Lions on top of Bulls

Lachlan Herring will continue on 10 on Saturday (Jacob Pattison)374059_16

Harper Sercombe

Darley is in a strong position in the local Ballarat Cricket Association derby against Bacchus Marsh.

The sides competed in the first day of the two day clash on Saturday at Darley Park, the first time the two clubs have played each other in an official games in years.

Darley was sent to the field on Saturday and it turned out to be a good toss to lose, putting the Bulls on the back foot from the outset.

“We could have got them all out for 80 or something, but they had a good last wicket partnership,” Darley playing coach Dilan Chandima said.

“Two of their young kids batted really well to lift them over 100, otherwise it could have been 75, 80 or something like that.”

Bacchus Marsh ended all out for 111. Number nine Angus Jones top scored with 31, while opening batsman James Lidgett made a fighting 29.

Star Lions opening bowler Madushanka Ekanayake was a clear stand out, producing a fine spell against his former side.

He ripped through the Bulls top order with three wickets from his opening eight overs including two in successive balls.

Ekanayake finished with 5-24 from 17 overs which included eight maidens.

Lions captain Ben Longhurst was also strong with ball in hand, taking 2-39 from his 20 overs.

The pair combined for a stingy 7-63 from 37 overs that included a staggering 17 maidens.

Lions newcomer Chamika Sattambi chimed in with three wickets of his own to put an end to the Bulls’ innings.

The Lions weren’t able to captitalise late in the day with the bat, as both openers, Rockey Hoey and Chandima, fell for not many.

“Not like my last couple of years, I’ve had a bit of a downfall in my batting this year,” Chandima said.

With Lachlan Herring and James Martindale at the crease, the Lions will continue on Saturday at 3-53.

“We’ve got a pretty new team as compared to last year, because we had a West Indian national player and a player from England, we had a pretty mixed team over the last couple of years, but we’re focusing on a lot of local players this year,” Chandima said.

With the Lions requiring 59 runs for victory, Chandima said to get an outright win is on the cards.

“We are definitely trying to do that,” he said.

“We’ve got to think about how many overs it takes us to win the first innings, we have to sort out the first innings win and then go from there.”

Chandima said it has been great to be back in competition with local rival Bacchus Marsh as it adds a further layer to the BCA season.

“It’s the best thing that’s happened for this year, Darley and Bacchus Marsh compete with each other in footy season, so it’s a really interesting game for everyone, a lot of numbers came to watch the game,” he said.

“It’s going to be a big rivalry in the coming years because a lot of players know each other and they’re next to each other, these villages.

“Everyone is motivated, everyone is having fun and a lot of people come to watch the game so it’s pretty good to have that rivalry.”