Darley’s hopes of a winning start to the Ballarat Cricket Association crumbled as the Lions’ batting order collapsed.

The Lions did a good job with the ball and in the field against Mt Clear and looked on track with the bat while negotiating the early overs.

But once the Lions lost their first wicket, the rest fell in quick succession.

The Lions lost 10-40 to turn what looked like a good day into a disaster.

Lions captain-coach Michael Alexander said they could not stop the flow of wickets and were bowled out for 69.

He said some poor shots brought the downfall of many of their batsmen.

“We were happy at the half-way point,” he said.

“We just lost quick wickets in succession. We had an inexperienced batting line-up.

“We weren’t able to get any partnerships of note.

“We played some poor cricket shots and only have ourselves to blame.”

Ryan Ali top scored with 20. The next highest was extras, with 13 as no other batsman reached double figures.

Earlier, the Lions had restricted Mt Clear to 9-165.

Ben Longhurst, Bradley Barnes, Ali and Mitch Ward took two wickets apiece for the Lions.

Alexander said while the team was disappointed with the result they weren’t worried at this stage.

“The issue will be if it keeps happening,” he said.

“We can learn from it. We had a couple of players missing.”

Lachlan Herring and two new imports will be on the players’ list soon.

Alexander said West Indian Danza Hyatt and Sri Lankan Hasitha Wickramasinghe were still to arrive in the country.

Hyatt, a former West Indian international, comes from playing with Gisborne last season, while Wickramasinghe played for Darley a few years ago.

Both are all rounders and will add some more experience to the Lions’ batting line-up.

Alexander said they were not sure when they would arrive.

“We’re waiting for the paperwork,” he said.

“We had a similar problem last year and we didn’t get our imports to round five or six.

“Hopefully it will be sooner than that.”

Hyatt and Wickramasinghe are the two main recruits for the Lions this season.

Alexander said even though they were missing three batsmen from their line-up on Saturday, they were a lot more capable than the results showed.

As well as a change of imports for the Lions, they’ve lost former captain-coach Matt Cape who has retired.

Alexander said losing Cape was a big loss for the side. “Matt is a club legend and a competition legend,” he said.

“You can’t replace players like that. He was really handy with the ball for us last season.

“It gives another opportunity to have a young player come up and play a role.

“It’s not ideal, but we’re looking at the positives.”

The Lions this week face Wendouree.