Sunshine has laid the groundwork for what it hopes will be a second victory in three games over Sydenham-Hillside in Victorian Turf Cricket Association north A1.
The Crows’ have posted a competitive 9-237 declared that captain-coach Troy Stone believes will be enough for his bowlers to defend.
In January, the Crows posted under 200 against Sydenham-Hillside, a winning score on that occasion.
But Stone says the ground conditions are more favourable for the batsmen this time around, so there is still plenty of work ahead for his side to secure crucial points in the second-versus-third showdown at Lloyd Reserve.
“It’s a bit different because we’re playing at our thirds ground, which is a bit smaller,” Stone said. “I’m confident though, with our bowlers, that we can get the job done.”
The Crows had a few early hiccups to be 3-53 at tea and at 8-178 they were in danger of not reaching 200.
But there were some positives in between, particularly the knocks of opener Sam Magnano and No. 6 Cherith Fernando.
Magnano showed his mental strength at the crease to bat 50 overs for his 54, achieved in the heat and under the duress of a hamstring injury.
“He’s ticked over 300 runs this season,” Stone said. “As a coach you can just rely on him.
“He was willing to grind it out longer than the opposition.
“The hamstring probably held him back a little bit from playing a few more shots, but it was a reliable knock. It wore him down – he was a bit sore after the game – but he loves batting and there’s no other place he’d rather be than out in the middle.”
Fernando’s effort of 67 has put Sunshine in front.
He featured with the tail and turned a good score into an imposing one with his full selection of shots on show.
“He was aggressive towards the end, but he batted beautifully,” Stone said.
“Coming in at six, you need guys capable of scoring big runs.”
Sydenham-Hillside faced two overs before stumps to finish on 0-1, requiring 237 for victory with 10 wickets in hand.