Taylors Lakes is still searching for its first win of the sub district cricket season, after going down to competition powerhouse Oakleigh on Saturday.
After two losses against western rivals Hoppers Crossing and Werribee to start the year, the Lions first match-up with a southern side followed a similar script – they showed glimpses of their best form but ultimately fell short in a one-dayer.
Lions’ captain Jarrod Wakeling said the margins between victory and defeat were slim.
“Essentially what it comes down to … our bowling was not as consistent or as disciplined as the Oakleigh boys,” Wakeling said.
“We saw the standard that we have to reach with our ground fielding, and unfortunately we lost consistent wickets so that’s what it all boils down to.
“Their captain batted really well, but we did drop him early and good batsmen make you pay, so it could have been different if we’d held that one.”
Taylors Lakes had earlier won the toss and sent the home side in to bat, and while James Campbell made a fast start the Lions were rewarded with the early wicket of Satvik Verma for a duck.
Wakeling sent Campbell back to the sheds soon after, and at 2-34 it was a strong start to the day for the visitors.
However, Oakleigh legend Brendan McGuinness would prove to be a thorn in the side for the Lions as he partnered with Matthew Price (19) and Jeremy Devlin (27) to guide the hosts to a strong position.
None of the Lions bowlers had any luck removing McGuinness, but they were able to take wickets at the other end as Liam Wolf (3-40) backed up his five wicket haul in the second XI from last week with another strong performance.
Oakleigh finished its 45 overs on 6-206, with McGuinness raising his bat late in the innings with a crucial 101 not out.
In reply, the Lions’ innings got off to a terrible start as Michael Brne was bowled for a second ball duck. Chris Marr (21) and Nipun Sumanasinghe (23) were able to build a nice partnership to give the visitors a chance.
Both men fell in quick succession, and with Marcus Just (11) also losing his wicket, the Lions were in trouble again at 4-66.
The middle order all made solid starts at a good run rate, with Dilshan Kanchana (29 off 25 balls) and Vishesh Bansal (28 off 24) particularly impressive, but when they were dismissed the task proved too great for the lower order.
The last four batsmen contributed just eight runs as the Lions were dismissed for 157 with five overs to spare.
Despite three losses to start the summer, Wakeling said he felt like his side would break through soon.
“We’ve been competitive in all our games, but with a young side I think if we can start to emulate some of these top sides we’ll start winning games,” he said.
“We’re not quite at the standard that we want to be, but we’ve learned a lot from the first three games and I can see these young players starting to mature and learn very quick.
“The talent is there, it’s just about improving.”
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