapalan had a big day for the Saints with 3-18 and 21.