CRICKET Albury-Wodonga got the reality check it needed yesterday, narrowly avoiding defeat against Seymour on the opening day of Melbourne Country Week.
CAW’s memorable representative season continued after it held on for a three-wicket win at Brighton, but a batting collapse late in the innings almost put a serious dint in its hopes of earning promotion from the bottom division.
Asked if his side felt invincible after losing just one game in 2012-13, coach Trent Ball said: “Definitely not after today.
“We haven’t played our best but it’s nice to start with a win.”
CAW will need another brilliant bowling performance today to beat Warragul at Bundoora, with Warragul beating Shepparton in an upset yesterday.
All-rounders James Weighell and Greg Daniel took six wickets between them to help restrict Seymour to just 161, while Mount Beauty star Ashan Ranaweera (1-20) pegged Seymour back after its batsmen looked set to push the target beyond 200.
Seymour’s Dean Fulco was dropped twice and made CAW pay with an unbeaten half-century.
CAW was coasting in its run chase at 2-92 before collapsing to be 7-137.
But the tail wagged thanks to some clutch batting from Englishmen Weighell (64), Sam Drury (32) and Ben Kohler-Cadmore (23).
Liam Scammell (46) and Ball (33) got the runs chase off to a solid start.
“We made it hard for ourselves,” Ball said.
“We were 1-80 at drinks and we just got ahead of ourselves.
“Last year the same thing happened but we got beaten the first day.
“Ashan and Spike (Klein-Boonschate) bowled really well and then Cam White.
“Ashan was sensational as he has been all year.
“We bowled pretty well after the first eight or 10 overs because it looks like being 260 at one stage.”
Ball said he would take an unchanged line-up into today’s match, with Cameron White again the non-batter.
“We are pretty confident that we can beat anyone,” he said.
“I think Seymour will be pretty competitive, but I don’t think they will be the strongest we’ll play.”