By Nick Creely
AROUND THE GROUNDS
VICTORIAN PREMIER CRICKET
ROUND 8 (DAY ONE)
The challenge is set for Dandenong after an epic century to Melbourne skipper Matthew Brown on Saturday will give the Panthers a tough chase next week.
In a surprising decision, the Panthers sent the Demons into bat at the Albert Ground in the, and after a solid start to the home side, the decision to bowl seemed the right call after a double strike had the reigning premiers in a strong position.
Blake Thomson (38) and Brown absorbed plenty of pressure to put together a 43 run partnership, and from there, batting just got easier for the Dees.
Despite some fine bowling by James Nanopoulos (3/68), Brown began to find his flow, taking apart the visitors’ attack with a class display of batting.
With Jack Harper (49), Brad Melville (21) and Sean Sturrock (21) batting around the skipper, the Dees racked up the runs – particularly late in the day – to finish on an imposing 7/326 off 96 overs at stumps on day one.
Brown walked off the ground with a 157 brilliant runs next to his name, a knock that was compiled over 267 balls, and included 16 fours and three sixes.
The opening partnership of Tom Donnell and Brett Forsyth will clearly be the key for the Panthers when play resumes next Saturday, with the middle order of Lincoln Edwards, Ed Newman and Cam Forsyth also needing a lift if the visitors are to pull off the tricky chase.
In the seconds, meanwhile, the returning Peter Cassidy (99) fell narrowly short of a brilliant century in his return game as the Panthers racked up 9/340.
Cassidy – who will almost certainly force his way back into the first XI next round after returning from an extended time in the UK – combined with the talented Dane Heverin (75) after coming together at 6/143, putting on a brilliant 150 run stand that saw the home side reach an impenetrable position at stumps.
Casey-South Melbourne, are starring down the barrel of an upset loss to Kingston Hawthorn after a tough day at the office at Walter Galt Reserve.
The Swans were sent in, and the in-form side slipped to 4/18, with skipper Luke Wells back in the sheds early.
With the Hawks up and about with the ball, Michael Wallace and Lachie Sperling (39) managed to spend some time at the crease and knock around 36-runs, but the home side managed to snare the pair and the dangerous Jordan Wyatt to leave the visitors 7/92.
Showing plenty of guts and determination, teenage debutant Ashvin Adihetty (44) – normally known as a bowler – showed how it was done, working hard with a more restrained Dylan Hadfield (18) to calmly bring the first innings total to a more competitive level.
Adihetty, who is on debut replacing spearhead Nathan Lambden, is a left-arm spinner with an abundance of talent, did a similar job with the bat in the seconds earlier in the season, hitting a 134-ball 65 after coming in 6/151.
The Swans were eventually bowled out for 171 in the 62nd over, and without Lambden taking the new pill, needed a strong start with the ball to have any chance.
Impressive recruit Josh Dowling (1/14) snared dangerous opener Ramneet Dhindsa (9) early, but the home side steadied nicely to finish 2/74 at stumps, with Lachie Sperling (1/5) picking up Shorye Chopra (19) shortly before the close of play.
But the Hawks will undoubtedly be favourites when play resumes on Saturday, with the Swans needing early wickets to stand a chance of picking up the points in what looms as an extremely important weekend in the context of their season.
MPCA – PROVINCIAL
ROUND 7 (DAY ONE)
In the battle of the bottom placed teams, Pearcedale and Flinders are engaged in a fascinating battle, with ball trumping bat on day one.
The Panthers struggled to 86 off 61.3 overs after batting first, with Dwayne Field (3/57) and Matthew Burns (7/25) incredibly bowling the entire innings to completely strangle the home side.
Burns’ 30.3 overs featured 18 maidens in an incredible bowling effort from the champion Shark.
At stumps, the Sharks are 4/16 off 18 overs, with Kaine Smith (2/1) and Sam Frawley (2/12) doing plenty of early damage.
In other games, Langwarrin (144) and Mornington (1/12) are in a close battle, Peninsula OB (6/77) should get the job done against Sorrento (89), and Baxter (4/49) is in a comfortable position against Mt Eliza (84).
VICTORIAN SUB-DISTRICT – NORTH/EAST
ROUND 7 (DAY ONE)
In his 50’s, Endeavour Hills champion Richard Saniga has still got it.
The veteran produced as incredible performance against Box Hill at Syd Pargeter on Saturday, snaring 7/44 off 26 overs.
Saniga tore the Hawks’ top order apart; before late partnerships saw the visitors reach 185 in 62.3 overs.
The Eagles are in a spot of bother at stumps, scrapping through to 5/31 off 23 overs at stumps.
And Noble Park (106) has already lost on first-innings to Plenty Valley (5/113), with the Parkers looking to now avoid outright next week.
WOMEN’S PREMIER CRICKET
TWENTY20 – ROUND 2
Dandenong picked up a barnstorming win at Shepley Oval against Prahran on Sunday, with the Panthers keeping their strong start to the Twenty20 season going.
The True Blues were kept to a lowly 8/58 after being sent in to bat, with Courtney Neale (3/11) absolutely starring.
The Panthers wasted little time in knocking over the runs, taking the points in just over half an hour, and with eight wickets still left in the shed.
Alanah Mison (19 not out) and Kim Garth (19 not out) knocked the runs over with ease.