Could Saturday be a coming of age for Taylors Lakes in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association?
A victory over perennial contenders Werribee could be a realisation that the Lions best is enough to match it with the top sides in the competition.
The Lions are halfway there after marginally taking the honours on day one at Lionheart Reserve on Saturday.
Lions captain Jarrod Wakeling was pleased to have seen his side bowl a potent Werribee out for 224.
A hiccup with the bat late in the day – losing two wickets – put a minor dent on the Lions day, but at 2-20 with 205 more runs needed for victory, they still consider themselves in the box seat to win the match.
“A bit disappointing to lose two wickets in the last four overs, but, all in all, we would’ve taken what we got,” Wakeling said.
“We lost the toss, they batted on a pitch that played pretty well and to have them out for 220-odd, we were pleasantly happy with that.
“They’ve made some pretty big scores this year.
“If you could have a side with their talent and their ability and get them out for 224 on a pitch that was playing quite well, you’d be pretty happy.”
This is all about Taylors Lakes now.
The Lions have shown tremendous improvement in their batting this season to be the second ranked side for runs entering the round.
Can they do it with the pressure on against a heavyweight contender?
Wakeling is backing his team in.
“If we bat the way we have all year, which has been our guys being very patient, keeping their head and playing very straight, I expect us to be able to chase down 224,” Wakeling said.
“The weather looks like it’s going to be in our favour, it’s not going to be wet, so if we apply ourselves and bat the way we have all year, we should get 224 on that pitch and on that ground.
“If we walk away and don’t make the runs, I’ll be a little bit disappointed because we probably haven’t batted the way we should.”
Taylors Lakes was not exactly perfect in the field.
The Lions might be made to rue the dropped catch of James Freeman when he was on a duck.
Freeman went on to make 71 and was the catalyst behind Werribee score of 200-plus.
“We did some really good things and, at times, some bad things,” Wakeling said.
“We dropped some catchable catches, which hurt us a little bit, but we did fight back well.”
Wakeling was Taylors Lakes’ leading wicket taker on the day, finishing with 4-96.
Though a little expensive, the spinner got crucial wickets in the middle order, including that of Freeman.
“At times I bowled well, but they took to me a little bit,” he said.
Wakeling made no secret that Hoa Lai was Taylors Lakes’ best bowler on the day.
The left arm medium pacer took 2-25 off 18.1 overs to be an irritant to the Werribee batsmen.
“He was definitely the pick of the bowlers,” Wakeling said.
“He just bowled a line and length where he just gave the batsmen nothing.
“If there was a 20-cent piece on the pitch, I reckon he’d hit it more often than not.”
If Taylors Lakes can chase down the runs on Saturday, it will further consolidate its spot in the top six and get a victory
over a contender that it craves.
“It’s been a very good test for us,” Wakeling said.
“Their batting line up could rival the best in the competition, so we done well to restrict them to 224.
“If we can chase that down against a side like Werribee, it will give us a lot of confidence going forward.”