By Hayley Wildes
After bowling out Kooweerup for 135, Carlisle Park, led by Lesley Howell (64) and Paul Gray (41) steered their side to victory at Carlisle Park Reserve.
An early mix-up between the batsmen put pressure on the Vikings, as Jason McQualter was runout by Graeme Caig without troubling the scorers, but Greg Benoit and Howell consolidated.
Ayden Mills (4/45) was impressive for the Demons but it wasn’t enough as the Vikings chased down the target in 60.2 overs.
Set an imposing 290 to win, Upper Beaconsfield were no match for Merinda Park, who quickly bounced back from their first loss of the season in round 12.
Jack Sharlassian (46) was a lone hand for the Maroons who were bowled out for 102. Josh Phillips (4/30) ensured Upper Beaconsfield were never really in the contest.
In a tight contest at Glover Recreation Reserve, Pakenham defeated Devon Meadows, recording their second win of the season.
After bowling out Devon Meadows for 173, Dene North (74) took total control of the innings and was well supported by Sam Downes (34) and Matthew Kouris (21) to guide the Lions home.
In a high scoring affair at Chandler Reserve, Emerald overcame the 238 set by Officer.
The Bullants got off to a dream start as Sean Hinkley dismissed opener Shaun Santini for a duck, but an 87-run second wicket partnership between Mark Alenson (98) and Lachlan Crnogorac (36) steadied the Bombers.
Michael Nell (53) and Jake Santini (25) ensured the runs kept coming in the middle-order as the Bombers reached the target with four wickets in hand.
Lang Lang notched their fifth win of the season at Pakenham Upper Recreation Reserve against Pakenham Upper Toomuc. Set 201 to win, Lang Lang chased down the target in 47 overs.
A strong opening partnership of 78 between William Wykes (17) and Jess Grima (48) saw the Tigers get off to a solid start. Brett Carey (3/20) bowled well for the Yabbies, but it wasn’t enough as Glen Easton’s unbeaten 41 guided the Tigers home.
At Officer Recreation Reserve, the Bullants were in total control all day. Defending an imposing 253, Officer’s bowlers made light work of Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll.
Jayson Dryden (5/21) tore through the Marygoons batting lineup as they were bowled out for 123 in their first innings. After enforcing the follow-on, the Bullants were unable to gain the outright win, as the Marygoons posted 3/81.
Catani continued their strong run of form as they handled Cardinia with ease at Rythdale Recreation Reserve. After blasting their way to 228, the Cats defended their total as they held Cardinia to just 71 runs.
Riley Miller (3/14) and George Zekic (3/18) were dangerous all day as the Bulls struggled to put runs on the board.
Cranbourne Meadows maintained their standing on top of the ladder with an impressive win over the third placed Clyde.
Chasing 293, Clyde were unable to make any substantial headway into the run chase as Rebels bowlers Rafiq Saqib (4/28) and Salman Ahmad (3/55) maintained the pressure on the batsmen all innings at Hillcrest Christian College.
Mark and Harrison Coe, 64 and 27 runs respectively, were the top scorers for the Cougars.
In what was perhaps the most entertaining encounter of round 13, Merinda Park prevailed over a defiant Carlisle Park team.
After the Cobras smashed 328, the Vikings almost pulled off the impossible, before just falling short – bowled out for 321.
Iqbal So’s inspirational effort of 147 not out wasn’t enough as Grant Mills (3/101) picked up the match-winning wicket in the 72nd over. So was well supported by Karanjeet Singh (60) and Brendan McCarthy (51).
Kooweerup’s bowlers proved too much for SFX Old Collegians at Kooweerup High School. The Demons defended their 185 total, bowling the X Men out for 101.
Tom Kerr was bowled out before the X Men could register a run and it was a sign of things to come, with seven batsmen unable to make it past three runs.
Tom Cottrell (3/37) bowled well all day.
A Tim Lenders (5/19) masterclass led Tooradin to victory over Pakenham. Lenders dismissed both Pakenham openers as Matthew Finch (3/15) also pitched in as the Lions could only muster 74 runs.
Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll had the bye.
Officer fell just short of Catani’s 189, as the Bullants scored 174 runs. Garry Tivendale (48) and Anthony Pesch (26) almost salvaged the innings after some early wickets fell cheaply as Nathaniel Wade (3/45) ripped through the top order.
Top placed Devon Meadows were upset by Upper Beaconsfield at Holm Park, as the Yabbies proved far too strong, dismissing the Panthers for 149, after making 217 themselves.
Nicholas Pastras bowled consistently and was rewarded with a five wicket haul. Peter Zauner (39) top scored for Devon Meadows.
Meanwhile, Cranbourne Meadows and Emerald fought out a tight contest at Worrell Reserve. Trevor Poole smashed his way to 69, including 11 fours, before being dismissed by Jordan Robinson.
Ricky Mitchell (57) and Mark Zoldak (42) took control of the innings late and led the Rebels to a close win.
Gembrook forfeited against Pakenham Upper Toomuc.
Carlisle Park were too strong for Officer as Amjinder Singh Mann (69) and Rahil Gandhi (58) both registered half centuries.
The win solidifies the Vikings into second position; whilst the Bullants now sit one win behind in third.
Clyde and Pakenham put on a show at Toomuc Reserve. With Clyde declaring at 9/278, Pakenham managed to send a scare through the Clyde camp, but Noel O’Brien (6/65) ensured the Cougars walked away victorious.
Paul Hart (58), Brenton Dore (38) and Mohit Bhatia (29) were all impressive for the Lions as they fell 38 runs short of the top-placed Clyde.
Lang Lang were no match for Cranbourne Meadows at Lawson Poole Reserve. Chasing 270, Lang Lang managed just 84 runs in their first innings as Andrew Clappers dominated with 5/11.
Cranbourne Meadows enforced the follow-on and Lang Lang came out much improved. Led by a century to Dylan Dhiel (109 not out), the match ended with the Tigers on 4/175 in their second innings.
A century to Nyora opener Jake Henry (103) spearheaded a ruthless innings by the Maroons against Merinda Park.
Nyora charged their way to a massive total of 339 and the win, with contributions all the way down the order.
After dismissing Clyde for 131, Devon Meadows recorded a convincing win as they scored 8/248. Falling to 3/31, the Panthers’ middle-order controlled the innings as Glen D’Alton (50) and Anthony Scott (74) scored half centuries.
Top placed Nar Nar Goon/Maryknoll and third placed Pakenham showcased the tight race that has been WGCA G Grade in 2017/18.
The Lions defended their total of 162, dismissing the Marygoons for 156 in an intense battle. Duane Lucas was the match-winner, finishing with 6/44, including the final wicket of Shamraiz Medhi.
Catani had the bye.