DANDENONG DISTRICT CRICKET ASSOCIATION – Turf 1 Round 8 (day 2)
IN A day of DDCA carnage, maximum points were seized by Heinz Southern Districts, Springvale South and North Dandenong while Hallam Kalora Park created the upset of the season defeating Cranbourne.
CRANBOURNE v HALLAM KALORA PARK
There are few challenges more severe than a 266-run chase in the heat as Cranbourne (193) found out the hard way against Hallam Kalora Park (6/266). Set the whopping tally to chase in ideal conditions at Casey Fields, the Eagles’ start was sluggish as Brayden Roscoe (37) and Jake Harrington (20) saw off the new ball and worked their way towards tea. Harrington was skittled by Jordan Hammond (1/22) and with Clint Ayres (4) leaving the field ‘retired hurt’, the Cranbourne initiative was in dire circumstance.
Enter Cranbourne’s best chance of victory – captain Steve Spoljaric (80 not out). The three-time Wookey Medallist burdened the chasing responsibility as he batted throughout the day to keep Cranbourne alive. Spoljaric just could not muster enough support at the non-striker’s end as the tail failed to wag hard enough. Spoljaric’s seventh fifty-or-better score this season – with 488 runs at 97.6 – kept the miracle escape feasible however as he ground out crucial runs. Once Ben Maroney (21) fell LBW to William Whyte – a decision that left Maroney shaking his head in dismay as he walked off – the tail collapsed with Cranbourne falling from 2/125 to 7/154 in rapid succession. The chief destroyer was the left-arm spin of Amila Perera (4/65) – who ran through the lower order with aplomb. Martin Kelly (13) showed a little bit of vigour before he was castled by Ben Hall (2/12).
Limping back to the middle to make a fist of the chase, Ayres returned from his retirement and saw off 31 balls in a gallant, but ultimately futile innings as he edged Perera through to last week’s centurion Ben Hilliard.
Spoljaric would remain unbeaten as Tim Fathers (1) left the crease as quickly as he arrived, to give Hallam Kalora Park it’s most significant win this season and deliver Cranbourne’s first defeat.
The Hawks jump up to sixth – sitting three points outside the four – before its clash with Coomoora while top-of-the-table Cranbourne will face Parkfield – Spoljaric’s first return to Dunblane Street since his off-season departure.
COOMOORA v HEINZ SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Solid Coomoora (142 and 159) batting efforts were sadly not enough to earn the Kangaroos their first points of the season as Heinz Southern Districts (7/175dec and 5/128) managed to take the chocolates.
Adam Semmens (49) started the rapid chase before Michael Davies (38) and Brent Patterson (31 not out) charged ahead with declaration in mind. Saliya Saman (2/30) was impressive for the visitors off his 21.2 overs. Saman (61) would back it up with the bat as he proved the only resistance to Heinz – namely master spinner Paul Stockdale (5/59). Needing more than eight-an-over to take the outright, Heinz Southern Districts absolutely flayed the Kangaroos in the second innings – smashing 128 in 15.3 overs. Striking faster and harder than their namesake animal, the Cobras played hit-and-run cricket to take the points. Davies (35 not out), Trevor Davies (18 not out), Justin Davis (23) and Stockdale (23) hit the suitcase out of anything Coomoora pitched up. It pushes the Cobras up to fifth before hosting Berwick while Coomoora remains in the relegation zone as it heads to Hallam Kalora Park.
BERWICK v PARKFIELD
With hearts and minds firmly locked elsewhere, Berwick (79 and 2/125) was no match for Parkfield (183).
Mourning the passing of perennial club supporter Bill Crawford – father of Berwick all-rounder Ryan – the mood at Arch Brown Reserve was sombre, but with Crawford a firm believer in the game carrying on no matter what, Berwick took to the field to respect the wishes of the departed DDCA legend.
In the battle of the Bears, Parkfield emerged triumphant as young spinner Travis D’Souza (7/30) rattled through Berwick at a rapid rate. D’Souza’s 15.3 overs beguiled Berwick as he ran through the home side en route to his best DDCA figures. Berwick (2/125) fared much better in the second innings, going the tonk to erase the outright deficit and thump out the remaining 21 overs.
Third place Berwick will now head to Heinz Southern Districts with a spot in the top-four on the line while Parkfield moves up to eighth and remain only an outside chance of playing finals, and needing to impress this week against top-of-the-ladder Cranbourne at home.