RUSSELLS Creek pair Shanaka Perumpuli and Jayaweera Bandara completed a memorable day for Sri Lankan batsmen with a match-winning century stand as they condemned powerhouse Allansford to its worst start to a season in seven years.
The Warrnambool and District Association’s round four was dominated by Sri Lankans.
Dennington batsman Shashan Silva made an unbeaten 155 and took 2-30 in the win against Nirranda while countrymen Shanaka Perumpuli (85 not out) and Jayaweera Bandara (66 not out) were the stars of Creek’s win over Allansford at Jetty Flat.
Chasing Allansford’s 6-172 off 80 overs last week, a 71-run third-wicket stand between Perumpuli and Paul Walker (35) laid the foundations for victory, completed by a 107-run unbroken stand between Bandara and Perumpuli.
It was Perumpuli’s highest score with Creek, having played in 2008-09 and 2009-10 before missing the past two seasons. Bandara completed his third unbeaten half-century in three knocks this season, leaving him with 195 runs for the season.
Captain Nathan Divall said he was pleased with the result, lifting his club to just outside the four.
“We’ve been working on creating partnerships at the top of the order and we were able to do that,” he said.
Divall said his side’s start to the season had been good except for a lapse with the ball against Brierly-Christ Church two weeks ago.
The result left Allansford winless after four rounds and at the bottom of the ladder. The last time it had a win-less start after four rounds was in the 2005-06 season. It is an unfamiliar position for the Gators who made the semi-finals last season and won three consecutive premierships between 2008-09 and 2010-11.
Port Fairy made it two wins from four matches and picked up valuable points after having a shot at an outright win over Brierly-Christ Church at home.
Chasing the Bulls’ 96, Port Fairy, thanks to Nayantha Weeraman (25) and a host of contributors, secured first innings points making 126.
The Bulls then made 7-137 declared after brothers Mark (44) and Nathan Murphy (28) got among the run, setting the Pirates 108 off 12 overs for an outright win. They finished at 1-41.
Coach Aaron Williams said the Pirates had “shut up shop” batting a second time.
“We talked about it (an outright) once they declared but we just shut up shop and said we would just bat normally,” he said.
“We weren’t ever thinking of an outright. We were just happy to get the win and get some more confidence.
“We are pretty happy with our start. We won two games last year and we’ve won two out of the first four this season.”
Woodford consolidated top position on the ladder with a tense win over Merrivale in what had been a battle between two undefeated sides.
Chasing Woodford’s 9-154, Merrivale was 6-113 and looked to be heading to victory with Matthew Wilkinson holding the innings together. But when he was dismissed for a match-high 44, Woodford hit back, claiming the last four wickets for 31 runs.
A 17-run stand for the last wicket between Damien Barnes and Adam Melville almost stole the game for Merrivale.
Woodford coach John Houston was pleased his side had kept its unbeaten record intact.
“It was a game that could have gone either way,” Houston said.
“It was getting tight. It was a pretty good game from both sides. You win those ones and it just gives you a fair bit of confidence.
“We are under no illusions where we are at. It’s only four rounds in and we still have a lot of improvements we need to make and want to make. We know we have to keep improving and we are nowhere near our potential.”
Last season’s grand finalist Nestles picked up its first win of the season with a comfortable victory over East Warrnambool-YCW at Reid Oval.
Defending its score of 214, Nestles’ Chris Higgins finished with 4-37 off 19 overs as it dismissed East for 156. Michael Townsend top scored with 50.
West Warrnambool paceman Tom Smith led the Panthers to victory against Wesley-CBC yesterday at Brierly.
Smith took 4-28 as Wesley-CBC was dismissed for 152, 40 short of West Warrnambool’s192.
The Panthers’ Will Mills took 2-40 while Simon Johnson toiled hard for 2-46 off 27.4 overs.
Sam Mccosh top scored for Wesley-CBC with 41while coach Andrew Cheeseman who batted with a runner made 32.