Panthers claw in

Dandenong's LJ Edwards played a fine hand to help guide the Panthers into the Super Slam finals. Picture: ROB CAREW

By Nick Creely

The Panthers are finals bound in the inaugural Victorian SuperSlam, after dominating the Ringwood Rams on Tuesday evening in the final round of the competition.

The Panthers – needing a win to break in for a semi-final at Russell Lucas Oval – were sent in to bat, and the Rams’ seamers were up and about early.

Removing the dangerous pair of James Nanopoulos and Tom Donnell for a combined eight runs between them gave the home side the early advantage, and after Ed Newman was caught short not long after and perennial run machine Brett Forsyth (16) also back in the sheds, the Panthers found themselves 4/40.

But, an innovative knock to Lincoln ‘LJ’ Edwards (66 off 48 balls) got the scoreboard ticking along, and combined with handy supporting knocks by Darren Pattinson (13 off 11) and Zachariah Grundmann-Perera (8), the Panthers scrapped their way to 8/138.

Ian Holland (3/19) once again continued his barnstorming form with another excellent display with the ball, while fellow quick Michael Topp (2/25) was important with a couple of wickets and run-outs.

While the Rams possess one of the more explosive and dangerous batting sides in the competition, the Panthers simply never relented in their pressure, with Suraj Randiv (2/9) excelling with his spin and variation, while fellow spinner and marquee Karl Carver (2/18) was equally impressive.

It took the visitors just over an hour to bowl the home side out and out of the finals race, dismissing them for a lowly 76, with not one Ram entering the 20s.

As a result, the Panthers climbed into the finals by percentage over local rivals Casey-South Melbourne Swans, finishing with a 3-3 record ahead of a semi-final clash with the Prahran True Blues on Sunday.

In other results across the final round of the tournament, the Prahran True Blues (7/170) defeated a competitive Kingston Hawks (6/149) side, the Monash Tigers (8/123) survived a scare to defeat Frankston Heat (5/120), while St Kilda (7/161) held off Camberwell Magpies (7/161).

SUPER SLAM – STARS CONFERENCE
TEAM P W L D PTS NRR
True Blues 6 5 1 0 10 0.16
Saints 6 5 1 0 10 0.08
Tigers 6 4 2 0 8 -0.1
Panthers 6 3 3 0 6 1.5
Swans 6 3 3 0 6 1.13
Rams 6 3 3 0 6 0.12
Magpies 6 2 4 0 4 -0.52
Hawks 6 1 5 0 2 -1.14
Heat 6 1 5 0 2 -1.6

 

LEADING RUN SCORERS
NAME TEAM RUNS AVG HS STR
Ramneet Dhindsa Kingston Hawthorn 211 52.74 53* 174.4
Tom Wood Frankston Peninsula 202 50.5 75* 104.7
Scott Edwards Monash Tigers 195 39 73* 145.5
Oliver Gunning Camberwell Magpies 187 31.17 69 119.1
Luke Wells Casey South Melbourne 181 30.17 53 139.2
LEADING WICKET TAKERS WICKETS AVG BB E/C
Will Walker Camberwell Magpies 11 11.09 4//22 6.5
Todd Murphy St Kilda 10 7.5 4//17 5
Suraj Randiv Dandenong 10 7.9 3//22 4.79
Nuwan Kulasekera Casey-South Melbourne 10 12.4 3//17 5.64
Luke Wells Casey-South Melbourne 10 16 5//30 7.27

 

Swans’ skipper Luke Wells had an all-round brilliant tournament.

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