Bulldogs to bowl for victory

Syed Ali Hussain (Ivan Kemp) 323442_05

Harper Sercombe

Footscray United is hoping for a good bowling performance this Saturday as it searches for its first win of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 1 season.

Having struggled since coming up to division 1, the Bulldogs face Airport West St Christophers in a two-day clash at Etzel Reserve.

Airport West won the toss and its seemed a good decision early on with the Bulldogs 1-10 after 10 overs.

However, Bulldogs number three Praveen Fernando got the innings back on track, notching up a well made 100, helping his side make 241 off 74 overs.

Bulldogs playing coach Syed Ali Hussain said while it is a healthy total, he felt like his side left runs out in the middle with strong batting depth throughout the whole line up.

“We’re not completely satisfied with the runs on the board at this stage,” he said.

“I think we are 40 or 25 runs short on that deck but I’m okay with that because we have a very strong bowling line up.

“We’re happy to manage this total into victory.

“Praveen [Fernando] is a great asset for the club, and he’s been playing for many years here, he’s a former first class player in Sri Lanka.

“He’s made so many runs and has made so many valuable contributions and he’s a great off spinner too.

“I was not expecting [our lower order to collapse] because we have a very strong batting line-up. The last man who was batting, Frank [Hoang], he was an opening batsman in our team.”

Although the Bulldogs are still on the search for their first win of the season, Hussain said it has been a positive start to the year.

“We have a new team and we also have a young captain,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that we’re going to bounce back and this is a great opportunity in this coming week to turn the results in our favour.”

To get the win, Hussain said his bowlers will throw a range of tricks at Airport West. Airport West will resume on 0-6 having faced two overs late on day one.

“It’s going to be a mix and match,” he said.

“This deck is not suitable for anybody, it’s a slow deck, so it could be both spin and seam.

“We have a good pace bowler like Nimesh [Bhagya Kariyawasam Maddumage], he has a strong repeatable action and bowls very well on flat decks.

“We’re going to have to bowl hard, bowl with intensity and bowl in the right areas to get the wickets.”