Not many people could believe what was going on at AK Lines Reserve late on Sunday afternoon – not least the Plenty Valley players.
The Bats looked headed for just their second loss of the season, with Kew in control of the Victorian Sub-district Cricket Association north-south qualifying final.
At 4-157, and needing 182 for victory, Kew looked on track to cause a massive upset.
Then things took a turn in the Bats favour.
Bats playing coach Matthew Hewat said that while his side was behind the eight ball, the players never doubted they were still in the match.
“Things weren’t looking well,” he said.
“But we always thought we were still in the game, as long as we took regular wickets.
“Once we got momentum we kept it going. It’s amazing what a bit of pressure can do.”
A run-out started the fall of wickets, then Daniel Heatley claimed the scalp of Justin Graham.
Up stepped veteran Sean Ayres. Having spent time off the field with an injured wrist, Ayres took two wickets in as many balls and it was certainly game on.
When Kew lost its ninth wicket, it still needed eight runs to win.
It set the stage for a classic finish.
The end result was a tied match with both teams making 181. That outcome was enough to grant the Bats a home semi-final.
“They needed three runs to win,” Hewat said. “They had run two runs and tied the scores and were run-out going for victory.
“I’ve never played in a tied final. The guys were happy to get that result and to get a home semi-final.”
Hewat said there was plenty of work for Bats to do during the week ahead of the semi-final with Elsternwick, the only side to defeat Plenty Valley this season.
He said batting was the main area of concern after a below-par performance on Saturday.
“We were set to make around the 230 mark and that’s what we thought was about the standard score,” he said.
“At 3-120, we were well placed and then lost regular wickets. I was little disappointed not to bat the full 80 overs out.
“Batting is crucial – you need to score 200-plus most weeks to win.”