Sunshine United is growing increasingly confident of its capabilities in long form matches in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association north west division.
The Tigers filed a fourth consecutive win on Saturday to smash its way into the top four before having a slight hiccup in a one-day catch-up game against Airport West St Christophers on Sunday, which they lost by 37 runs.
But Saturday’s 36-run win over the highly rated St Albans in a tense and low scoring two-day game at Kings Park Reserve not only saw the Tigers rise in the standings, but showed they can match it with the best in the competition.
“It was a good victory for the club,” Tigers’ captain Neeten Chouhan said.
“Considering all the top-seven teams are pretty close with regards to points, any win is critical, so it’s a vital win today.
“We’ve bought a lot of belief within the squad [after that win].”
Sunshine United is still nowhere near the finished article. The Tigers may not be as lucky next time they only have 113 to defend.
They got contributions from Scott Dalrymple (20), Tom Duxson (29), Bradley Rego (24) and Harvinder Singh (21), but yearned for a batsman to take the game by the scruff of the neck and failed to find one.
“That’s probably been one of our biggest downfalls the whole season,” Chouhan said of his side’s batting.
“We’ve got a lot of starters and not many people going on to get the big scores.
“It was a bit of a combination of both them bowling really well and a bit of bad shots.
“We always knew, with our bowling attack, whatever score we post, we’re always going to be a chance.”
The bowlers certainly came to the party for Sunshine United. The Tigers dismantled
St Albans for 79 in 42.1 overs.
It was mayhem for the home side.
“A lot of credit goes to our bowlers,” Chouhan said. “They stuck to the game plan we set out.
“There was a lot of dot ball pressure and eventually they crumbled.”
Singh produced a menacing spell of bowling for Sunshine United.
The second change speedster took a team-best 3-21 off 7.1.
“He got three wickets and they were three crucial wickets,” Chouhan said.
“He’s always showed glimpses of what we can actually do and today he came through. He was probably the fastest bowler of the game – both teams included.
“He had good pace and he hit the deck quite hard. He put them under a lot of pressure.”
It was an evenly spread workload with the ball for Sunshine United with Michael Glowacki (2-22), Mark Hardy (2-17) and Duxson (2-10) picking up two wickets apiece.
The Tigers have turned from the hunters to the hunted, so we will get to see how they will handle the pressure when they face Keilor Park in a two-day game at Ray Davies Reserve starting on Saturday.