Plenty Valley finally got to take to the field in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-south competition.
With their opening round game against Coburg ending in a draw without a ball being bowled, the Bats were keen to get onto the pitch on Saturday.
Although they didn’t get a full day of play because of rain, the Bats are in a good position after day one against St Bernard’s OC.
Bats captain Ryan Pearson said they were happy to finally get underway after two weeks of no play.
“It has been a really long pre-season,” he said.
“The last month the training block has been really good and we’re primed to go.
“It feels like it has dragged on, so it was good to get some cricket, even if it was only 50 overs.”
The Bats were pleased with the efforts on day one, which was interrupted by three rain delays. The Bats made 3-170 from their overs.
Pearson top scored with 64, while Callum Nankervis finished 61 not out.
Pearson said they made the most of the conditions.
“We batted really well,” he said.
“It [the pitch] didn’t have much for the bowlers and you got value for shots.
“Callum batted sensibly and took a while to get going. He took the momentum away from them, along with Daniel Heatley.”
The Bats will get the opportunity to continue their innings on Saturday, with play to be extended for an extra hour to make up for some of the lost time.
“We will continue to bat and will look to set a score for them,” Pearson said.
“We’ll then look to knock them over.”
Pearson, who is captaining the side for the first time, said he was enjoying the experience.
He said he was slowly getting used to the role.
Pearson is well supported by an experienced side, which is looking for back-to-back premierships.
From last year’s grand final side, the Bats have lost premiership-winning captain-coach James Dickinson, Jai Lemire and Ikroop Dhanoa.
Sean Ayres, who didn’t play in the grand final, has also moved on, having initially retired.
On the positive, the Bats have added Michael Rogneda, Lee Brown, Ryan Nankervis and Mathew Ceravolo.
Pearson said the squad looked stronger than what they had last year.
“Everyone is loving it so far,” he said.
“Lee Brown is a good friend of mine … and Michael comes across from Northcote, and Callum’s brother came across as well.
“It’s an older group now, a lot more mature. That’s how it fell.
“We’re in a tough group and I feel like we have improved on last year and have a really even spread across the board.”