VTCA: Spin the saviour as Dogs spill catches

FOOTSCRAY United had to hold on for dear life to beat Doutta Stars by 16 runs in a Victorian Turf Cricket Association north division thriller at Scovell Reserve on Saturday.

The Bulldogs entered day two well and truly on the back foot, defending a mere 189 runs — of which the Stars had already picked off 54 overnight — and facing batsmen-friendly conditions.

The Dogs stuck to their guns to bowl the visitors out for 173 with spinner Tarique Jeffrey snaring five wickets.

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“To turn it around and win is a great result for us,” Jeffrey said.

“It was really good conditions to bat and we came in and fought really well. Our boys deserve everything they got.” The Bulldogs needed to get only nine wickets due to an illness to Stars opener Hamish Moore, who was firing on 31 not out overnight. But they were not helping their own cause, dropping a succession of chances and a missed stumping.

Two wickets to Geeth Silva after the tea break provided the impetus for a memorable Bulldogs win.

The win would not have been possible but for middle-order batsman Steve McKay, who was outstanding with 92 on the opening day to boost the Bulldogs’ spirits.

“It allowed us to set a decent total to bowl at,” Jeffrey said. “That was one of the differences in the game.”

A further 16 wickets were taken in 39 overs before stumps.

When the Bulldogs were rolled for 93 in their second dig, it left the door ajar for an outright Stars win.

The Stars had eight overs to make 110, but fell short to finish on 6-60.

“It turned out to be one of the best game we’ve played,” said Jeffrey.