New year joy for Point Cook

Dasith Jayatilake played a match-winning hand with 71 for Point Cook. Picture Luke Hemer

Point Cook capitalised on a belter of a pitch to stave off a gallant Williamstown Imperials by 20 runs in a VTCA west B1 match at Saltwater Reserve on Saturday.

The Warriors scored at 4.6 an over on their way to 4-184 off 40 overs and in their haste for the quick runs the Imperials perished for 164 in the 37th.

Warriors’ captain, Travis Bean, told

Star Weekly it was important for his team to post big scores at home under these conditions.

“The way Saltwater is at the moment, it’s magnificent,” he said. “The wicket is great, the outfield lightning fast, and the council [curator] is doing a really great job.

“You need good scores to be able to defend, and we thought we were a good chance to defend over 180.”

Point Cook made a flying start with the bat, with Bean (49) combining with Dasith Jayatilake (71) for a 121-run opening stand.

While Bean said he was “doing my normal scratching around and holding up an end”, Jayatilake took the challenge up to the Imps bowlers with 14 fours.

Making Jayatilake’s knock all the more impressive was that it was his first innings of the summer, having sat out the first half of the season to focus on his VCE studies.

“Last year he did year 12, so he’s back for the second half of the season,” Bean said. “He played a handful of games in the firsts over the last couple of years and showed he’s a very good young cricketer.”

Mark Schneeberger made a quickfire 28 and Raj Sindhu added 13 to get the Warriors to their competitive score.

The Imperials’ innings was stop-start due to their steady loss of wickets, particularly due to Warriors’ slow-medium change bowlers Brett Talbot (4-39) and James Doolan (3-18).

“They forced Williamstown into trying to make the pace, and it worked,” Bean said.

It was only Point Cook’s second win of the summer, but it puts the side within touching distance of the top four. The Warriors are seven points outside the four and have a chance to close the gap when they visit fourth-placed Footscray ANA on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Seabrook had a resounding 61-run victory over West Newport to consolidate third spot on the ladder. Saints captain Leigh Edwards made 47.

In west A1, Werribee Centrals won a low-scoring game by 29 runs over Royal Park- Brunswick at Galvin Park, while Wyndham Vale took the points over Newport-Digman by one wicket in a nail-biter at Bryan Martyn Reserve.