Outright victory for Bears

Berwick all-rounder Jarrod Armitage steams in during the Bears' crushing win. Pictures: ROB CAREW 175514_03

By Nick Creely

An extraordinary 25 minutes of cricket from the star-studded Berwick sent an ominous warning over the competition, with the Bears dismantling the Cobras in stunning outright fashion.
Resuming at 5/32 in pursuit of the Bears’ modest first innings total of 146, seamer James Wilcock left a scarring dent in the Cobras’ batting line up, picking up where he left off after three late wickets on day one.
Wilcock found the edge of skipper Matt Cox (7) and Michael Davies (0) before the Cobras could even score a run on day two, leaving them 7/32.
The former Dandenong quick picked up two more quick wickets to finish with the mind-boggling figures of 7/9 off 10.5 overs – his third five-wicket haul already this season – with the Cobras rolled for 46 and just surviving only a few overs to begin the day.
Skipper Jarrod Goodes sent the Cobras back in to face the music, and this time it was a more rounded team effort, with Goodes (3/39), Alex Cross (2/6), Cory Bevan (3/22) and Jarrod Armitage (2/23) all combining to skittle the visitors for 130 in just 41.5 overs.
The Bears wasted no time in earning the extra points, slamming on 31 runs in 4.1 overs to cap off a truly dominant day of cricket.
Hallam knew that when they recruited overseas batsman Thalaivan Xavier, they were picking up a player capable of compiling match winning performances.
In a daunting chase of 270 against a Buckley Ridges bowling line-up featuring names such as Jurgen Andersen, Daniel Watson, Lukas Hoogenboom and Wes Nicholas, Xavier crafted a flawless 130 – his second century of the season – to lift the Hawks to a comfortable four wicket victory.
After Andersen (1/41) snared the early wicket of Ben Hillard (8), Xavier strode to the crease at 1/20, and didn’t leave until his team was in an unbeatable position at 6/247.
The class machine knocked 10 fours and four maximums in just 160 deliveries, and ensured the Hawks would earn the points against a team almost certain to be jostling for a similar spot on the ladder at the end of the season.
Jordan Hammond (36) and Leigh Booth (35) kept their strong form up with handy knocks for the Hawks.
Mordialloc were unable to fire on day two of their clash with Springvale South, with Steven Spoljaric’s brilliant performance with the ball seeing the Bloods to a vital victory.
Resuming at 7/162 after lightning strikes forced a premature end to day one, the Bloods – off the back of Malinga Bandara (37) – limped to 191 off 68.3 overs.
But Spoljaric (4/6 off 12 overs) wouldn’t give the Bloodhounds an inch, snaring the early scalps of Brendan Morris (0) and Ryan Morris (0) to leave the home side 3/8.
Despite some resistance by Hari Krishan (21) and Peter McDermott (18), the Bloods’ continual wickets saw the Bloodhounds rolled for 112 in just 36 overs.
Nathan King (2/23) and Malinga Bandara (2/20) did their part with the ball, frustrating a Bloodhound batting line-up that is struggling for form.
The Bloods had a late second innings dip for seven overs, finishing on 2/10.
North Dandenong are starting to show some steely resolve as they look to bounce back from a slow start to the season, knocking off Cranbourne after a horror start to the run chase.
Chasing 151, the Maroons were already 1/0 at the start of day’s play, and lost Michael De Kauwe (0) almost immediately, with Pardeep Boyal (2/30) finding the edge of the Maroons’ batsman to leave the visitors 2/1.
Maroons skipper Nasrat Malikzada (9) and Jason Batty (13) fell not long after to the bowling of Cam Kelly (3/29) to leave them 4/25 and in desperate need for a partnership.
But Clay McCartney (28) and veteran Shane Clark (43) delivered the goods, playing with patience and skill to guide the Maroons over the line with two wickets to spare.
Asfan Thajudeen (23) and impressive youngster Caleb Millman (22) also chimed in with some vital runs, with the Maroons securing their second consecutive victory.
Narre Warren remain winless with only two rounds remaining before Christmas, with Dingley banking a vital win down at Sweeney Reserve.
After the Magpies scored an under-par 139 on day one, the Dingoes first needed to steady after resuming play at 3/58.
All-rounder Christo Otto (77) broke the shackles and scored freely all over the ground, with fellow Dingo batsmen Campbell Ak (30) and Calvin Barlow (21) playing the Magpies bowlers with ease to overtake the home side.
The Dingoes declared with the scored at 9/206 off 49.5 overs, eyeing an unlikely outright win.
But the home side dug deep to stave off the Dingoes bowling attack, finishing on 4/116 off 28 overs.
Chamara Liyanaarachchi (38 not out), Jarrod Russell (27) and Imran Laghmani (28) showed great intent for the Magpies by finding some form in the middle.
St Mary’s don’t remain too far outside the top four after crushing Dandenong West down at Carroll Reserve on day two of their clash.
The Saints were never in trouble in their chase of 103, passing the Westers six wickets down off the back of Rhys Serpanchy (53), skipper Kaushyla Gajasinghe (51) and Adam Welcome’s (36) experience at the top.
Despite being sent in for 24 overs in the second dig, the Westers stuck firm to finish on 2/36, with spinners Gajasinghe (1/16) and Ruwantha Kellepotha (0/10) continuing to form a lethal combination after combining for nine wickets in the first innings.
Beaconsfield was surprisingly belted down at Perc Allison Oval against Narre North, with the Tigers unable to fire a shot.
After last week’s washout, the two sides played a one-dayer, and North skipper Matthew Brooks sent the Tigers in to bat.
The home side could only last 25.5 overs, and were rolled for just 70 after two brilliant spells by Nathan Pulham (4/23) and Joel Zietsman (4/27).
The North took just 15.3 overs to run down the total, with Josh Tonna (23) and Josh Henry (17) doing well at the top of the order.
Narre South, meanwhile, crushed Parkfield down at Parkfield Reserve, with the Lions still undefeated and in second spot on the ladder.
Chasing 90 for victory, the Lions cruised past with ease, finishing on 177 off 56 overs off the back of a terrific half century to John Mirranay (55).
The Bears were then left 5/69 at stumps off 30 overs, narrowly avoiding an outright loss.
In other matches, Parkmore (239 and 2/72) remain top of the table after defeating Fountain Gate (169), Silverton (5/193) eased past Lyndale (144), Coomoora (8/254) were a cut above Lynbrook (167) and St Brigid’s/St Louis (3/227) narrowly beat Keysborough (9/223).

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