By RUSSELL BENNETT
DANDENONG DISTRICT CRICKET ASSOCIATION – ROUND 3 (day one)
RAIN was the most influential component of local play in the Dandenong District Cricket Association on Saturday. Everyone knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any easier to stomach.
Intermittent, and seemingly random, showers across the region following the heavy rain overnight saw play washed out altogether at some grounds – as on number two oval at Casey Fields for Cranbourne’s clash with North Dandenong, and Coomoora Reserve for the home side’s battle with Springvale South.
But there was still plenty of action across Turf 1.
DANDENONG WEST v HALLAM KALORA PARK
HALLAM won the toss and sent the home side in at Greaves Reserve. It proved to be the right call with Matt Sofoulis’ side rolled for 160 in the 58th over. Sofoulis, himself, was one of just two batsmen to pass 25 – the other being Anthony Brannan (35), who top-scored in the middle order – as his side seemingly had no answer for Hallam duo Cory Booth (4/27 in 8.4 overs) and Ben Hall (3/26).
The visitors’ chase will resume on day two at 0/2 with the Hillard boys – Ben and Ryan – at the crease.
HEINZ SOUTHERN DISTRICTS v LYNDALE
THE close of play might have come at exactly the right time for Heinz Southern Districts at Reedy Reserve, with the home side in all sorts of trouble at 5/67 in just the 25th over.
After losing opener Rob Davies (1) early, the side looked to be steadying before Matt Downe (26) followed. The resistance was much weaker following his dismissal – with Heinz losing wickets three, four and five for just 13 runs.
Lyndale pair Ben Montgomery (2/13) and Quyen Pham (2/14) will this Saturday look to continue right from where they left off.
MORDIALLOC v BERWICK
THE most disappointing aspect of Saturday’s rain was how badly it affected the two top-of-the-table clashes between Cranbourne and North Dandenong, and Mordialloc’s showdown with Berwick at Ben Kavanagh Reserve.
Mordialloc is currently sitting on top of the Turf 1 ladder and proved its quality – even for only 28 overs – in restricting Berwick to 2/51. Stuart Squires started brilliantly with the Kookaburra and currently has the outstanding figures of 2/9 from 9.4 overs. Quick runs will be the order of the day for Berwick this Saturday.
PARKFIELD v BUCKLEY RIDGES
THE boys from Parkfield Reserve are in the box seat after the first day’s play of their match with Buckley Ridges.
The visitors’ top order crumbled after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat. None of their top-four scored more than 10 runs, piling the pressure on to the likes of Daniel Haasbroek (69) and Paul Rudd (34) in the middle and lower orders. Luckily they counterpunched effectively, playing the two starring roles in their side recovering from 5/31 to 6/126.
Buckley Ridges was eventually dismissed for 154 in the 66th over, with Shane Bell (4/29) and Nilochana Perera (3/27) the main destroyers for Parkfield.
Jarryd Williamson and Joe Wheal will stride to the crease for the home side to start day two at 0/3. But with both openers horribly out of form with the willow so far this season, Buckley Ridges would more than fancy their chances of breaking into the Parkfield middle order early on the second day’s play.