By Jonty Ralphsmith
Noble Park missed a prime opportunity to go to the top of the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association table on Saturday.
First-placed Elsternwick stumbled against Caulfield, which would have seen Noble take top spot on the table if it won – but it too slipped up, falling 41 runs short of Mt Waverley.
After keeping the run rate in check for the first half of the one-dayer, middle-order player Shenuka De Silva changed the momentum by smashing 68 off 49, while Kurt Benjamin (31 off 22) played at the same tempo.
Nilochana Perera was the pick of the bowlers, his nine overs costing just 16 runs during a match where the run rate was in excess of 4.5.
Taking 4/1 to finish Mt Waverley’s innings gave Noble Park momentum at the halfway point, but two early wickets stifled Noble’s response, before skipper Janaka Liyanabadalge and Sahan Perera stabilised with a 97-run partnership.
Liyanabadalge played the role of the aggressor, but his dismissal for 70 sparked a collapse of 3/10 midway through the chase, Perera run out for 54.
Too much was ultimately left to the lower order as Mount Waverley took 5/31 to finish the game.
Endeavour Hills, meanwhile, were outclassed by 94 runs against Oakleigh.
A 60-run opening partnership set the tone for Oakleigh, before Endeavour Hills bowlers Madurawalage Jayasundera, Tyrell Panditharatne and Jasmeet Singh fought back with seven wickets between them.
Needing 232 for victory, Bhanuka Samarakkody freed his hands and played fearlessly which came off for a brief period.
Eight of his 17 balls went to or over the boundary, Samarakkody finished on 42 before he was dismissed in the fourth over.
His opening partner Panditharatne was dismissed the following ball, with Oakleigh on top from there, bowling the hosts out for 137.