Storm stay in second

Stefon King (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Harper Sercombe

Despite a disappointing first day with the bat, Sydenham Hillside bowled its way to victory against St Albans on Saturday in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division.

Last week the Storm were dismissed for 129, however after a good start with the ball in the late afternoon on day one continued on Saturday as the Saints were knocked over for just 98.

“We were a bit disappointed with our batting performance in week one of the game, so we were pretty determined to take some wickets at the end of day one which we managed to do, which was great to be able to take some momentum into day two,” coach Warren Hackney said.

“Then on Saturday starting off day two, it was really important to make it hard for them to score and to get some early wickets and thankfully the bowlers did an excellent job building pressure until their batters cracked and it was nice to see it seal the win before the tea break.”

The Storm’s best bowlers were Stefon King, 3-34 off 19 overs, which included nine maidens. Shehan Wedikkara, 4-8 and Benjamin Green, 2-7 both also had an impact.

“King opened the bowling, and he bowled fantastic all day from one end, and then Ben and Shehan were also very good at the other end and got a few wickets between them,” Hackney said.

“It could end up being a really important win for our season really because if we lost they were looking to jump above us but as it turns out we’ve now put some space between us and them on the ladder, so it was a really important win.”

The Storm was then presented with another opportunity to bat to attempt an outright victory, while it didn’t eventuate Hackney said it was good to get some extra time in the middle into his side’s top order.

Opening batsman Deakyn McIntyre, was dismissed for just three in the first innings and made a 52 not out in the second dig.

“It was a case of shutting out the game but also getting some quality batting time in as well, and a great opportunity for Deakyn so it was nice to see him get a 50,” he said.

Next week the Storm face the undefeated Deer Park, in a two-day Saturday-Sunday clash, which is set to be a true test heading into finals.

Even though the Storm are sitting in a strong spot in second, Hackney said he is cautious of taking anything for granted heading into the final three rounds of the home and away season.

“Deer Park are the runaway leader and flag favourites so it’s going to be great to have a look at them up close and see if we can find a way to bring them down,” he said.

“We’re in a good position at the moment, but the next few weeks are going to be hugely important, we’re not a certainty to play finals and we don’t take anything for granted, we’ve just got to try and bank the wins that we need to lock our position in the top four and then hopefully if we can do that, the aim is to try to finish as high up as possible.”