A CRUCIAL middle order partnership proved the catalyst for Western Waves’ first win of the Cricket Victoria under 18 state championships.
Nestles’ Charlie Locke and Nirranda’s Brody Couch put on a match-winning 82-run fourth-wicket stand to help the Sam Kerber-coached side to a five-wicket victory over Metropolitan Northern on Wednesday.
Kerber praised Locke (59 not out) and Couch (52) for their contribution along with all-rounder Sam Younghusband, who made 32 runs to complement his 3-16.
“Charlie came in when the score was 3-9, so it was a pretty tough period, and he batted right through,” he said.
Kerber moved Locke from his customary role as an opener and put him in at number five.
“It was really encouraging,” he said of Locke’s performance.
“He’s a handy middle order bat because he plays the spinners well. He really deserved that knock.”
Western Waves, coming off two losses to start their campaign, overcame a shaky start to restrict Metropolitan Northern to 150 on a fast outfield at Northcote.
Metropolitan Northern was 2-97 at one stage and in a commanding position.
“It was a really good effort to keep them to 150 and bowl them out,” Kerber said.
“It was exciting going into lunch but we knew we couldn’t rest on our laurels.”
Meanwhile, Western Waves with two wins over Metropolitan North West and Barwon.
Port Fairy all-rounder Rosie Wynd took 3-4 and retired on 52 in their second triumph.
The Waves’ under 14 girls proved too strong for Metropolitan North West in their one game.