By Lance Jenkinson
Werribee Centrals have their backs up against the wall in their bid to cause an upset over Newport-Digman in the final round of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 2 season.
The Centurions player-coach Shaun Jennings concedes his side will have its work cut out for it as it tries to be the first team to beat the top-of-the-table Bulls this summer.
“We’re definitely behind the eight ball,” he said. “We’ll certainly be pushing hard though. “We still want to finish as high up the ladder as we can and finish off the year with a win.”
Werribee Centrals found the going tough with the bat, posting 137 off 56.3 overs. Jennings was the mainstay of the Centurions innings, carving out a steady 58.
“I had to be quite patient,” Jennings said. “Because the outfield was quite slow, it was difficult to really push the run rate up.
“With all the wickets falling at the other end, I just had to make sure that I stayed in for quite a while.”
Daniel Williams provided some assistance for Werribee Centrals. Williams made 36 before going out trying to up the run rate.
“He was fairly attacking,” Jennings said. “Then towards the end, when we were down to our last couple of wickets, he tried to push the runs a bit more.”
Jacob Russell dug in for a while to make 17, but there was little else to get excited about for Werribee Centrals from a batting standpoint.
Jennings was disappointed with some of the Centurions shot selection on the day.
“A few of the top order wickets were from good deliveries, but then through the middle order there were some bad shots,” he said.
Getting dismissed with 21 overs left in the day presented Werribee Centrals with a chance to carve into the Newport-Digman line up.
The Centurions only snared the one wicket, while Newport-Digman made significant inroads in their chase to finish the day on 1-49.
“We did bowl quite well,” Jennings said. “There was one dropped chance.
“We were hoping to get a couple of wickets, but we just didn’t get that second breakthrough.”
Jennings believes the Russell brothers – medium pacer Joel and spinner Jacob – hold the keys to an unlikely victory for Werribee Centrals when play resumes on Saturday.
In division 3, Point Cook is in danger of giving up top spot on the eve of the finals.
The Warriors, bowled out for 95, have already lost on first innings to second-placed Sydenham-Hillside, who are 6-116, and will need to reverse the result in the second innings to stay in first.
WIn division 4, Wyndhamvale, led by 64 from Arosha Perera, posted 146 against Footscray United, who is in trouble at 5-87.