Darren Pattinson (Dandenong) tore the heart out of the Camberwell Magpies batting order, finishing with 5/33.
Bright skies, lots of runs (plus the occasional batting collapse) were the order of play last Saturday with the delayed commencement of the Two-Day component of the Victorian Premier Cricket season.
Last weekend’s play saw some wonderful individual efforts, with four centuries and three bowlers taking a five or six wicket haul in the Premier 1sts competition.
Top of the ladder side Carlton will be feeling the heat with a target of 385 to chase against the third-placed Footscray after last weekend at Princes Park. A team effort from the Bulldogs, with 4 of the top 5 batsmen all scoring 50+. The Dogs' batting was led by skipper Dylan Kight’s 87*, with support from Dean Russ (68), Matthew Underwood (61) and Greg Munro (56). Carlton will be heavily relying on the Smyth brothers and Mackenzie Harvey to score big if they are any chance to get near the target, while the Dogs will be keen for wickets to Hamish Winter-Irving, Tim Buszard and Jack Sheppard to slow any chase efforts by the Blues.
Dandenong (2nd) will be keen to try and capitalise on their 1st Innings victory over Camberwell within the first day’s play at Shepley Oval. With the experienced campaigners Tom Donnell (72*) and Brett Forsyth (54*) still together at stumps at 0/131, they will be looking for quick runs to put the pressure back on Camberwell’s batting order, after evergreen Darren Pattinson (5/33) and Adam McMaster (4/15) dismissed the Magpies for only 102. Camberwell will be looking for some improved batting efforts from their top order, while William Walker will need to be the one to get the early breakthroughs for the Magpies on Saturday into Dandenong’s top order.
At Windy Hill, the match between Essendon (6th) and Northcote (15th) is evenly balanced after Northcote have set the Bombers 244 to chase off the back of Ben Abbatangelo’s innings of 108. Essendon speedster Matt Doric (6/66) teamed with spinner Liam Bowe (4/68) to take all 10 wickets for the day. Essendon’s run chase will rely heavily on skipper Aaron Ayre and in-form James Seymour to get the Bombers home, while Sam Harbinson and Aaron Crispe could be the stumbling blocks in their way. This game could go either way, with both sides keen for some points prior to Christmas.
At AH Butler Oval, the home side Frankston Peninsula (8th) chipped together to set Fitzroy Doncaster (4th) a respectable target of 243, with the Lions 0/12 off 5 overs in reply at Stumps. Nathan Harford (49) and Gordon Waterfall (48) led the consistent batting effort from the Heat, while the leaders of the Lions bowling attack were Joshua White (3/40) and Matthew Bullen (3/40). Expect the Lions to rely on Matthew Frith and Peter Dickson to help get to the target, while the Heat will be seeking wickets from opening pair Ben Ashkenazi and Nick Boland to send the points the Heat’s way.
Down the highway, Geelong (9th) hosted Monash Tigers (11th) with honours favouring the Cats at the end of play, setting the Tigers 313 to chase. The Tigers were 0/22 off 5 overs in reply at Stumps. Sean Griffin (3/49) was the best bowler for the Tigers, who allowed too many starts to the Cats batsmen, with Mitchell Reid (67), Eamonn Vines (51), Thomas Treble (46) and Dom McGlinchey (44) being able to capitalise on these offerings. Not out pair Adam Amin (6*) and Daniel Sartori (15*), along with Sam Taylor, will be the key wickets the Cats will be keen to get cheaply, with the likes of McGlinchey, Brenton McDonald and Nathan Alexander expected to play a role with the ball.
At the University Main Oval, Melbourne Uni (10th) received a wake-up call from 16th placed Kingston Hawthorn, with Uni 0/26 off 4 overs chasing 329. Mark Stafford (3/47) was the pick of the Uni bowlers, who had to content with good batting from the Hawks’ Jack Taylor (105), Shorye Chopra (70) and Javed Khan (47). Hawks’ skipper James Miller and Ryan Ninan will look to play a major part with the ball, while Uni will be looking for runs from leading batsmen James McNeil, Danel Hutton (7*) and Tom Rogers.
At Greenvale Reserve, a masterful knock of 150* by Adam Bull, with support from Shaun Miller (86) saw Prahran (13th) declare at 5/307 off only 73 overs against Greenvale Kangaroos (17th). Kyle Adams (2/79) was the pick of the Roos attack that struggled for early wickets. The Roos in reply are 3/55 off 21 overs, with Sam Grimwade (2/15) already spinning a web over the Roos’ top order batsmen. A staunch batting effort is required for as long as possible from the Roos, while the Two Blues will be sniffing an opportunity at an Outright victory if they can clean up the Roos 1st Innings early, especially if Grimwade and Nathan McNally get early wickets.
At Casey Fields, the visiting side Melbourne (14th) capitalised on an opportunity for maximum points against bottom-placed Casey-South Melbourne. At stumps, Melbourne had dismissed the Swans for 112 in 38.2 overs off the back of Patrick Smith’s bowling (6/48), before knocks from Jack Harper (85), Matthew Brown (61*) and Blake Thompson (40) have the Demons at 3/212 off 54 overs in reply. Skipper Lachlan Sterling (26 + 1/24) the standout for the Swans in an otherwise below-par performance. The focus for the Swans will be to limit the damage already inflicted, while the Dees will be keen to get the Outright points to continue their mid-season rise up the ladder, with Smith expected to once again play a key role.
At Harry Trott Oval, Ringwood (7th) was led by a batting masterclass from unbeaten skipper David King (138*), batting all day to register 7/242 against St Kilda (5th). Sam Powell (4/54) was the pick of the Saints bowlers, who had to toil particularly against the Rams’ skipper (who faced 293 balls in his innings), while Rams’ teammate Patrick Ashton (32) was the only other Ram to score past 20 in the innings. Ringwood will be seeking wickets from Matthew Fotia and Ashton, while St Kilda will be wanting the recent run scoring from Damon Egan and Harry Michelmore to continue to help secure the points.
Lastly, on behalf of the Premier Cricket Management Team (PCMT), we would like to wish everyone all the best for the Festive Season and ask that everyone stays safe when travelling on the roads during this busy period.