This week saw the fixtures realign for most XIs, only the Women's Third XI now remain behind in Round 7 (thanks to extra time off in the New Year), whilst all others progressed to Round 9. And it was a round of mixed results, with all home sides taking the spoils. The Women's XIs finished with two out of three against Box Hill, while our Men's XI's shared the spoils, two all, with St Kilda. Thanks to all of our contributors who bring you the details below...
Dandenong welcomed second placed St Kilda to Shepley Oval and with a heap of overnight rain Shepley was looking a treat. The Skipper made it 3 tosses in a row and the panthers decided to have a bowl.
Jimmy Pattinson and Adam McMaster opened up but neither could get the early breakthrough. St Kilda dragged their total along to 42 before Randiv struck twice in the same over. Another handy partnership was forming until Cassidy removed the dangerous Merlo with the score on 78. From there it was all Dandenong with the panthers blasting out the next 7 wicket for just 28 runs. McMaster has the golden touch at the moment picking up his third 4 wicket haul in as many games.
With the target set at 107 Dandenong couldn’t afford to lose any early wickets and they turned to the experienced pair of Tom Donnell and Brett Forsyth. The pair took it up to the St Kilda opening attack and raced the score along to 66 before Donnell departed for a brisk 41. Dandenong cruised to the victory with 20 overs to spare with again Brett Forsyth remaining not out for a patient 47.
Nic set the day up with an early win, her first with the coin toss as captain, and so the team were able to make use of the always perfect Shepley conditions and have a bat.
Tiana Atkinson (45) and Maryam Omar (27) set things up nicely with an 88 run opening stand, but a cluster of wickets from there meant we were unable to capatilise. Lucy Cripps (39) and Julie Fearns (15) steadied the ship and were able to help the team to a defendable, if below par, 168.
A tight opening partnership from Kim Garth (1/15 off 8.4) and Poppy Gardner (2/37 off 10) put the pressure on Box Hill early. This set the standard for the bowling effort throughout and, along with a similar standard in the field, ensured wickets fell at regular intervals. Wickets were shared, with Emma Gallagher leading the way with 3/24 off her ten, including the prized scalp of Meg Lanning for just 5 runs, and Julie Fearns 2/18 the other multiple wicket taker. In the end a 21 run win in the 47th over a satisfying result in a close game.
Winning the toss became vital at the Harry Trott Oval on Saturday morning after the terrible weather that Melbourne experienced on the Friday leading up to the match against St. Kilda. With a soft wicket and a wet outfield, it was always going to be more difficult for the side batting first in the match and that was what Dandenong faced after losing the toss early on Saturday morning. Despite the tough conditions, the Panthers got off to a stable start, losing just three wickets in the first 34 overs. However, runs were hard to come by on this wicket, highlighted by the 124 balls faced by skipper Josh Slater for his 58 runs. It was the skipper’s third half-century of the season and he was supported beautifully by wicketkeeper Jacques Augustin, continuing his great start to the season with the bat scoring an inventive 46 runs of 67 balls which included his famous ‘shark scoop’. The tough conditions made it difficult for the late order to come in and hit from ball one, but the Panthers managed to compile 182 runs on the board, which they were confident of defending if they bowled well.The Saints enjoyed a good start to their innings and were able to get ahead of the required run rate early. St. Kilda raced out to 1/90 after the opening 20 overs and looked set to cruise home with a potential bonus point victory. Despite the improved conditions, it was still difficult to bat on as every single one of St. Kilda’s established batsmen scored between 20-35, proving that the pitch was still doing enough to trouble the batters. Three wickets for Jack Fowler and two for Jakeb Thomas was not enough for the Panthers as the Saints managed to win with 11 balls remaining. It could have been a different story if the Panthers managed to grab a few early wickets, putting pressure back on the home side after a strong bowling innings, but it was not to be.
Another learning experience for the Dandy Panthers who still sit in fourth place and all attention now focuses on the upcoming clash with fifth placed Melbourne University.
Rachel Heenan and Sophie Strickland started proceedings well for the day with a great opening partnership of 86 before Rachel was caught on 34. Sophie moved on to complete a fine half century. The rest of the innings unfortunately fell away with just Alannah and Isobel reaching double figures. Our total should have been better than the 165 achieved, but it was nevertheless still a defendable score.
We started really well with two quick wickets but then Box Hill were able to consolidate with a partnership of 72 and another of 50 to take the score to 4 for 137 and well within reach of the target. Three quick wickets evened the game up and gave us hope but in the end they were able to close out a good game without further loss. With the ball Natalie was clearly the best with 4 for 32 off 9 overs.
The 3rd XI welcomed St Kilda to the famous Wilson oval. Remarkably captain Mitch Forsyth took his coin toss record to 0 wins and 9 losses for the year and was once again asked to bowl first. After some slow starts in previous games the boys looked on from the first ball with Dravid Rao and Triyan De Silva keeping it tight from both ends. Wickets were slow to come by but so was the scoring rate as they reached 1-71 from 25. We slowly chipped away and kept the Saints to 7-172 from their 45 overs. All bowlers did a top job in keeping the run rate down.
In reply we weren't off to a great start at 2-32 with Max Marinic (2) and Mitch (4) falling to some good deliveries. From there some small partnerships steadied the ship with Andrey Fernando (32), Zac GP (33), Daud Malik (25) Mahdee Islam (35*) and Triyan (12*) icing the game with 3 straight boundaries. In the end we chased their score with 5 overs to spare and 6 wickets down.
After 2 ties, a one wicket loss and a 6-run loss it was nice to have a comfortable victory. An all-round team effort with no bowler taking more than 2 wickets and no batsmen making a half century! It was great to see the boys play with great spirit and enjoy their cricket and continued their undefeated 2021 after a winless first 4 games. The thunderbirds are gaining some traction.
Box Hill got away to a steady start and after 20 overs they were 2 for 87. Erin Maxwell triggered a collapse with a run out that led to the last 7 wickets falling for a final total of 116. Sarah Clarke picked up 3 wickets in the process. Of note was Erin with a wicket, a catch and two run outs.
We were shaky in our chase and were saved by Grace (11), Kethmi (18) and Thirimanna (33no) who, with some real solid application, were able to steer us to a win. This further consolidates our chance for a finals place in our first year.
At St Kilda we bowled and Lachlan started well with 2 early wickets. Our bowlers remained on top as Matt Langley reaped 3 and tied them down. At 7 for 84 we strived to finish them off but they rallied to add another 98 and set us 182.
In reply we never threatened at any stage and were unable to put together the required partnerships at all. The result seeing us finish 60 runs short.
Arctic Foods Player of the Round
In a day of relatively even performances, the award goes again to Adam McMaster for taking 4 wickets to once again stamp out any threat that StKilda may have made to establish a big score. He followed on from the good work of Suraj effecting the early break through.
The women followed the path of the men with no real stand out performances. Emma Gallagher is delighted that she again snared Megan Lanning's wicket and picked up another two, but this is reward enough. Thiryaa in the 3s brought the team home with a rapid 33. In a losing team Natalie Taylor continued her improvement with the ball to snare 4 wickets and has earned the Player of the Round.