Class on every line

Berwick's James Wilcock earned selection. Picture: ROB CAREW

Star News Group journalist NICK CREELY has chosen his Turf 1 Team of the Year from the 2017/18 home and away season, with nine new faces in the side….

Ian Daniel (Mordialloc) – 12 matches, 736 runs, HS 171, 22 wickets, BB 3/26
The Bloodhounds all-rounder put in a sublime home and away season, and will be the most important player come Saturday’s Turf 1 grand final. Daniel is well known for producing some extraordinary performances, and his 171 in Round 7 against Dingley, as well as his brutal 114 against Cranbourne late in the season, were just unbelievable. Also produced a consistent season with the ball, taking almost two wickets a game.

Daniel Watson (Buckley Ridges) – 11 matches, 683 runs, HS 130, 16 wickets, BB 4/19
The most destructive player in the DDCA, DJ had his most prolific year at the Bucks, and it was his consistency that stood out. In 21 innings for the season (including Twenty20’s), DJ made double figures 20 times, including two centuries and five half centuries. He wasn’t as damaging with the ball after Christmas, but still managed to take vital wickets when they were needed.

Leigh Booth (Hallam Kalora Park) – 11 matches, 533 runs, HS 109, 7 wickets, BB 4/15
Booth was a beacon of consistency for the Hawks, notching up over 500 runs opening the batting. His three game stretch of 109, 106 and 106 was simply sublime, and while he only scored one more fifty for the season, he always shielded the middle order by making a handy start. Took a star turn with the ball in Round 5 against Cranbourne too.

Kaushyla Gajasinghe (St Mary’s, captain) – 10 matches, 372 runs, HS 86, 31 wickets, BB 6/30
A high profile recruit, Gajasinghe led the Saints brilliantly throughout the season, and even had the Turf 2 premiers in a finals position at one stage. Always battled hard with the bat in the top four, but it was his brilliant spin bowling that was eye catching. On the spin friendly decks of Carroll Reserve, Gajasinghe was almost unplayable at times. In his 162 overs for the season, he went at an economy of just 2.

Michael Davies (Heinz Southern Districts) – 11 matches, 468 runs, HS 73, 35 wickets, BB 6/10
The champion all-rounder probably fell under the radar slightly this season, but it was his finest year to date as a Cobra. Davies batted and bowled superbly all season, and produced many match winning efforts. The leading wicket-taker of the Turf 1 season with three five wicket hauls.

Steven Spoljaric (Springvale South) – 11 matches, 423 runs, HS 62, 26 wickets, BB 7/20
It doesn’t matter where the five time Wookey winner plays, he will always deliver. Spoljaric, while not as dominant as other years, has played a major hand in getting the Bloods into the grand final. Hasn’t batted as much this season, but his bowling is still as hard to get away as ever, and went at the phenomenal economy of just 1.9.

Nathan Pilon (Berwick, keeper) – 11 matches, 404 runs, HS 69, 24 catches, 3 stumpings
A really classy season from the former first class cricketer, with Pilon carving out his best season with the bat and gloves for the Bears. Really found his way late in the year with the bat, but his glovework was terrific all season, and was sometimes the difference in matches.

Malinga Bandara (Springvale South) – 11 matches, 102 runs, HS 37, 27 wickets, BB 5/13
In full flight, the former Test leggie is one of the best sights in DDCA cricket. Returning to the club this season, Bandara was superb, bowling countless overs and always providing the breakthrough. Started his finals campaign with a mind boggling 7/29 against Buckley Ridges, and will be a major factor on Carroll Reserve in the grand final.

James Wilcock (Berwick) – 11 matches, 152 runs, HS 56, 34 wickets, BB 7/9
What a season it was for the former Premier quick, who found his niche at Turf 1 level to become a worrying prospect for batsmen. Wilcock produced some outstanding spells of bowling, and his 7/9 against HSD earlier in the season was one of the finest performances in Turf 1 cricket for a number of years. Also handy with the bat, making a half century against Cranbourne.

Peter Atkinson (Dandenong West) – 10 matches, 65 runs, 28 wickets, BB 4/18
The veteran Wester had an outstanding season, and was extremely consistent all season for the improved side. The Westers have a lot of youth, and Atkinson complemented them perfectly all season, taking almost three wickets per match. Did his bit with the bat when required.

Jarryd Straker (Springvale South) – 11 matches, 7 runs, 26 wickets, BB 7/41
The other spinner at the Bloods, Straker had a barnstorming start to the season, taking 16 wickets in his first three matches. Quietened down after that, but still consistently took wickets in tandem with Bandara.

Jarrod Goodes (Berwick, 12th man) – 10 matches, 92 runs at 9.2, 27 wickets at 13.4, BB 5/21

**statistics are based on the home and away season

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