Monkey off the Cats back

Kaushik Jagannathan took 3-6 (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Harper Sercombe

Hoppers Crossing is finally on the board in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-west season.

After starting the season with three losses, the Cats landed on their feet on Saturday crushing Strathmore in a massive nine wicket victory.

The Cats lost the toss to Strathmore and were thrown the ball, however, it was a good toss to lose.

Kaushik Jagannathan and Saaransh Mahay were electric opening the bowling, having the Mores four down in the first six overs.

The wickets kept coming as Abbas Faiyaz and Fawed Ahmed got amongst the figures, with the Cats dismissing the Mores for just 80.

When it was the Cats turn with the bat, the chase was clinical, making the runs required just one wicket down in only 12 overs.

“It was great to get the monkey off the back,” Cats’ coach Simon Lambert said.

“Obviously, the first three rounds haven’t quite gone to plan, so to get that first win on the board is hopefully a good starting point and we can kickstart the season from here.

“There was a little bit in the pitch, but I thought our guys bowled really well with the new ball, got it to move around a little bit and put the batsmen under pressure.

“It was sort of one of those days where the ball caught the edges, over the last few weeks everything’s been missing the edges.

“It was one of those days where everything just came together, we haven’t been having much luck with the ball over the last few weeks.”

The standout with ball in hand was Jagannathan who took 3-6 from his six overs.

“He was terrific,” Lambert said.

“He looked threatening from ball one, he got in to move a little bit each way and bowled at a good pace which was good.

“He asked questions every ball and fortunately was able to find a few edges and the stumps as well.”

Next week the Cats face the in-form St Bernards OC outfit, back at home on Hogans Road. Lambert is hoping the confidence gained from this win will hold his side in good stead.

“They’re a good side, they’ve got most bases covered and they don’t necessarily have any big names on paper,” he said.

“If we can bring our best cricket then we expect to be pretty hard to beat in every game, but what we’ve found in the first three rounds is that if you don’t put your best foot forward in every game you’ll get beat every week.

“If we get on a bit of a run leading into Christmas that will give us a lot of confidence and we want to be challenging at the top end of the table.”

Meanwhile, Werribee lost to Coburg.