Pingers respond late


Tara Murray

Epping fought back late on day one against Heidelberg to get its Diamond Valley Cricket Association Barclay Shield game back on even terms.

At tea, Heidelberg were on top at 1-118 and a score of 250-plus was on the cards.

The Pingers bowlers were then able to find another level and the wickets started to fall, with Heidelberg bowled out for 218.

The Pingers openers had to face one over at the end of the day and they got through unscathed and will resume on day two at 0-8.

Pingers playing-coach Daniel Bramich said it was a game where they had to lower their expectations.

“They are a good side and they were 1-118 at tea and looking at 250-plus,” he said.

“It’s a small, quick ground so you had to lower the expectation as you were never going to bowl them out for 150.

“They left a few out there in the end. It was a good fight back in the second half of the day. It’s a testament to the boys to take 9-90 in the second half.

“It’s very much an even game.”

Billy McKeown was the pick of the bowlers, with 4-67.

Coming off a grand final appearance last season, the Pingers have shown early that they will be among the contenders again this season.

Bramich said they wanted to continue to build on last season.

“It’s been a good start,” he said. “We’ve had some scratchy moments but we are 2-0 and have a draw, which is pretty good.

“Going into the season the expectations were high after finishing off last year pretty disappointing. We kept the core group and added a few fresh new faces.

“The expectation is to play at the pointy end of the season.”

With their second XI continuing their strong run of success, Bramich said they had plenty of depth within the club.

He said they had 15 to 17 players that are pushing to play regular first XI cricket.

Bramich said adding some new players to the group had only made them stronger.

“Zac Graham played with Coburg subbies [Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association] and played juniors for us last season,” he said.

“He wanted a bit more first XI cricket. Hus [Husain Badat] moved over from South Africa in February and lives in the area and rocked up to training and has enjoyed it since.

“And Rana [Dushantha Ranatunga] he is an experienced cricketer and needed to challenge himself at a higher level.”

In other matches, Bundoora has a fight on its hands against North Eltham Wanderers.

The Bulls were 9-164 when their innings came to an end in the 74th over.

Skipper Shupinder Tagger top scored with 39.

The Wanderers will resume at 0-17.

In the Money Shield, Lalor Stars were bowled out for 181 against Plenty, Lower Eltham is 3-85 in reply to Bundoora Park’s 138, Bundoora United is 2-21 chasing Banyule’s 148 and Laurimar will need 327 for victory against Greensborough.