By Nick Creely
DDCA TURF 1, 2 AND 3
REVIEW – ROUND 2 (DAY ONE)
Buckley Ridges are in pole position to push for an outright win when play resumes against North Dandenong on Saturday.
And the dominance came through the Bucks’ two overseas dynamos – skipper David White and West Indian Jerome Jones.
Jones – a left arm tearaway – ripped through the Maroons after the Bucks sent the visitors in at Park Oval, snaring 5/45, backing up his impressive debut for the club in the opening round.
The Maroons battled with the quick’s pace and tight lines, and were rolled for just 100 despite a fighting 42 from keeper-batsman Shehan Fernando – who came in when the visitors were under the pump and managed to salvage something out of the innings.
Daniel Watson (2/20) was also an absolute handful opening up with Jones, while spinner Wes Nicholas was impossible to get away, snaring 2/9 off 8.5 overs.
The Bucks lost champion openers Daniel Watson and Paul Rudd early in their first innings, but managed to pull away through White, who carved a quick fire 58 before being dismissed, leaving his side 3/74 before rain took over for the rest of the day.
White has now opened the season with consecutive half-centuries as he continues to dominate the DDCA.
Down at Strathaird Recreation Reserve, Narre South and Berwick are locked in an intriguing battle, with 54 overs bowled for the day.
The Lions elected to have a bat, with Morteza Ali (42) getting things going for the home side immediately, before Brendan Rose and Ruwantha Kellepotha (2/50) got things moving for the Bears with a trio of quick wickets to leave the home side dangling dangerously at 4/53.
But skipper Scott Phillips (33) and Joe Thomas (75) patiently built a crucial partnership, notching up 55 runs before young spinner Isaiah Jassal managed to snare the champion captain, before spearhead James Wilcock (1/35) trapped Thomas LBW to turn the tide.
With former Casey-South Melbourne club champion Rose up and about on his way to impressive figures of 5/29, the Lions stumbled to 9/144 before stumps were called, with Rumesh Rangana unbeaten on 17.
And down at Hallam Recreation Reserve, the Hawks have St Mary’s 7/170 at stumps.
The Hawks were all over the Saints in the early stages, with the seamers doing the damage as the visitors slumped to 4/44.
But once again saving the day, impressive middle over batsman Junaid Kari (54) struck a vital half-century – his second of the season already – helping rebuild the innings alongside an extremely patient Rajika Fernando, who chewed up 134 balls to make a gritty 44.
Eventually the Saints were able to salvage something out of the innings, setting up an intriguing day two.
All-rounder Leigh Booth was the pick of the bowlers with 3/49 off his 12 overs for the Hawks.
The clash between Springvale South and Heinz Southern Districts will be played as a one day match this Saturday.
It was a rain-marred weekend in Turf 2, with just two games getting off to starts in a day on mixed weather.
Narre North and Beaconsfield managed to squeeze in nearly 52 overs of cricket, with the Tigers on the back foot after some impressive bowling from the Rams.
Sending the Tigers in, the home side made life difficult early in overcast conditions, quickly removing Ben Casey, Michael Dunstan and Brad Miles, leaving the visitors needing a partnership at 3/15.
Despite skipper Brendan Johnson striking a vital 47 in a 66-run stand with Jake Cutting (31), the Tigers lost a clump of wickets to stumble to 7/117 at stumps, with Nathan Pulham bowling absolutely brilliantly to finish with 2/12 off 15 pressure-filled overs.
And down at Greaves Reserve, Dandenong West compiled an impressive 268 in the first innings of their clash against Parkmore Pirates.
The Westers looked in deep trouble early, with gun Pirate Niranjen Kumar (4/53) pulling the home side apart with a decisive opening spell that left them 3/11.
But as the day progressed, the home side were able to find plenty of flow, with Anthony Brannan the catalyst with a classy 69, while lower order batsmen Adam Mason (56) and Adil Afzal (50) inflicted plenty of damage at the back end in an extremely impressive team performance.
Despite conceding a steady flow of runs, wicket machine Amal Athulathmudali (3/65) managed to still have an impact.
The clash between Lyndale and Narre Warren, as well as Cranbourne and Dingley will be played as one day matches this Saturday.
Fountain Gate has its back against the wall in their clash against Silverton at Max Pawsey Reserve after the first day of play.
The Gators were sent in to face the music, and notched up 117 in 47.4 overs, with Rob Witt (33), Caleb Millman (27) and Stephen White (22 not out) all finding a bit of flow with the blade, with the Bakers bowling disciplined lines and making life difficult.
The Gators were able to get eight overs in before stumps was called, with the visitors in a strong position at 0/19.
At Springvale Reserve, Coomoora and Springvale are locked in an thrilling battle.
The Demons were bamboozled by Lance Baptist (5/34) with the ball, rolled for just 106 in 30 overs, with seamer Avisha Wilwalaarachchi (3/16) also causing issues.
But the home side managed to bite back before the rain hit, leaving the visitors 2/37 and with the game well and truly in the balance.
And in the final game played on day one, Keysborough (8/199) had a solid day with the bat against Parkfield at home.
The clash between Lynbrook and Berwick Springs will be played as a one day match this Saturday.