By Nick Creely
DDCA TURF 2 AND TURF 3
REVIEW – ROUND 12
Parkmore Pirates have surged into the Turf 2 top-four in a brilliant display against Cranbourne.
As a result of the victory, the Eagles have been replaced by the Pirates in fourth position with just rounds of cricket left to play.
After so many off-season departures and a series of challenges, the Pirates just keep hanging in there, and are now in a genuine position to play finals cricket.
The Pirates sent the Eagles in to bat at Wachter Reserve, and had some early success with important opener Craig Hookey departing.
But skipper Mick Sweeney dug in, compiling a vitally important 53 to help anchor the innings, but key scalps through the middle-order continually held the visitors back, with a late cameo from Braedyn Jansz (21) eventually helping the Eagles to 9/164.
Once more, Madhawa Fonseka was the man, snaring 3/44 from his 11 overs, while Ammar Bajwa (2/35) and Brad Vantwest (2/31) were also a handful.
The Pirates were made to work for the victory with impressive young seamer Trishane De Silva (4/36) bowling superbly, but a clutch knock from opener Johann Brohier (65 not out) guided the home side to its most important win of the season with four wickets and three deliveries in hand.
Beaconsfield also enhanced its premiership hopes with a dominant win against Parkfield at Perc Allison Oval.
The second-placed Tigers sent the visitors in, and were set 173 for victory with Luke Stow, Nathan Goodes and Brad Miles each chipping in with two wickets.
But it was with the bat that the home side truly shone, with Michael Vandort (49) continuing his stellar season with more runs, while fellow recruit Tyler Clark (49 not out) and Michael Dunstan (39 not out) were also clinical as the Tigers ran the total down with eight wickets left.
Lyndale, meanwhile, inflicted Dandenong West with a surprise loss at Greaves Reserve.
The third-placed Westers couldn’t ever really get its game up and running against the Dales.
Batting first, Priyan De Silva was all class, blasting 69 to help guide the visitors to 8/172, with wickets falling around him at a steady rate.
It’s been a strong move down to number four for De Silva, who started the season opening but has now belted scores of 56, 21 and now 69 in consecutive weeks since the shift.
Despite De Silva’s knock, spinners Riley Siwes (2/39) and Shaun Weir (3/47) bowled strongly for the Westers.
A top-order collapse, sparked by a brilliant new ball spell from Harish Rao (4/41) had the Westers in deep trouble at 5/30, and in with dire need of a steadying knock.
Despite a battling knock from Karanbir Tiwana (32) the Westers were rattled by a stunning spell from Rohit Dixit (5/24), who rattled through the lower order to bundle the home side out for just 110.
And in the final game, Narre Warren was in dominant touch against Narre North away from home.
The home team batted first, but were rolled for just 119, with Cam Dinger (4/36) and Josh Dinger (4/34) using their skill to control proceedings.
It took just 16.1 overs, or 97 balls for the Magpies to run down the target, with flashy opener Ben Swift (70 not out off 53 balls) absolutely brutal, while Zach Allen also chimed in with 39 from 38 balls.
It took 12 rounds of cricket, but Springvale has lost a game, and to a fellow premiership contender.
Keysborough sent a serious statement to the rest of the Turf 3 competition with a dominant display against the ladder-leaders.
It’s a rarity, but Springvale couldn’t get going with the bat, winning the toss and mustering up just 9/116 from its 40 overs, with a late 32 not out from Randeep Sahota giving something for the bowlers to work with.
Yohan Arumadura (2/5 from eight overs) was superb, bowling tight lines and cutting off any avenues of scoring for the visitors, while Matt Moore (2/32) also cashed in with a couple of wickets.
Opener Jacob Hennigan (36) and Christo Otto (37)’s 52-run stand for the second wicket proved the difference, and despite a brief fight back sparked by spinner Michael De Kauwe (3/17), found the runs with five wickets left to spare.
Last-placed Berwick Springs also sparked a major surprise, knocking off finals fancy Fountain Gate in an untimely loss for the Gators.
The loss means that the Gators are teetering on the edge of falling out of the top-four.
The Gators batted well after being sent in, racking up 9/188 off the back of an excellent 53 from opener Jahanzeb Mirranay.
Archit Vora (3/18) was superb with the ball for the Titans.
But despite an early wicket, and the odds well against them, the home side lifted through crunch knocks from Vora (39), Kevin Tissera (24) and Muneem Alam (36 not out), pulling off a three wicket win with two overs to spare.
Coomoora moved to consolidate its position as another side to watch come finals with a dominant win against Doveton.
Sparked by a 102-run stand from Abhinav Bhatia (48) and Rahoul Pankhania (48), the Roos posted a hefty 7/194 from its 40 overs, despite the best efforts of skipper Ryan Hendy (4/35).
Hendy also fought a lone hand with the bat, crunching 51 but the Doves were rolled for 114 in 35 overs.
In the final game of the round, Silverton banked the victory against Lynbrook at Marriott Waters.
The Bakers were in early disarray to fall to 2/2, and eventually 3/21, but recovered to post a competitive 9/136, largely off the back of Clint Gottinger’s timely 35, and a handy knock from Sachin Noragal (27) in the lower order.
But new ball pair Dylan Hayes (3/16) and Kevin Baldsing (3/28) did the damage, inflicting timely wickets for the Bakers as the Lakers fell just short on 128.
Simon Beshara was also vital, snaring 2/16 from his eight overs.