The best XI at half-way

Tim Phillips has bowled beautifully this year, he is poised well to make the Team of the Year. Picture: ROB CAREW

By Tyler Lewis and Nick Creely

The Dandenong District Cricket Association is starting to heat up.

The competition is in full swing and as a result, Star News Group reporters NICK CREELY and TYLER LEWIS have pieced together their rolling Turf 1 Team of the Year as head towards the second-half of the season…

1 – Leigh Booth (Hallam KP) – 174 runs @ 43.5, 3 wickets @ 39.67

Booth has been an integral part of the Hawks’ top order and has been more than handy with the ball. The all-rounder has crunched two half centuries so far this season and is second in the competition’s run tally.

Hallam star Leigh Booth.

2 –  Ryan Quirk (Springvale South) – 169 runs @ 56.33, 2 wickets @ 20.5

Quirk is third in the competition for runs, behind Booth, but has been more proactive with the ball. The Bloods superstar has had a similar season to his Team of the Year opening partner, with both of them making two half centuries.

Ryan Quirk. 205549

3 –  Jordan Cleland (Berwick, keeper) – 121 runs @ 40.33

Usually at the top of the order, but as is his versatility, he slots into the number three position. Cleland is yet to make a half-century this season, but he has made just one score below 26. He will also take the gloves for this side, after his seven dismissals in his few outings this year.

Jordan Cleland on the attack for Berwick. 229792

4 – Kyle Hardy (Narre South, captain) – 181 runs @ 60.33, 1 wicket @ 32

The Narre South captain is a key factor in the Lions’ success thus far this summer. Hardy’s 181 runs tops the competition so far and he will captain this side as well as bat at four after his scintillating start to the season.

Kyle Hardy during his brilliant century for Narre South last season. 226241 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

5 –  Ashan Anthony (St Mary’s) – 169 runs @ 56.33, 4 wickets @ 19.25

The St Mary’s all-rounder has no doubt been a feature in the Wookey Medal votes thus far. As an all-rounder in a one-day season, the numbers aren’t always as flattering as they would be in a two-day season, but with an average over 50 with the willow and under 20 with the ball, Anthony is squashing that theory…

6 –  Blade Baxter (Springvale South) – 90 runs @ 30, 10 wickets @ 14.3

The middle of this side offers plenty with both bat and ball, and Baxter is no exception. The Bloods gun is striking the ball at 83 this year in his 90 runs. His season is highlighted by a spell of 5/24 from 12 overs against the competitions reigning premiers.

7 – Michael Davies (Buckley Ridges), 70 runs @ 35,  10 wickets @ 18.6

Davies has already claimed a Wookey Medal, but will undoubtedly feature in the votes in the early rounds of the season after his strong start. With the strength of this side, he is unlikely to bat in a one-day game when listed at seven.

Wooeky Medallist Michael Davies has had a brilliant start to the year. Pictures: ROB CAREW

8 – Kusan Niranjana (St Mary’s), 97 runs @ 24.25, 11 wickets @ 15.27

Niranjana is one of the in-form bowlers in the competition and it warrants his selection in this side. The St.Mary’s spearhead has a brilliant average, but a just as good strike rate (22.91), if it wasn’t for the prowess of another bowler in this side, he would be being discussed a lot more.

9 – Akshat Buch (Springvale South), 47 runs @ 47, 7 wickets @ 14.29

Akshat Buch is a class operator and has been nothing short of tremendous since his arrival at the Bloods. His left-arm tweakers are tight and relentless, but he is also handy with the bat. While he is in this side, Buch in two-day cricket is going to be a joy to watch.

Akshat Buch during his Dandenong days. He’s been dominant since joining Springvale South.
187329 Picture: ROB CAREW

10 – Tim Phillips (Narre South) – 9 runs @ 9, 9 wickets @ 15.22

A Phillips dominating in the DDCA? Never! No surprise the Lions quick is in the talks as one of the best players in the competition, he is having a sublime year.

11 – Andrew Perrin (Berwick), N/A N/A, 12 wickets @ 8.83

N/A is listed in Perrin’s batting column and that’s because his side has bowled first regularly this year and his bowling has meant he is rarely required with the bat. Sliding into the Bears outfit from Victorian Premier Cricket club Prahran, Perrin has been – and will likely continue to be – a nightmare for batters in the DDCA.

Andrew Perrin