PHOTOS

Lions face a tricky run chase

Win No.1 is 334 runs away for Fairfield Liverpool after Blacktown Mounties took the honours on the opening day of their NSW Premier Cricket clash at Joe McAleer Reserve on Sunday.

With both teams 0-2 to start the year, the Lions won the toss and sent the home team in but struggled for regular breakthroughs on a unseasonably warm Spring's day as Blacktown declared at 9-342. In reply, the Lions are 1-8. At one point the Lions took 3-9, including the scalp of former captain Harmon Sandhu for duck, to reduce Blacktown to 4-108.

But wicketkeeper James Newton's counterattacking knock of 80 not out from 107 balls saw Blacktown regain the momentum in the final session after Dhruv Kant (59) and Jonathon Sammut (50) posted half centuries earlier in the day.

Liam Hatcher, who recently claimed his second 10-wicket haul in Second XI cricket and was named 12th man for the Blues against Queensland at the Gabba, was the best of the bowlers taking 3-45. Matt Critchley, the leg-spinning all-rounder from Derbyshire, took 3-78 in his first game of the year for the Lions.

Off-spinning all-rounder Arjun Nair's hand injury meant a reshuffle in the batting order with Hatcher opening the batting and falling to Sandhu for a duck just before stumps. Hatcher had trapped Sandhu LBW for 0 earlier in the day.

In second grade, Fairfield Liverpool posted 9-354 after winning the toss and batting at Rosedale Oval. The Lions are also in a good position in third grade after reaching 1-97 after dismissing Blacktown for 105.