A late order fight-back has given Plenty Valley a competitive total to defend in it match against Balwyn.

The Bats looked in trouble early on in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-east game and one stage didn’t look like it would make 100.

But the Bats fought back eventually getting to 177.

Bats captain-coach James Dickinson said they are happy with the final total.

Dickinson said the batting collapse had been a combination of poor shots and Bawyln bowling well.

“It looked pretty bad there for a little while,” he said.

“Jai Lemire and Blacky [Simon Black] came together and have given us something defendable to work with next week.

“It’s a luxury to have Blacky batting at nine. He’s got a strong technique and can make runs.

“The wicket flattened out after tea and the bowlers got a bit more fatigued. We didn’t cash in like we could have as we didn’t have wickets in the shed.”

Black finished with 48 runs, while Lemire hit 42.

Dickinson said it was impressive to see Lemire come up from the second XI and have an impact with the bat.

He has come in with wicketkeeper Rory Collins missing the game

“It shows how accomplished he is at this level,” said Dickinson of Lemire.

“Him and Jack McLagan have both come up and it’s been good to be able to make runs from them. The seconds have been playing well.”

Dickinson said the Bats believed 177 was a total they could defend to make it three wins in a row.

“It’s a competitive total,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse if not for Jai and Blacky.

“We need to make the batsmen play early on and, hopefully, get a few wickets.”

A win and other results going their way would seal the Bats’ finals spots with two rounds remaining.

Dickinson said they needed to ensure they did not become complacent.

“We need to build on the momentum heading into finals,” he said.