Taylors Lakes will need to pull off a remarkable comeback to claim a win this weekend, after struggling in difficult conditions on Saturday.
The Lions hosted Mt Waverley in the opening round of the sub-district cricket season, and struggled to adapt to a sticky wicket as they were bowled out for just 111 in 39 overs.
Mt Waverley then moved to the brink of victory as the conditions improved, finishing the day on 1-83 at stumps to have first innings points in their sights.
Taylors Lakes captain Jarrod Wakeling said they didn’t get much luck coming their way, but paid credit to the visitors on the day.
“I think we were essentially outplayed and outclassed,” he said.
“Mt Waverley probably had the better of the conditions in terms of their bowling, and to their credit they bowled exactly the way that you should on a wicket like that.
“They gave us very few bad balls, but with our batting we weren’t patient enough to overcome that, and at times we played some shots that weren’t required.
“They bowled some bad balls that we hit straight to fielders, so there’s a bit of luck in that, and the conditions improved for batting when they got in, but that’s cricket.”
Mt Waverley won the toss and sent the Lions in to bat, with the decision paying off straight away as Marcus Just (0), Yannick Fernandes (1) and Michael Brne (7) all departed cheaply.
New recruit Marrodon Bend (16) combined with Lachlan Marr (36) to stem the flow of wickets, with the pair chewing up some overs with a steady partnership, but another run of wickets through the middle of the innings stymied any momentum.
Vishesh Bansal made 25 off just 15 balls as wickets tumbled around him late in the innings, but the visitors were clinical in ensuring they would not have to chase a big total.
When their chance came with the ball, the Lions players created a number of chances, and beat the bat several times, but were unable to generate the run of wickets they needed.
Wakeling broke through late in the day to dismiss Michael Millier for 42, but the hosts face a tough challenge to turn things around.
Wakeling said they would come out hard this week to try and get a result, but was also positive about the season ahead.
“The game will be decided in the first 10 overs of the day, so we’ll have to go hard to try and run through them and then reassess as the day goes on,” he said.
“We’re taking everything week by week, but we expect to be competitive in every game we play.
“If we apply ourselves and do everything that we’re capable of then we have the potential to win a number of games and potentially play finals, but I think if we look too far towards the end of the season we might get a bit ahead of ourselves. Individual improvement will correlate to team improvement and the results that we’re looking for.”