Dandy down: 1-3 start for Panthers

Sometimes your greatest strength is your biggest weakness... Tom Donnell was dismissed hooking on Saturday. 261878 Picture: TYLER LEWIS

By Tyler Lewis

Dandenong head into the final match of the calendar year 1-3, after suffering a heavy loss at the hands of the unpredictable Casey-South Melbourne.

Dandenong – undermanned through Covid isolations – came into the match off the back of an impressive victory against Frankston Peninsula last week.

But this match against the Swans was a reflection of the firepower the Panthers have lost out its bowling attack.

The Swans got off to a steady start with Luke Manders (49) taking to the Panthers top bowlers.

Braeden Taeuber was impressive early, proving to be the only bowler the Casey-South Melbourne batters couldn’t get away.

Matt Wilson received some tap early, with Manders sending him over the rope to inch closer to his half-century.

But it was Wilson who had the last laugh, dismissing Manders through a short ball to bring about the Panthers first wicket.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Swans were able to build steady partnerships throughout the middle of the innings, particularly batting around in-form skipper Michael Wallace, who struck 89 from just 93 balls with three sixes.

One of those maximums came from an incredible reverse sweep that was hit flat towards the shorter boundary.

The Panthers even called upon Tom Donnell to have a trundle, sending down some off-spin, finishing with figures: four overs, 0/12.

A rare sight in Victorian Premier Cricket, Donnell finished his spell by throwing the ball to skipper Brett Forsyth – who too sent down a couple of overs.

The plan looked clear from the Panthers, rush through overs, build dots and inflict some scoreboard pressure.

Though with Wallace flying at one end and others working the ball around the long pockets of Shepley Oval, the Panthers were set a strong total of 8/258.

The chase couldn’t have started worse for the Panthers, losing champion opener Tom Donnell in the early overs for 1.

Forsyth looked to take the game on after losing his partner, but he followed him to the pavilion shortly after.

Josh Slater again got himself a start (25), before he spooned an easy catch to Nathan Lambden at cover.

Cam Forsyth’s luck – or there lack of – running between the wickets continued to be an issue for the noodler, being run out for the third time in just four hits.

After bowling well (2/45 from ten), Gehan Seneviratne landed a few lusty blows in the latter stages of the Panthers’ innings, launching three balls over the rope on his way to 29.

The Dandenong outfit fell for just 157 in the 42nd over, losing by 101 runs.

The challenges don’t get any easier for Brett Forsyth’s men, heading to the prestigious venue that is Melbourne Uni next week to take on the undefeated Students.