Roar remains positive

Paul Webber deflects the ball behind square leg (Ivan Kemp) 323431_03

Tara Murray

There’s plenty of positivity at Sunbury despite its struggles with the bat continuing on Saturday in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association McNamara Shield.

Having conceded first innings points on day one in the previous round, the Roar again finds itself in a similar position after day one against Grand United.

Roar captain-coach Kevin Barker said looking at the scorecard it does look grim at the moment.

“It was a bowl first wicket,” he said. “It was definitely a bit of a challenge early on and we were focused on building a platform but we didn’t get enough runs.

“They bowled in good areas and had good discipline. Our batters weren’t able to capitalise on a good start.”

In a rematch of last season’s division 3 grand final, the Roar was bowled out for just 85

Rasika Batepola top scored with 28, just three players scored double figures.

Barker said they chatted about the batting, which has been the side’s achilles heel since coming into the VTCA, after the game.

“We know what we need to improve on,” he said. “I said to the fellows that I’ve got faith we can turn it around.

“We’ve had a tough start. I thought we were good enough to be pushing for finals but we are 0-4.

“I have faith that we can turn it around. It’s one of the most talented batting lines up I’ve played with, we just haven’t got it done.

“Once we get one, I think we can get on a role.”

Barker said having just two players from last season’s grand side playing in the top side has had an impact.

He said sometimes that gelling can come together quickly and other times it can take longer, like it seems to be doing for them.

Grand United finished day one at 9-166. Gayan Welikalage and Chris Pilkington took four wickets each for the Roar.

Barker said the first aim was to get that last wicket and then get out there and get some runs.

“The message from me is to be positive,” he said. “You don’t lose any extra points if you get outrighted.

“We want to try and salvage something from the game and give them the thought of maybe a reverse outright, but that is a long way away from our thinking.”

It’ll be a busy few weeks for the Roar, as it kicks off its T20 campaign on Tuesday night.

As well as finishing the match with Grand United on Saturday, it has a catch up match on Sunday.

“We have a lot of cricket coming up,” Barker said. “It’s good to get out there in the T20s. It’s a good way to play positive cricket.

“It’ll be good to get a win on the board and push on from there.”

Overall, Barker said there was a really good vibe at the club.

It’s not just the first XI,” he said. “The second XI are undefeated and the third and fourth XIs are winning games and there;’a a lot of good individual contributions.

“It’s just the ones not getting on the board.”