A HARD-EARNED win over Nestles with five balls to spare was just what West Warrnambool needed to get its season going.
The Panthers posted their first win for 2017-18 with the four-wicket victory at L.P. Wenborn Oval on Saturday, built on the back of solid bowling and batting.
West Warrnambool captain Alastair Templeton said after a tough run in the Twenty20s, it was pleasing to turn the table on Nestles and post the one-day win.
“We obviously didn’t play our best prior to (Saturday) – we haven’t had a lot of things ‘click’ at once,” he said. “We’ve either bowled really well and haven’t batted well, or we’ve bowled pretty loose and batted OK.
“(Saturday) we bowled pretty well early and they (Nestles) bounced back, which we expected them to.
“With our batting, our main aim was just to maintain wickets in hand.”
After restricting Nestles to 183 – Jacob Hetherington top-scored with 64 – Damian Kenny (19 runs) and Templeton (15) helped the Panthers to a steady start.
Ben Threlfall (46), Jack Sunderland (37) and Ryan Youl (31) were top contributors in the Panthers’ 6-185.
“We were, from about 60 or 70 runs, about five or six (runs) ahead of the balls. We needed 45 off 50, 35 off 40,” Templeton said. “It can be hard to go in when you’re the fresh batsman and you have to pick up the slack straight away with a-run-a-ball.
“We needed about 10 off the last two overs and Ryan Youl hit a six … we got a bit in front and we then didn’t need to be looking for the boundary.”
Port Fairy also broke its duck for the season, defeating Merrivale by 65 runs.
That the Pirates did it after losing star Jason Perera for a duck was testament to the Pirates’ batting depth.
Ever-reliable Aaron Williams made 61, while first-drop Travis Parsons contributed 24, and number-six bat Angelo Henke made 37 as Port Fairy posted 8-201.
Perera claimed 3-24 in his first bowling appearance for the summer, while captain Jordan Graham snared 4-40 as the Pirates bowled Merrivale out for 136 in 27.5 overs.
“I think we sort of take for granted what Aaron does more often than not,” Graham said. “We were going at nine-an-over for the first 12 or 13 overs due to him getting away to a flyer.
“It’s a bit of a monkey off our back. We’ve got the first win and the next few weeks, our side is only going to get stronger.”
Nathan Murphy smashed an unbeaten 166 as Brierly-Christ Church thumped East Warrnambool-YCW by 149 runs.
Russells Creek captain Cam Williams made 45 runs as his side defeated Nirranda by 15, while tight bowling set Allansford up for an eight-wicket win over Woodford and Wesley-CBC defeated Dennington by six wickets with a few overs to spare.