Surprise packet Wesley-CBC has more to offer in WDCA season

WESLEY-CBC captain Andrew Cheeseman is confident the feel-good cricket story of season 2013-14 can continue throughout summer.

Cheeseman has been at the helm of a much-improved side, which hit the Christmas break with a 3-1 record, plus a draw, from five one-day matches.

The record has lifted Wesley-CBC to second in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) Merri conference, behind West Warrnambool.

The Beavers’ revival comes nine months after they finished season 2012-13 in eighth spot, comfortably outside the top four.

They won just three matches and made the second-fewest runs of any side. Their only post-Christmas win was an outright against Nirranda.

But they are a much-improved outfit and can better their standing when the WDCA season resumes tomorrow.

Wesley-CBC plays Port Fairy at Avery’s Paddock, the first of five two-day matches to end the home-and-away fixtures.

Cheeseman said confidence, particularly among the top-order batsmen, had “heaps” to do with the Beavers’ revival.

“We’ve always had a pretty good bowling , but towards the end of last year we made a few low scores and a few boys were down on confidence,” he said.

“But they’re making runs now and the confidence grows. The way we’re batting, everyone is confident we’re not going to have a collapse as we have in the past.”

Cheeseman, a former Brierly-Christ Church cricketer who crossed to Wesley-CBC last season, has led the way.

The opener leads the WDCA runs tally with 161. 

He is averaging 53.67 and had a top score of 76 not out when he carried his bat against Nestles.

But the support acts have been almost as impressive. All-rounder Joe Higgins has made 93 runs and has only lost his wicket once.

Ryan McArdle (78 runs at 19.50) has also been a valuable contributor in two of the four matches.

However, most striking has been the Beavers’ batting resilience, a trait which will hold them in good stead when they have 80 overs to use.

They have lost just 15 wickets in their past three matches, including scores of 4-184 against Dennington and 4-173 against Nestles.

“The way we have been playing, I think we are a bit more suited (to two-day matches),” Cheeseman said.

“We only lost four wickets against Dennington and four against Nestles.

“If we can do the same sort of thing for another 35 overs we can start making big scores. 

“And our bowlers can bowl all day. They’ve been doing a great job.”

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