By Tyler Lewis
Reigning Victorian Super Slam premiers, Dandenong went one-and-one to kick-start its title defence on Sunday 27 October.
After being sent in by Kingston Hawthorn in the first game, Panther openers Brett Forsyth and James Nanopoulos got the Panthers off to a perfect start.
Forsyth was dismissed at the back end of the power play before Lincoln ‘LJ’ Edwards’ stay at the crease was shortly concluded.
Nanopoulos started to find the middle of the bat while his partner Ed Newman was struggling to nudge it around.
But as soon as Newman crunched one delivery, he was unable to miss, playing one of the more sensational knocks of the day – clearing the fence five times and finding rope on three occasions in his sublime unbeaten 69 from just 40 balls.
Nanopoulos (48) and Newman guided the Panthers to an extremely competitive 5/177 in the overcast conditions.
In reply, the Hawks got off to a horrid start courtesy of the bowling from Suraj Randiv (2/12) and Triyan De Silva (2/25).
The Panthers were wreaking havoc at both ends with four of the five bowlers used claiming at least one scalp.
Gehan Seneviratne was the pick of the bowlers as he cleared through the Hawks’ middle order with 3/31 from his four – figures dampened by going for six on his final ball. The Panthers bundled the Hawks out in the 17th over for 108 to start the tournament 1-0.
In the follow up fixture, Dandenong took on a dangerous side in Frankston Peninsula.
Nanopoulos and Forsyth put on 41 once again before Nanopoulos this time was the first to depart.
Edwards was unable to get going, while a start from Newman (16) and an assisting finish from Comrey Edgeworth (23) helped Brett Forsyth carry his bat for the reduced 19 overs for an unbeaten 79 from 58 balls.
In reply, the Heat got off to the perfect start.
De Silva’s first over was wayward and the Heat pounced on the opportunity to get ahead of the rate, taking 23 from the second over of the chase. Wickets fell around Nathan Harford as he notched a match-defining half century (59).
A late flurry of wickets came through Peter Cassidy (2/24), Randiv (2/28) and Edgeworth (1/10) but a strong cameo from HSD’s Kaushalya Weeraratne (27 from 17 balls) steered the Heat home to a three wicket win in the final over of the chase.
Round 3 of the Super Slam will resume on Wednesday 6 November, with Dandenong hosting St Kilda at Shepley Oval.