The young Victorian bowling lineup looked to be on the ropes halfway through day two of their Sheffield Shield clash, with New South Wales sitting pretty on 2-89 in pursuit of the Bushranger’s first innings score of 199.
Enter Scott Boland.
The veteran seamer may have been nearly through yet another marathon spell for his state, but the opening bowler managed to lead his young chargers through New South Wales’ middle order to change the complexion of the game.
The hosts went from smooth sailing at 2-89 to collapsing all out for 151, gifting Victoria an unlikely lead of 48 runs before finishing the day on 1-75.
It was an even contribution all round from Victoria’s mixed attack, but Boland’s 4-34 off 19 overs proved he is the reliable spearhead of the Bushranger’s line-up.
“At lunch, they were only two down, but we bowled really well in the middle session,” Boland said at the end of the day’s play.
“If someone told us we’d be leading by 120 with nine wickets in hand, you’d take that every day of the week.”
Victoria looked to be slumping to a miserable start to the season at Drummoyne Oval, but today’s efforts have revitalised their chances at upsetting New South Wales to start their campaign. Despite not getting reward for effort in the first session, persistence from all bowlers ensured the Bushrangers eventually cracked through their opponents’ defences.
“Our bowling plan was based around trying to hold our length, it’s been a really big thing for us this pre-season to get as many balls in the right length as possible so we could give Pete (Handscomb) some options with the fields,” Boland said.
“We thought we could get ourselves enough chances if we held our length as a group, we ended up creating 13 or 14 chances and dropped a couple of catches.”
The scorecard shows the consistency across the board for Victoria’s bowling attack, with Boland leading the likes of Mitch Perry (2-35), tweaker Jon Holland (2-46), and Will Sutherland (1-25). Aside from Boland and Holland, the seamer has been impressed by the maturation of the other young bowlers alongside him.
More Cricket News:
“Both Mitch (Perry) and Will Sutherland are starting to learn what it’s like to back up day in day out and they’re really confident in their skills,” Boland said.
“Mick Lewis has done a great job with them in the pre-season, we’ve been trying to upskill all of our younger players, they’re like sponges, they just want to learn as much as they can off guys like Patto (James Pattinson) and I.”
The main defiance against this variable attack was batter Kurtis Patterson, who held his patience in a knock of 48 that temporarily prevented Victoria from ripping through New South Wales’ middle order.
“I thought I got through a good spell from Boland today, he bowled really well early in the day and had the ball moving from his first over,” Patterson said.
“They bowled really well as a group, their spinners and their quicks worked well together, it wasn’t easy batting.”
After the mayhem of the second session’s collapse, Boland was pleased with how his side’s top order held firm to finish the day only one wicket down. With Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb both returning to the crease tomorrow, Boland is confident today’s efforts can be the start of a dominant period for Victoria against rivals New South Wales.
“They’re both going really well, and hopefully tomorrow they can do the same thing and try to get a really big lead,” Boland said.
“We want to start this series of games against New South Wales off well, next game we could get James Pattinson and Will Pucovski back so that’ll strengthen our team even more.”
Subscribe to our newsletter!