Norths register maiden win

Doveton wicketkeeper Ben Baxter takes one cleanly behind the stumps facing Coomoora’s Jake D’Atri. 91942 Pictures: JARROD POTTER

NORTH Dandenong (6/123cc) surprised all onlookers by seizing their first win of the season against Buckley Ridges (113).
Norths captain Scott Neeson (28) and Craig Gunawardana (24) got the score rate ticking along after Janahan Kumaralingam (7) fell to Marc Calkin (1/14) caught and bowled. Neeson and Gunawardana succumbed to Matt Goodwright (3/26), before Shane Leonard (35 not out) anchored the North Dandenong effort. Leonard saw off Jeremy Kuru (0/15) and Jonny Lash (1/33), to take the home side to 6/123 at the end of their 40 overs. The reply from the Ridges was lacklustre at best – their first five men returned to the shed by 27 – Wayne Taylor ripped through Tom Rowe (0), Troy Aust (1), Calkin (0) and Daniel Watson (9) in quick succession – leaving Buckley Ridges’ batting burden on Suren Ekanayake (29), Ben Watson (16) and Goodwright (28). The trio held on, but eventually fell to Shane Clark (2/23) and David Bell (2/23) as Buckley Ridges fell 10 runs short, dismissed in the 38th over for 113. The crucial win gets North Dandenong off the bottom of the ladder and away from the relegation zone for now, with the next challenge against Coomoora on Saturday.
Doveton (7/158) couldn’t shake off their December woes, this time bested by Coomoora (8/168cc). From a commanding early position, dismissing David Nutting (4) and Chalitha Halambage (6), Jake D’Atri (54) and Andrew O’Meara (12) weathered a barrage from Scott White and Brad Downe, at one stage getting only one run from four overs including a 19-ball scoreless run. O’Meara broke the shackles with a four, before D’Atri got into the action along with Rob Johnston (25) and Lance Baptist (31).From a solid position at 4/157, Coomoora was skittled in the last few overs, losing their last four wickets for 11 runs. Nathan Wilson (4/25) and Ryan Hendy (2/28) were the best of the bowlers.
In response, Coomoora shared the wickets to restrict the Doves to 158. Ben Baxter (56) was the prime mover for Doveton, but there were too many starts around him and no one cashing in. Baptist (2/33) was the best of the Kangaroos’ bowlers.
Played last Sunday, Berwick (6/205) knocked off flag favourites Dandenong West (8/182), with Ryan Crawford (68 not out and 5/22) smashing the Wests. Crawford started proceedings with a quick-fire 68 not out, working in tandem with Bathiya Perera (26) and captain Jarrod Goodes (34) to push past the double-century. Ryan Buckley (2/40) was the best of the Wests bowlers.
In reply, Crawford removed danger-pair Justin Stanton (14) and Alex Roberts (12) on the cheap before Matt Fielding (69) and David Weerden (39) started to eat into the lead. Once again, Crawford came to the rescue and picked up Fielding and the former captain Anthony Brannan (10) to push the Wests out of the fight.
Alex Nelson Reserve removed all hope of the Bloods and Eagles taking the field on Sunday, with a washout draw declared.
Ben Kavanagh Reserve wasn’t playable, so the Mordialloc versus Parkfield match was abandoned.
Mordialloc 5 4 1 0 27 1.47
Dandenong West 5 4 0 1 24 2.33
Springvale South 5 2 2 1 18 1.30
Buckley Ridges 5 3 0 2 18 1.22
Narre Warren 5 3 0 2 18 0.90
Berwick 5 2 0 3 16 1.04
Parkfield 5 2 1 2 15 1.17
Hallam Kalora Park 5 2 1 2 15 1.15
Heinz Southern Districts 5 2 0 3 12 0.88
Coomoora 5 2 0 3 12 0.72
North Dandenong 5 1 0 4 6 0.40
Doveton 5 0 1 4 3 0.72