Despite being on track for a fourth win of the Sub-District cricket season, Plenty Valley knows there’s still a lot of work to be done.
While the Bats made a competitive 208 in the north-east division match against Roxburgh Park Broadmeadows at AK Line Reserve on Saturday, playing coach Michael Sheedy said it was a disappointing day.
“We didn’t bat well,” Sheedy said. “Three guys got starts in the top order and didn’t make the most of them and we let them back into the game. We were 2-92 and then 7-107 on a belter of a pitch to bat on.”
Not for the first time this season, skipper Brad Mitchell came to the rescue, with 83.
“Brad batted beautifully and is relishing being skipper,” Sheedy said.
“He loves a fight. He’s a perfect middle-order batsman and he was well supported by the tail.”
Adam Yates was best with the ball for the Falcons, taking 4-58.
Sheedy said he wasn’t concerned about the inconsistent start to the season.
“We haven’t clicked yet,” he said.
“You don’t win premierships before Christmas.
“It’s about learning about the group and that we are very different from last year.
“Guys need to make the most of their opportunities.”
The Bats have four players who didn’t play in last year’s premiership.
Three are from overseas, including Sanjaya Chathuranga who took 8-13 in the last round.
Chathuranga, a talented cricketer in Sri Lanka, came to the Bats on the advice of former Australian captain Greg Chappell.
Chappell saw Chathuranga bowling in the nets in Sri Lanka and helped with his move to Melbourne.
“Guys in a foreign environment do have inconsistent performances,” Sheedy said. “It’s about getting consistency and continuity.
“Will Wright has got starts and Sanjaya took 8-13 last round.
“Rubi [Sunan Rubaiyat] is an out and out professional with a lot to offer with the bat and ball.”
Among the players struggling early in the season are three of the side’s most experienced players.
“Sean [Ayres], Matthew Hunter and myself haven’t delivered this season,” Sheedy said.
“Matt and I have been getting starts but Sean is struggling with the bat. He’s aware of that and is working hard on it.”
The Bats focus now turns to day two of the match against Roxburgh Park Broadmeadows who they beat in last year’s north-west grand final.
“If we bowl well and get through the match with a win, hopefully we can get through unscathed until Christmas,” Sheedy said.