In this week’s edition of Tyler’s Top 10, GAZETTE reporter TYLER LEWIS takes a look at the best ‘dynamic duos’ of the local area in recent years.
The numbers have been crunched, the chemistry has been calculated and the answers have been thoroughly analysed…
10. Leigh Booth and Ben Hillard (Hallam Kalora Park DDCA): Any opening batter in any grade will argue it’s the best bond you can have. The only way to make that bond stronger is be a premiership winning opening pair. These two are and they bat together splendidly.
9. James Nanopoulos and Jacques Augustin (Frankston Peninsula VPC): Left-field thinking has been known to appear in the Top 10, and it’s on show again here. Augustin, a gloveman, and Nanopoulos the opening bowler. Augustin is one of few keepers that would have the ability to not only keep up to Nanopoulos, but also create chances. No wonder Nano took him with him to Frankston.
8. Jordan Cleland and Lachlan Brown (Berwick DDCA): An element of being the best is sensing an opportunity to be selfish. This pair do it better than any around, they love notching 50 unbeaten and leaving the number three with pad rash. They’ve done it three times already this summer… expect more of it too.
7. Mark Cooper and Ben Spicer (Kooweerup WGCA): The Demons haven’t been low on duos in their historic recent run. This pair has found plenty of runs together, but did so most prominently in 2016/17, with Cooper accumulating 792 @ 72 and Spicer working around 572 @ 57.
6. Cam Henry and Jason Dodd (WGCA now DDCA): Back when it was in the WGCA, Beaconsfield had the luxury of this pair together in fine form. In 2010/11, the fast-bowling duo sent back a combined 71 batters, both averaging less than 15 apiece. Poor ‘Doddy’ came second in the bowling average with 33 scalps @ 14.42.
5. Neil Barfuss and Dean Henwood (Cardinia WGCA): ‘Barf’ has played that much cricket, he could have a Top 10 with his best partners in crime. But it’s hard to go beyond his bowling partner in Dean Henwood. In 2016/17, the pair combined for 75 scalps, with Barfuss claiming 40 and Henwood 35.
4. Dale Tormey and Chris Smith (Pakenham WGCA): A smaller sample size in terms of longevity, but one almighty combination. Just two summers ago – 2019/20 – this pair had terrific seasons and did so simultaneously. Tormey whacked 952 runs @ 79.33, while Smith also stuffed the stats with 487 @ 69.57.
3. Chris O’Hara and Michael Giles (Kooweerup WGCA): This bond hardly requires an explanation as to why it’s placed third. The pair has more than likely put on enough partnerships for a Top 10 of their own. A massive factor in the Demons prolonged success, one of the pairs more prominent seasons was back in 2011/12, when O’Hara made 677 runs @ 56, and his blazing left-handed partner made 639 @ 53.
2. Matt Chasemore and Steven Spoljaric (Cranbourne DDCA): Bowling, batting, fielding. Whatever it was, these two liked playing together. In 2015/16, Chasemore put together 561 runs @ 46.80 and 19 wickets @ 15.90, Spoljaric made 578 runs @ 57.80 with the bat and sent back 37 batters @ 9.11. A whopping 1149 runs and 56 wickets combined.
1. Brett Forsyth and Tom Donnell (Dandenong VPC): Tough to go beyond this pair, they simply enjoy batting together. Forsyth and Donnell have put on over 100 on 20 occasions and hold the club record for the opening partnership, with 241. One of the better seasons back in ‘11/12, Forsyth nudged 887 @ 52; Donnell crunched 881 @ 48; the pair put on 50 without loss seven times and 100 twice.