Four teams in pole at main break

Kaushalya Weeraratne was brilliant for Narre South 262691. Picture: STEW CHAMBERS

By Tyler Lewis

Springvale South convincingly returned to the winners list on Saturday, making it four teams on equal points atop of the Dandenong District Cricket Association table heading into the Christmas break.

The Bloods got off to a flyer in their clash with North Dandenong, with Mitch Forsyth (37) and Ryan Quirk (29) piecing together 57 for the first wicket, before Forsyth and Jordy Wyatt combined for a further 45.

Wyatt found some form in his new threads, notching his first half-century with the Bloods – 55 from 73 deliveries.

The kicker for the Bloods – and a factor in the downfall of the Maroons – was that seven of the 11 batters that took guard reached double figures; a small token, however in a shortened innings, a one percenter that can shift 210 to 240.

And that’s exactly what occurred, the Bloods – who were 7/193 at one stage – posted a more than competitive 9/236 from its 45.

The depth of the Springvale South bowling unit was on show in the second innings, as all four bowlers that bowled collected at least one wicket.

The Bloods castled the visiting side for just 132 in the end, completing the job at hand in the 35th over.

While it was a complete performance with the ball, spinner Jarryd Straker bowled brilliantly, collecting 4/35 from 12 with two maidens.

Though in equal first, the Bloods sit second on the ladder, while North Dandenong are placed in sixth.

Hallam Kalora Park, meanwhile, completed an impressive all-round display to conclude the calendar year.

The Hawks never appeared tested throughout its bout with St Mary’s, comfortably getting away with the stick in the first innings, before bowling tremendously in the second dig,

Seasoned openers Ben Hillard (51 from 66) and Leigh Booth (79 from 114) set up the match, putting on 103 before the loss of the opening wicket.

A dashing 35 from 29 by skipper Jordan Hammond accelerated the Hawks to 5/242.

The St Mary’s outfit never loomed as a threat in the run chase, as consistent wickets held Wendyl Pires’ side at bay.

William Whyte was the pick of the bowlers, snaring 3/34 from his ten overs.

A splendid captain’s knock from Kyle Hardy held his Narre South unit inside the top four for the holiday break.

The Lions restricted its co-town rivals to just 9/189 in the opening innings, with Kaushalya Weeraratne (3/31 off nine) and Morteza Ali (3/33 off seven) the main headaches for the Maggies.

Lions skipper Kyle Hardy handled the rest of the task at hand brilliantly, controlling the innings from the very first ball to the winning moment, finishing unbeaten on 83.

Harsha de Silva also got amongst the runs, striking 42.

The Lions passed the target in the 43rd over, with just four casualties.

The win has Narre South in third position on the DDCA ladder.

Coming into the final round of the year, Berwick travelling to Park Oval to take on Buckley Ridges was a mouth-watering proposition.

But it was the Bears who took the sting out of the contest, continuing its scintillating form.

While high scores are synonymous with the venue, Berwick pushed its way to 7/264.

Lachlan Brown (39) and Jordan Cleland (44) managed to combine for yet another top notch stand, this week: 86.

The pair are now in fact averaging 83 together this season before the loss of a wicket.

Though it was the opening duo that got the Bears off to a sensational start, plenty of terrific knocks came thereafter to set up the big win.

Matt Chasemore (40), Damith Mapa Ralalage (86 not out) and James Wilcock (33) all contributed to the Bears big total.

Though a gettable score on Park – especially for Buckley – putting away Berwick’s bowling attack was always going to be a difficult conundrum.

James Wilcock’s men made light work of the total defence, dismissing the home side for just 119.

Not one of the five bowlers used went for more than five an over and four of the five collected a wicket.

Andrew Perrin added another two poles to his season collection of 12, while Nick Shirt (3/13 off five) and Jarrod Goodes (3/39 off nine) were the two main wicket getters.

For Berwick, the win sees the Bears stride into the break atop of the ladder with a wonderful percentage.

For Buckley Ridges, the Bucks still remain as one of the four teams on 18 points, chasing that all too familiar premiership success.

The DDCA will return on 8 January.