By Nick Creely
DANDENONG DISTRICT CRICKET ASSOCIATION
REVIEW – ROUND 1 (DAY ONE)
When Narre South captain-coach and local cricket legend Scott Phillips has his tail up, there’s not a batsman anywhere that can play him.
Turf 2 reigning premiers, Narre North, found out the hard way on Saturday after being completely flattened by the great fast bowler on Saturday at Strathaird Reserve.
Chasing the Lions’ first innings score of 199 after late cameos by Rumesh Rangana (62), Brad Parker (38) and Senel Ekanayake (33), Phillips tore the Rams to pieces in the final hour before stumps, taking 5/3 off seven overs to leave the visitors reeling at 5/20.
The sheer class, experience and skill of the skipper was on show, producing an unplayable spell that has almost certainly got his side on the back seat for an opening round win.
In Phillips’ 26 matches since joining the club in 2016/17, he has 96 wickets at 9.05…simply staggering numbers for the local legend that has dominated the MPCA and won a club champion award for Frankston in Premier Cricket in the past.
The Rams will be looking consolidate despite the brilliance of Phillips when play resumes on Saturday, but are a long way back from even thinking about a win.
Cranbourne, meanwhile, will be looking to avoid outright after a disastrous opening day of the season against Dingley at Souter Oval.
Another sublime bowling effort – this time by Dingoes spearhead Andrew Dalby (7/23) saw an almost unrecognisable Eagles side skittled for just 60 in just fewer than two hours.
Dalby ensured the Eagles couldn’t find any momentum with the bat whatsoever, taking five of the first seven scalps to leave Matt Blackman’s side 7/30, and eventually 8/33 when Dalby got through the gate of Luke Dinger.
Pardeep Boyal managed to find the boundary on a couple of occasions, eventually seeing his side find an extra 30 runs, but the damage was well and truly done.
A couple of early wickets saw the Dingoes fall to 2/21 and brighten the prospects of the Eagles who had started brightly with the new ball, before gun batsmen Matt Hague (30) and skipper Corey Booth (45) ensured they could comfortably surpass the Eagles’ first innings total.
An excellent late spell to Jordan Margenberg (3/14) skittled the middle order and the home side fell to 7/103, but Booth decided to declare and have another crack at the Eagles before stumps.
Cam Kelly fell on the stroke of stumps, with the Eagles reaching 1/19 off 12 overs, as they look to avoid outright next week.
Parkmore Pirates are heading towards a strong opening round win after a brilliant team display with the bat against Dandenong West at Greaves Reserve.
Batting first, the Pirates got off to a cracking start, compiling 64 for the first wicket, before new recruit Ammar Bajwa (78) and returning star Aditya Ganesh (69) punished the Westers, combining for 23 boundaries and three sixes to flatten the home side.
A destructive, run a ball 64 to skipper Amal Athulathmudali saw the Pirates completely dominated proceedings, before declaring at 8/309 and with 12 overs left to take some wickets.
Despite the early wicket of Nathan Power (7), the Westers fought hard and even found some runs, with skipper Matthew Collett (25) and Peter Atkinson (14) getting their side to 1/48 at stumps.
The match between St Brigid’s/St Louis and Narre Warren at Bonbeach Oval was delayed until Saturday due to the ground not being ready for cricket. It will now revert to a one-dayer.
Wickets tumbled at Perc Allison Oval on Saturday, but Beaconsfield remains in a strong position to get its season off on a bright note.
The Tigers – without their biggest star Matt Golding in the side – lost the toss and fielded against Parkfield, and soon it became evident that their new recruits would have a massive say on proceedings.
The tone was set early after a brilliant run out from Jarrod Williams, before wickets began falling at an alarming rate for the Bears.
Former Wookey winner Alex Roberts (2/15), long time stalwart Callan Tout (3/22), Bill Temby (3/3) and Jake Cutting (1/9) all bowled superbly, and despite brief fight from skipper Tony Payne (28), the Bears could only muster up 104 in 58 overs.
Quality left arm spinner Jack Benbow (0/39 off 16 overs) bowled tightly and with great skill in his debut.
The three late wickets of Tigers’ trio Roberts (16), Ben Casey (2) and Brendan Johnson (1) had the home side in a spot of bother at 3/19, but Benbow (15) and Kevin Baldsing (14) managed to steady the ship and leave their side 3/48 at stumps, only 57 runs away from victory.
Keysborough, meanwhile, posted a competitive 226 against Fountain Gate at Rowley Allan Reserve.
Keysie – off the back of a half century to recruit Jackson O’Brien (54) and strong cameos from Andre Peters (44) and skipper Jacob Hennigan (40) – managed to build key partnerships throughout the innings and ensure they could reach a total extremely defendable.
Gun Gaters all-rounder Rodni Kumara (4/65) was the pick of the bowlers and squeezed out 27 overs through the middle of the innings, while Justin De Wet snared 3/23 from his nine overs.
Down at Fotheringham Reserve, Lynbrook provided perhaps the biggest shock of the round, carving Silverton to all parts of the ground in a dominant batting display.
Largely set up by a sensational 89 not out opening the batting from Cody Thompson, Jay Walia (55) and Varun Singh (68) were also outstanding contributors as the Lakers racked up 5/290 by stumps.
Thompson, a long time player for the club, just batted and batted all day, soaking up the early pressure and providing the all-important anchor for the entire innings. He could be in for a big season at Turf 3 level. A late cameo by keeper Charlie Gardiner (29) was also impressive and helped provide some late, yet crucial runs.
Off-spinner Mick De Kauwe (2/43) was impressive on debut for the club after crossing over from North Dandenong, but lacked support on a tough opening day for his side.
The match between Lyndale and Coomoora at Barry Powell Oval was delayed until Saturday due to the ground not being ready for cricket. It will now revert to a one-dayer.