Strathfieldsaye captain urges batsmen to lift 

STRATHFIELDSAYE captain Ben Gunn says the Jets’ batsmen must put a higher price on their wicket if they are to climb out of their Bendigo District Cricket Association form slump.

After a round one victory aainst last season’s finalists, Huntly-North Epsom, the Jets have lost their past six games and sit eighth on the ladder – 22 points outside the top four.

In all six losses, the Jets have suffered a batting collapse either at the top of the order, mid-innings or late.

“It’s very inconsistent at the moment and our batting is definitely letting us down,” Gunn said yesterday.

“We’re not putting enough of a price on our wicket, there’s too many easy dismissals, and we’re just not building the partnerships that we need to be.

“We’re continually losing two, three, four or five wickets in quick succession, so we just need blokes to dig deep for us and get some partnerships going.

“When we lose a couple of wickets early, it’s putting us on the backfoot and we’re not adapting well.

“We’ve got to be smarter with the way we go about our cricket and just get back to basics, get some wins on the board and boost the morale a bit.”

Despite the Jets’ struggles with the bat this season, one of the shining lights in recent weeks has been 16-year-old Hamish Schumacher.

Schumacher scored 39 against Strathdale-Maristians in round six, before following that up last Sunday with 58 in the Jets’ loss to White Hills.

“Hamish has been coming in down the order and showing those ahead of him how it’s done,” Gunn said.

“He’s going to get rewarded this week by coming up the order to No.3 to get more of an opportunity.”

While Schumacher has performed well in the first XI, other youngsters such as Beauden Rinaldi (14) and Xavier Crone (14) have also had an opportunity at the top level.

“We’ve got a lot of good kids coming through, which is promising,” Gunn said.

“It’s just a matter of not throwing them in the deep end too early, because they are still very young.”

Adding to Gunn’s frustrations this season is that the Jets have been one of the best Twenty20 teams, having made the semi-finals of the Wednesday night competition, where they will play White Hills on January 16.

“It’s good to win those Twenty20 games on a Wednesday, but you’d much prefer to be getting the six points on a weekend,” said Gunn, who leads the Jets with 281 runs, which includes a century against Bendigo United in round three.

“Being in the semi-finals, we’ll be having a red-hot dip when the Twenty20s start again.”

Strathfieldsaye hosts White Hills in tomorrow’s one-day game.

The Strathfieldsaye Jets  batting collapses:

Round 2 v Golden Square: lost 7-68. Had been 3-101, all out 169.

Round 3 v Bendigo United: lost first five wickets for 79.

Round 4 v Sandhurst: lost 9-64. Chasing 216, had been 1-121, all out 185.

Round 5 v Strathdale: lost first five wickets for 38.

Round 6 v Strathdale: lost 6-27. Had been 1-86, fell to 7-113.

Round 7: v White Hills: lost first fve wickets for 28.   

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