Jackson Watt had to go from the medical room at the local hospital on Saturday to the centre of Ivanhoe Park on Sunday to put an exclamation mark on Werribee’s dramatic tie against Ivanhoe in Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association.
Watt was expected to take no further part in the game after being hit in the eye with the ball while fielding on Saturday and needing five stitches.
With the north-west first XI game on a knife’s edge and the Tigers nine down and needing two runs to win with one ball remaining, Watt had no option but to take to the centre and try his best to come through for his team in difficult circumstances.
He managed to get bat on ball, but could not find a way past the square leg fielder, so he scampered through for a single and the game ended in a tie.
Werribee captain-coach Tim O’Brien said it was a last resort to call on Watt.
“We were hoping he didn’t have to go out and bat, but he went out there for one ball,” O’Brien said. “He said he could still see and I made sure he was comfortable about going out there.
“He was just a little bit disappointed that he couldn’t get the two runs, but at least he got the one run and got some points for us.”
Looking to eclipse Ivanhoe’s 186, the Tigers were at times on top in the chase and at other times behind the eight ball.
At 7-118, the Tigers were, in O’Brien’s words, just about “dead and buried”.
A magnificent 64-run partnership between Jonathan Burton (41no) and Matthew Palmer (25) got the Tigers back in the game.
With 18 runs to get in the last four overs with three wickets in hand, the Tigers felt they were on course for victory.
A frantic finish, which saw Palmer run out and wicketkeeper Travis Bean bowled for one, gave Ivanhoe a second wind and the game ended in a tie.
“Looking on the game, it’s probably a fair result,” O’Brien said.
“The boys did well to fight back and get us into a winning position.
“We needed 18 off 24 balls with three wickets in hand, so in that position you probably back yourself in. We came from a long way back.”
Marcus Worrall earned praise for his 43 at the top of the order. He looked set for a big score before he was caught at long on when looking to up the run rate.
“If he didn’t bat the way he did, we wouldn’t have got anywhere near it,” O’Brien said.
Burton had a stellar all-round game, taking 4-59 to go with his 41 not out, while O’Brien enjoyed the turning track, snaring 4-54 off 25.2.
The share of the points was enough to lift Werribee off the bottom of the ladder, but it is still seeking a first win for the summer.
The Tigers will get another chance when they host Altona in a Twenty20 game at Chirnside Park on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hoppers Crossing came back from the dead to chase down Coburg’s 170 and win by a wicket.
The Cats were in deep trouble at 7-82, but wicketkeeper Justin Goegan (50no) and tailender Brett Smith (35) performed the rescue act with an 88-run eighth-wicket partnership.
The win has lifted Hoppers Crossing up to eighth – half a game outside the top six – ahead of a trip to Kew on Saturday.