The Dean machine was firing on all cylinders in Werribee’s 55-run win over Altona in Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association at Grant Reserve on Saturday.
Brothers Matt and Shaun Dean produced a 148-run partnership at the top of the order for the Tigers, laying the foundation for victory in the south-west first XI match.
Matt fell three runs short of a ton, caught on the boundary for 97, while Shaun was out caught for 53.
Werribee captain Tim O’Brien said the big partnership put his side in front.
“Altona had won their last two and we knew they were playing some good cricket, so it was important that we got off to a good start,” O’Brien said.
“It was a pretty good platform to build from to get a competitive total.”
Werribee went on to make 3-241 off its allotted 45 overs.
“Matty was going at a good clip to start with and was probably the dominant scorer,” O’Brien said. “Once Shaun got his eye in, he was getting his ones and twos and holding up an end.”
Matt’s form to start this season has been spectacular. The newlywed has made 273 runs at an average of 136.5.
He has done that in just three innings after missing the opening three rounds while on his overseas honeymoon.
“He’s had a pretty good start to the year with a 60, a 90 and a 100-odd, so hopefully he can continue that on,” O’Brien said.
“It was pretty windy, but he was picking his areas where to hit [against Altona]. He was smart hitting with the wind when he went over the top. He had a couple of chances, but he went on with it in the end.”
With the Dean brothers back in the pavilion, Werribee needed other batsmen to join the party.
O’Brien played a leading role with a better than a run a ball 44, with Chris Hennessy hitting 19 off 19.
“It was important that once those two guys went out that we kept on turning the strike over to get a 240-odd score,” O’Brien said. “Having wickets in hand allowed us to get some more scoring towards the end of the innings and build a competitive total.”
Despite seeing out its 45 overs, Altona fell well short of the target.
The A’s finished on 6-186 after being restricted by tight Werribee bowling.
The most damage was done by Tiger spinner Michael Kelly, who took 3-37 off nine, including the major scalps of Altona skipper Adam Yates and opener David Kinsella.
“Mick played a really important role for us,” O’Brien said. “It was a very strong breeze that he bowled into and he mixed up his pace beautifully.”
O’Brien took 2-38 off nine, while Brad Apps snared 1-23 off seven.
With both teams sitting outside the top six prior to the game, it was a huge victory for Werribee that rocketed it to fourth.
Meanwhile, Hoppers Crossing copped a 35-run loss to Brighton at Beach Oval on Saturday. The Cats’ gutsy run chase of 281 was no match for Brighton’s 2-316.
Luke Goegan was superb for Hoppers Crossing with 105 off 71 balls, but it was to no avail.
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