Top order fails to fire for Werribee

Werribee's James Freeman. (Luke Hemer)

By Lance Jenkinson

Werribee was not bitter after tasting defeat for the first time since November 30 in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association.

The Tigers offered up no excuses following a 46-run loss to Box Hill in their first home game at Chirnside Park this season.

Tigers captain Tim O’Brien conceded his side was out-played in all facets.

“They fielded better than us, batted better than us and bowled better than us,” O’Brien said.

Werribee was facing an uphill task before a ball was bowled on Saturday.

Staring at a 205 run chase for victory, the Tigers knew that nothing short of their A-game would be enough to secure the points on a pitch that proved hard to score on for both sides.

The Tigers did not get close, bowled out for 158 in 75 tough overs.

“I was pretty disappointed with the way we batted,” O’Brien said.

“We were 6-60 at tea and it’s hard to win games from that position.

“It was hard batting conditions last week to score as well, but it was easy to stay in.

“We just played a few rash shots today.”

Werribee’s Jonathon Burton. (Luke Hemer)

PHOTO GALLERY: Werribee vs Box Hill

It is debatable whether the pitch was harder to bat on this week than day one, but the wet patch discovered mid-week did Werribee no favours.

Instead of calling off play on day two, the Tigers volunteers and local council ground staff got to work to get the pitch to a playable condition.

They even brought into heaters to dry out the wet patch on the pitch.

O’Brien never entertained the idea of calling the second day’s play off and splitting the points.

“I’d rather play and lose than not play and have a draw,” he said.

“You’ve always got something to learn.

“We were batting in a pressure situation, so hopefully we can take something out of that.

“It might help us if we’re in a similar situation in the finals.

“We’ll sit down and review the game and talk about what we could’ve done better in this scenario.

“If we hadn’t played that game, we wouldn’t have got that experience.”

Werribee took the game deep into the second day as middle-to-late order batsmen James Freeman (32), Jonathan Burton (32) and Michael Kelly (25no) offered resistance.

The issue for the Tigers was the lacklustre performance of their more recognised batsmen.

“Our top order didn’t fire today,” O’Brien said.

“It was similar batting conditions to last week.

“They just did a lot better than us in the end.”

Werribee will have to dust itself with a tough away clash with runaway ladder leader Altona next round.

It is a crucial match for the Tigers, who have dropped to third and have Williamstown breathing down their neck.

“It’s disappointing to lose but you’ve got to move on quickly,” O’Brien said.