Bats bounce back with crushing win

Simon Bray scored 108 for Plenty Valley on Saturday. Picture Damian Visentini

Plenty Valley bounced back from a disappointing start to 2016 with a thumping win over Box Hill on the weekend.

With the Victorian Sub-District Cricket match being held on Saturday and Sunday, the Bats had the chance to regain form with both bat and ball.

Batting first, the Bats made 6-306 on the back of a century from Simon Bray.

Coach Michael Sheedy was impressed with the efforts of Bray and Harjinder (Harry) Singh Chahal who were promoted to the Firsts on the weekend.

“To start in the fashion we did and to get off to a flier was brilliant,” he said.

“For Harry and Simon to come in and establish themselves in their first knock back was what we wanted from them.

“They both made 70s in the Seconds the week before and won us the game.”

Sheedy said the two were likely to get a lot more opportunities in the first team for the rest of the season.

“We’ve decided we want Sean [Ayres], Brad [Mitchell] and myself batting more in the middle order for the rest of the year,” Sheedy said.

“Ayres at five for us will make a big difference to the tempo we bat at. We want to give him time to re-establish himself at that spot before finals.”

The Bats continued the good work with the ball on Sunday, bowling Box Hill out for 168.

“They were 1-10, 2-20, 3-60 and then 7-90 at tea,” Sheedy said.

“They batted really well after tea, but after making 300 the result was probably never in doubt.”

Spinner Sanjaya Chathuranga was the chief destroyer with 5-46.

“He’d have to be the story of the season,” Sheedy said.

“He’s a real talent and has taken the competition by storm.

“No one knew him before the season and he has been the best pick-up in the competition thisseason.”

Ayres, who made 53, backed it up with 4-44.

“He keeps chipping away and it helps him having a good spinner at the other end. You know whatyou’re going to get from him,” Sheedy said.

“Michael Croxford and Justin Jaensch helped build the pressure with a number of dot balls.”

In a good sign for the Bats’ depth heading into finals, Sunan Rubaiyat was dropped for this gamebut is pushing for selection this week.

“He did a hammy before Christmas and probably returned a week too early,” Sheedy said.

“We dropped him down to get some confidence and he took five wickets.”

The win sees the Bats stay second on the ladder, three points behind Mt Waverley.