By Tyler Lewis
It was some of the new and some of the old who stood up for Dandenong on Saturday in its first win of the summer.
The Panthers – with its new look side – had been troubled in its first two outings, but appeared unphased at J Coburn Oval in their clash with Frankston Peninsula.
The Panthers, sent in by old friend James Nanopoulos at the toss, looked far more threatening with the bat than previous weeks, posting 5/235.
Champion opener Tom Donnell set the tone early for the Panthers, lacing 66 from 93 deliveries, where he didn’t look like getting out until the loose stroke that brought upon his dismissal.
Josh Slater was also a key contributor for the visiting side, playing all the strokes on his way to 80.
The right-hander struggled to increase his strike rate in the middle stages of his innings, but it seemed when he was joined by gloveman Sam Newell (29 from 25), he started to get going.
In fact, the Panthers faced just seven dot balls in the final six overs.
In reply, the key wicket of dasher Vish Bansal was the key to the match after his scintillating display last week.
Seamer Sam Wetering snared the all-important scalp, on his way to career best figures to date of 4/42 in just his second game.
The man who took the catch off the blade of Bansal – Matt Wilson – was also terrific with dazzling figures: 9.1 overs, one maiden, 5/34.
Among those five, Wilson was able to snare Heat batters Akshay Kodoth and Brodie Symons in successive balls.
As for the hat-trick ball, it was to none other than James Nanopoulos, which the lefty saw off, avoiding one almighty headline in his first match against his old side.
With Wilson and Wetering combining for 9/76 from 19.1 overs, the Panthers were able to restrict the Heat to 10/216 – 20 runs shy of its required target.
The win comes at the perfect time for the Dandenong outfit, avoiding falling to 0-3 for the first time since 2012/13.
In next week’s fixture, the Panthers host another south eastern rival, this time Casey-South Melbourne at Shepley Oval.