Mernda batsman Damien Stevens lofts the ball to mid off against Lalor Stars on Saturday.

MERNDA captain James Taylor believes his side is capable of competing with the best sides in Diamond Valley Cricket Association’s Money Shield despite a loss to top side Lalor Stars at the weekend.

A flat batting performance doomed Mernda after being sent in by the Stars.

Taylor’s 20 led the team, but Dushantha Ranatunga (13) and David Chesterton (17) were the only other Mernda players to reach double figures as the side was bowled out for 83 in 35.4 overs.

Despite the small total, the Mernda bowlers performed admirably, having the Stars 5/55 at one stage before the home side steadied to win by four wickets with more than 10 overs remaining.

Tom Hall, 3/15 from five overs, played one of his best games of the season for Mernda and Josh Delaney, arguably the side’s best performer this season, had another solid outing with 2/14 from six overs.

Taylor said his team was capable of beating a side like Lalor if it performed with both bat and ball.

“We didn’t bat that well, obviously. We bowled pretty well, which kept us in the game for a little while, but there aren’t many times you can defend 83,” he said.

“It was just bad shot selection, which seems to have hurt us in a lot of games this year. We’ve got to keep working and get better on that side of the game.

“The game before that we batted really well and made a lot of runs and didn’t bowl well, so we’ve been good in patches but we’ve got to put a complete game together more consistently.

“We think we can mix it with any of the teams in the league if we can.”

Taylor said Mernda was looking forward to this weekend’s game against Eltham.

“We’re confident that if we play well enough we can be competitive with anybody, but we need a win, there’s no shying away from that,” he said.

“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes, and the good thing about having a one-day season is that every seven days you get an opportunity to right your wrongs or continue doing stuff well.”

In Mash Shield competition, both Laurimar and Whittlesea posted confidence-boosting wins on the road.

Laurimar was tested by bottom side Greensborough, which made 9/171 from its 40 overs.

Nathan Woods and Scott Toull had two wickets apiece for the visitors but surrendered a combined 68 runs.

The Power managed to reel in Greensborough’s total inside 36 overs however, with James Ingham (44*) guiding the team to 4/173.

Whittlesea kept itself in the thick of the finals’ chase with a five-wicket win against Hurstbridge.

Eagles bowlers Corey Baker (3/20) and Nathan Somerville (3/38) caused plenty of headaches for the Hurstbridge batsmen, but a knock of 52 not out by middle-order batsman Nicolas Blackwood gave the home side something to bowl at.

But the Eagles proved too strong as Rajitha Ratnayake (40), Suresh Fernando (38) and Brody Bell (50 not out) dominated at the top of the innings to help the visitors reel in the total with more than four overs remaining.