Werribee has given north-west group rival Melton a fright, but fallen short of its desired outcome.
The Tigers showed plenty of spirit on day two of their clash, but took a loss on first innings, leaving them without a win after two matches and in an unfamiliar position in the bottom quarter of the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association standings.
With only 113 runs to defend, Tigers captain Tim O’Brien knew his team had its back up against the wall, but he was proud of the fight displayed to make the Lions earn the result.
The Lions passed the target eight down, finishing on 155 for a 42-run win.
“We were in the game,” O’Brien said. “They just got over the line in the end. We dropped a few catches, a couple of decisions didn’t go our way, but with 113 on the board, we probably needed everything to go our way.”
It turned into a nervous run chase for Melton because of the quality of Werribee’s bowling.
Five of the Tigers’ six bowlers picked up at least a wicket and all bowled economically, building pressure on the Lions’ batsmen.
New ball operators Jackson Watt (1-32 off 12 overs) and Jack Budd (1-12 off 13) led from the front, while Stephen Plumridge chimed in with 2-6 off 5.4.
Spinners Michael Kelly (3-52 off 19) and O’Brien (2-31 off 13) played their part, but it was still not enough.
“I can’t fault the bowlers’ efforts,” O’Brien said. “The bowling was pretty steady all the way through.”
The finger was fairly and squarely being pointed at the Werribee batsmen on Saturday night.
Aside from 40 from Matt Dean and 47 from Kelly, the scoreboard made for bad reading for the whole line-up.
“It was the batting that really let us down,” O’Brien said. “We had two guys made 40, no one from Melton made 40 at all, but they had six or seven players who made over 10 runs. We only had two.
“We just didn’t have as many contributors with the bat as Melton did, even though we had the top two scorers in the game.”
The panic button ought to be pressed for Werribee.
The Tigers are 0-2, have a Twenty20 clash with undefeated Williamstown at home on Saturday and face a powerful Plenty Valley the week after, so the pressure is on to turn their form around quickly.
“Hopefully, we can get some players to step up and produce some good cricket,” O’Brien said.
“We really need to get some points on the board to get our season rolling.
“You don’t want to start the season zip and three because it’s a long way back from