Bees’ set challenge

Damien Edwards was strong at the top of the order. (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

Sunbury United has put the pressure back on Gisborne as it tries to steal a top two spot in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup Shield.

The Dragons are yet to lose a match this season and on Saturday, with the Bees one of the chasing pack.

The Bees produced one of their best batting performances of the season, making 7-303 from their 80 overs.

Bees captain-coach Upul Fernando, who was watching from the sidelines, said he was happy with that score.

“They are top of the ladder and we’re happy to make 300 on the board,” he said. “We put the pressure back on them.

“Our plan worked yesterday.”

Fabian Fernando was the key in the innings making 128, with Fernando saying it was one of the best innings he had seen.

It was partnerships that pushed the score past 300. Fernando said at one stage it was looking like they might get 350 before losing wickets at the wrong time.

“Cricket is a funny game and we got back to the basic stuff,” he said. “It started with Damien Edwards and Fabian and they put the pressure on them from the start.

“We’re so happy and hopefully we can do it again next week.”

Fernando said Steven Fogarty stood up well as captain in his absence, including making 42.

Jarryd Vernon was the only multiple wicket taker for the Dragons with two.

Fernando knows while they’ve put themselves in a strong position, Gisborne is not a side to take lightly.

“They are a good batting, bowling and fielding side,” he said. “Only 50 per cent of the job is done.

“Hopefully we can restrict them to under 300. These matches are always teaching you things and we need to keep doing the right things for the rest of the game.”

A win for the Bees would close the gap on the top two which are both two wins ahead.

Fernando said they were hoping they could get into the top two and get a home final.

“There’s three games before finals,” he said. “We want to finish off well and be in the top two, it’s a better place to be.

“We need to do the job right and hopefully come the semi final get on top of those guys and make the final, that is the main aim.”

It was a day for the batters across the McIntyre Cup on Saturday.

The Sunbury Kangaroos piled on the runs against Macedon, finishing 8-351.

Jason King scored 122 off 196 balls while Corey Woolley and Graeme Bennett, both made 70s.

Romsey made a massive 9-444 against Rupertswood.

Matthew Milne made 119 at the top of the order, before skipper Ben Way made 128 off 81 balls in an innings which included nine fours and seven sixes.

In the other match, Woodend is in control against Diggers Rest Bulla.

The Burras were bowled out for 159, with Woodend 2-77 after 18 overs in reply.