JAYAWEERA Bandara has a stern message for his form-starved Russells Creek top order – now is the time to fire.
The decorated batsman turned head coach has identified runs as key in Russells Creek’s bid to snap a 40-year two-day premiership drought.
Saved by a Cam Williams century against Dennington two matches ago, and falling short of ladder leader Allansford last week, Bandara is urging his batsmen to build partnerships leading into finals.
“We just need our batsmen to get a little bit of confidence, and that comes from spending time in the middle,” Bandara said.
Everyone is just hungry to win a flag. We are in the position and have the opportunity right now.Jayaweera Bandara
“In two-day cricket, you have a different mindset. We’ve got the guys who can bat – Cam, Rookie (Rukshan Weerasinghe), Jimmy (Elford) – we just need to knuckle down.”
The 48-year-old revealed premiership hunger was driving his side to improve.
“Everyone is just hungry to win a flag. We are in the position and have the opportunity right now to give it a go and we’ve got to keep working,” Bandara said.
“After last week’s loss (to Allansford), we want to bounce back and do well.
“We were disappointed to lose that one. We knew the outfield and pitch was good for batting and we just needed to place more value on our wickets.”
With battles against Wesley-CBC and Woodford looming, Bandara admitted bigger totals were key as Creek tuned up for finals.
“Both of those teams have good bowling attacks. That just makes it definitely important to bat longer and build those partnerships to get more runs,” he said.
“We’re not expecting one person to go out and make a big score – we want everybody to contribute for it.
“We’ve spoken about that a lot since the loss against Allansford.”
The Jetty Flat-based club is second behind Allansford with two outrights, eight wins and three losses.
They’ve all but secured a finals berth, with Nestles – who is fifth – needing two outright victories to steal Creek’s top four berth.
Just two Warrnambool and District Cricket Association rounds are left before finals.