SHIWANTHA Kumara only knows one way at Russells Creek - winning flags.
The Sri Lankan-born star, who has proven himself one of the competition's premier spinners, claimed 2-8 from six overs in Saturday's grand final triumph against North Warrnambool.
Kumara made the most of the spin-friendly Merrivale Oval wicket, heaping on pressure late to strangle a talented Eels lineup out of the match.
The left-armer said he'd leaned on fellow Sri Lankans Rukshan Weerasinghe and Shashan Silva for support throughout the clash.
"It's a good energy through the side," he said.
I can't explain it. For me, it's like Rookie and Shash are the senior players and especially in these games, they give instruction.- Shiv Kumara
"I can't explain it. For me, it's like Rookie and Shash are the senior players and especially in these games, they give instruction.
"They say 'do this, don't do that'. That's really good because I'm still new."
Weerasinghe, a top-order batsman, said he felt Creek's total was par when it reached 150.
But Kumara admitted he still harboured nerves until the game was sewn up. He praised Creek's tailend for their role in the victory.
"That's a good score but for me, it's really nervous," he said.
"We had guys who were calm because they're more experienced there. Especially Jimmy (Elford) and Blake (Evans), they're great and they never give up."
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Kumara said he'd loved slotting into Creek's all-conquering bowling lineup.
"This year is different to last year but it's really good. Pepsi (Matt Petherick) hasn't taken as many wickets but he's more focused on who bowls next and he's planning all the time," he said.
"It's a real team game. Nobody is bowling just to take wickets but we feel if someone can, everyone is backing them up. It's like 'you get the wicket, I'll bowl next', that sort of thing."
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