By Nick Creely
AROUND THE GROUNDS
VICTORIAN PREMIER CRICKET
As proven by the successful recent history of reigning Victorian Premier Cricket premiers Dandenong, when their bowlers get on a roll, good luck containing them.
Prahran found out the hard way just how difficult the Panthers are as a prospect on Saturday, completely dismantling the True Blues in the early stages at Shepley Oval.
The True Blues won the toss and batted, and quickly worked their way out to 0/21. But, that’s where everything fell apart.
James Wilcock (3/28) found the edge of James Billington to get the collapse started, and through a brilliant bowling display by the likes of James Nanopoulos (2/21), Jakeb Thomas (2/39) and also Peter Sweeney (1/23), the True Blues were shell-shocked as they suddenly found themselves 6/44 in the first hour.
While the visitors fought back admirably through braves cameos from Stephen Seymour (31) and debutant Lachlan Bangs (40), their eventual total of 147 was never going to be enough considering that in-form openers Tom Donnell and Brett Forsyth would be greeting them.
The non-fussed pair knew exactly what they were doing, and swiftly knocked up yet another 50-run stand to add a collection that is growing in legend.
Just shy of another 100-run stand, Tom Donnell fell for a well-made 39, but Forsyth, the leading run scorer in the competition, just continued on his merry way, crossing another half century. If it not had been for the small total being chased, who knows who many runs, or how long he would have batted.
The ability for the dynamic opener to bat long periods has been a hallmark of his game, and even in the white ball format, has proven he is a player with many tricks in his bag. Forsyth eventually finished unbeaten on 80, to take his season tally to an astonishing 478 runs at 79.7, as his Panthers crossed the total in just 37.4 overs and two wickets down.
The comprehensive win sees the Panthers surge into sixth spot on the Premier ladder, with a 4-2 record ahead of a big clash against Melbourne at the Albert Ground on Saturday.
Casey-South Melbourne, meanwhile, is now into the top eight after yet another stunning performance from captain Luke Wells.
The Sussex opener crunched his second consecutive century and his third in just six innings for the club, and in the process, guiding his side to a comfortable one-day win against the Greenvale Kangaroos.
Wells cracked an unbeaten 111 not out after the Swans – led largely by the efforts of Nathan Lambden (1/23), Dylan Hadfield (2/31) and Josh Dowling (1/34) – restricted the home side to just 6/200 off their 50 overs.
The Englishman has now racked up 467 runs at the remarkable average of 93.4, and combined superbly with emerging opener Ryan Quirk (40) to essentially set the game up with a 82-run opening stand.
Despite losing a couple of quick wickets, the Swans, through Lachie Sperling (20) and Michael Wallace (21 not out), worked together with Wells, who gradually increased his aggression and began finding the rope, to guide them to victory with a further 10 overs and seven wickets to spare.
The eighth-placed Swans will face Kingston Hawthorn at Walter Galt Reserve, in the second last match before Christmas.
MPCA – PROVINICIAL
ROUND 6 (DAY TWO)
Despite being in a potentially winning position against Peninsula OB on day two, Pearcedale fell to another loss.
Defending 168 for victory, the Panthers bowled superbly after breaking an opening stand of 44, to leave the Old Boys 6/116 and in a precarious spot.
While Kaine Smith (3/52 off 27 overs) was superb all day with the ball, a John Forrest (101 not out) and Hugh Peacock (50 not out) guided the Old Boys home, before continuing on their merry way to finish on 6/255 off 74 overs.
Langwarrin also picked up a solid win against Mt Eliza at Emil Masden Reserve. Defending 246 to win, the Mounties were bowled out for 219, with Justin Grant notching up 95.
Sorrento (205) defeated Mornington (160) and Baxter (3/101) beat Flinders (76 and 6/208) in the other games across the round.
VICTORIAN SUB-DISTRICT – NORTH/EAST
A glorious Luke Wintle century guided Noble Park to a barnstorming win against St Bernard’s OC at Murphy Oval on Saturday.
The gun top order bat slammed an unbeaten 141 – his first century for the club – as the Parkers made 6/231 in their 45 overs. Chris Lee (56) was also in the runs for the visitors.
In reply, the home side were valiant, finishing on 8/193, but a terrific spell by Issi Perera (3/21) got the job done.
Endeavour Hills, meanwhile, fell to Coburg in a thrilling battle.
The Lions made 9/164 off their 45 overs, with Clayron Landers (5/41) in fine form, while Vaughan Baxter (2/32) and Kusal Panditharatne (2/16) picked up multiple wickets.
In reply, the Eagles were bowled out for 156, with opener Duran Murrian top scoring with 54.