Nestled on the bottom line of Deer Park’s bowling figures in Saturday’s crucial 20-run win over Tullamarine in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 1 west clash are those of Lachlan Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald took 1-20 off five overs, which does not stand out straight away, until the full context is revealed.
Not only is Fitzgerald just 13 years of age, the wicket that he took of Buddhika Mendis broke an 89-run sixth wicket partnership and set Deer Park on its way to victory.
The Lions took full control of the game when Ricky Suvada dismissed Tulla’s top scorer David Zahorodni an over later.
“They were 5-48 and then their captain Zahrodni and Mendis put on a decent partnership,” Lions president Steve Krstevski said.
“The kid broke that partnership.
“The captain [Suvada] gives him a red hot go.
“He had faith in the kid. It was pleasing to see him break that key partnership.”
Tullamarine was bowled out for 192 in its search for Deer Park’s 212.
The Lions’ victory was set up on day one by Suvada, who scored 58 off 83 balls.
“He’s back into full flight again,” Krstevski said.
“He’s made two scores over 50 in the last two games, so he’s back in touch.”
Not to be overshadowed was Deer Park No. 3 Mark Brown. Brown was the rock of the Lions’ innings with a patient 37 off 180 balls.
“It was just an incredible knock,” Krstevski said.
“He just digs in week after week.”
Angelo Emmanuel had an impressive all-round game for Deer Park with 24 and three wickets.
James Bonnici posted a valuable 29 in the lower order. It was a big win for Deer Park as it not only moved them into the top four, but gained them some confidence with a win over a likely finals contender.
Deer Park will play two one-day games on the road this weekend, against Seddon on Saturday, and Airport West-St Christophers on Sunday.
In senior division, Keilor collected its first win of the season, beating Strathmore by 66 runs.
The Blues had a massive 8-352 to defend and restricted the Mores to 8-286 with captain Kaushal Lokuarachchi starring with 4-67.
St Albans and Sunshine United suffered heavy losses, leaving them both outside the top four.