Werribee deals first loss to ladder leaders

Werribee's batsman Matthew Dean. (Photo: Damjan Janevski).

A week ago, Werribee was lamenting the horrible one-day form which saw its position in Sub-District cricket’s top-six under serious threat.

Good thing for the Tigers it could seek a remedy in the longer format at the weekend, with their flawless two-day form continuing in a two-wicket triumph over previously unbeaten Oakleigh in a statement game at Chirnside Park.

“It’s two extremes for us,” Tigers captain-coach Mitch Johnstone told Star Weekly.

“We’re 5-0 in the two-day stuff and 0-3 in the one-day stuff.

“We’re really confident in our formula for two-day cricket and we know finals and premierships are based on the two-day form, so that gives us some confidence. We really believe our two-day cricket is as good as any.”

Werribee made hard work of its chase for Oakleigh’s 181.

The Tigers crept over the line after tail-enders Aangan Parbhakar (10no) and Mason Frenkel (14no) came to the rescue.

Earlier, it was a stop-start Tigers innings, with the likes of Shaun Dean (35), Adam Alifraco (30), Tim O’Brien (25) and Marcus Worrall (23) getting starts but failing to capitalise.

“Oakleigh strangled us for a while there and we thought we actually might go down,” Johnstone said.

“They really made us sweat for runs.”

The Tigers set up the victory on day one, when James Freeman (4-39) produced his most devastating spell of the summer and Jonathan Burton (3-29) lapped up his chance of First XI action after falling in the depth chart since the arrival of big-name recruit Brad Robertson.

The Tigers are clinging to sixth place, with plenty of pressure coming from the teams outside the top six.

“It’s that tight, anyone can beat anyone, but it puts us in a good spot with four games to go,” Johnstone said.

“Next up we’ve got Caulfield [away in a two-dayer], who are second, so that’s another massive challenge.”