MOUNT Waverley will do everything it can to avoid a disastrous start to the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association season when it plays Croydon this Saturday.
Mount lost to Noble Park by 98 runs in its season opener at Pat Wright Senior Oval on Saturday and a loss to Croydon would see it winless facing round 3.
Mt Waverley captain Dhugal Bedingfield said such a start would not be tolerated by the club, which wants to make the finals after finishing just short last year.
"Losing to Croydon would be a disaster," he said following the loss to Noble Park.
"We will be very keen to bounce back and win; it's a must-win game for us."
Against Noble Park, inconsistent bowling allowed the home side to get away to a strong start with Darren Seccull (48) and Chanaka Gunawardana making 58 for the first wicket.
Noble Park captain Marasinghe Perera (62) and Mevan Fernando (65 not out) combined to make a 77-run stand for the fifth wicket, helping their side to score 7-234 from 45 overs.
In response, Mt Waverley needed its top order to fire but fell to 3-27 and never recovered as Noble Park opening bowlers Rizan Mawzoon (3-26) and Elphan Pepola (1-18) bowled tightly.
Bedingfield (36) and Andrew Northridge put on 38 for the fourth wicket but after Perera (4-26) bowled Northridge around his legs, the visitors lost steady wickets and were bowled out for 136 from 36.2 overs.
Bedingfield said his top-order batsmen and bowlers had struggled on the day.
"We wanted to keep them below 200 definitely," he said. "We didn't bowl as well as we could have, our line and length was inconsistent.
"Their batsmen got away to a flyer and pounced on our lose bowling and we couldn't do that.
"That was where it was won and lost."
Perera said his side had worked hard over the off-season and wanted to make an impact on the 2012-13 season.
"It was really good to get the first one," he said.
"The first game is crucial and whatever we win before Christmas sets up the whole tournament.
"The openers did fantastic — they batted until the 20th over.
"They set up the foundation and we carried it on from there."