By Tyler Lewis
A righteous tail wag from the Dandenong bowlers wasn’t enough for the Panthers to steal victory from the hands of Geelong.
The last time the two sides met was back in April, when Dandenong somehow revived from 6/82 to 7/223, stealing that elusive grand final position from the Cats on their home track.
Yesterday, in reply to Geelong’s 8/245, the Dandenong side was 6/93 and then 7/129, before leg-spinner Gehan Seneviratne and speedster Braden Taueber combined for an almost match-saving partnership.
Seneviratne – who has been known to chime in cleverly with the blade this year – carted 46 from 49 deliveries, while Taueber belted 52 from 56.
The knock of 52 from Taueber was a brilliant shock for the home side, with the right-armer scoring just 23 runs from his last four Premier Cricket hits.
But despite the heroics of the Dandenong bowlers, the hill was too steep to climb by the late stages of the match, being dismissed in the final over for 221.
Similarly to last weekend against Essendon, the Panthers struggled to take clumps of wickets in the early overs of the first innings.
The Cats were 1/36, 2/75, 3/102 and 4/186, before the Panthers were finally able to break-through and claim three sharp wickets.
It was Matt Wilson once again that cracked through, dismissing both set batters to lower the expected target.
The right-arm seamer was able claim three wickets, but was going at a nudge under a run-a-ball from his nine overs (3/51).
While they’re only five points from the top eight, the back-to-back defeats cuts deep for the Panthers, who now sit back in 13th.
Next rounds grand final re-match looms as a do-or-die clash for both Dandenong and Prahran (12th), as a loss to another team in that finals race at this point in time could prove costly.