By Nick Creely
It was a round of DDCA Twenty20 action that simply had it all, centuries, class bowling and fielding, a draw, and even a mankad.
In a battle of the two undefeated sides in Group C, North Dandenong and Beaconsfield at Perc Allison Oval on Wednesday 5 December, it came down to one final controversial moment off the last ball of the match to decide the result.
With one to win, one wicket left and just one ball remaining, the Tigers’ gun all-rounder Matt Golding mankaded the Maroons, and the umpire subsequently raised his finger, much to the displeasure of the visiting side.
A mankad – being the bowler running out the non-striker for straying outside of his crease during his run-up – is arguably the most controversial mode of dismissal in cricket.
But skipper Alex Roberts withdrew the appeal after realising that Maroons were only playing with 10 players, and the visitors eventually hit a two of the final ball to secure the points and remain undefeated.
After winning the toss and batting, the Tigers scrapped their way to 6/127 off their 20, with Golding (78 not out) the only batsman to really get going, with the Maroons eventually getting the points through the efforts of Akshay Ballal (46) once again.
Elsewhere, Buckley Ridges all-rounder Susa Pradeep went berserk, compiling an extraordinary 130 not out as the Bucks eased past Lynbrook at Park Oval.
Pradeep showcased his abundance of class to walk off the field with 12 fours and 10 sixes in a 64-ball epic, including 33 off the final over, as the ball flied to all parts.
His side eventually finished off with an ominous score of 5/200, with the Lakers scoring 6/112 in reply.
Kaushalya Weeraratne also belted a ton for Heinz Southern Districts in a thumping win against Silverton.
The star Sri-Lankan was in imposing touch against the Bakers with a glorious 117, with the Cobras racking up 4/226.
Craig Slocombe also wound back the clock in a vintage display for Springvale South against Parkmore Pirates, churning out a brilliant 97.
In his first Twenty20 of the season, the champion bat was in no mood to waste time, helping his side to 5/187, before restricting the Pirates to 9/94.
In other matches, Narre South (1/64) thumped Parkfield (60), St Brigid’s/St Louis (2/120) had the better of Springvale (114), Narre Warren (8/119) and Cranbourne (119) drew, Berwick (3/100) eased past Doveton (5/99), Mordialloc (3/99) defeated Doveton North (8/97), Dingley (6/131) beat Berwick Springs (7/128), St Mary’s (5/137) were too good for Dandenong West (9/73), and Narre North (6/139) upset Hallam Kalora Park (5/135).