By Russell Bennett
While the wintry weather returned to wreak havoc on cricket grounds right across the south-east on Saturday, the incredible curators at Shepley Oval in Dandenong worked tirelessly in a bid to allow 48 overs to be bowled – despite play being delayed until just after 3.30pm.
The Panthers were hosting Melbourne Uni in their Round 4 Victorian Premier Cricket clash and were sent in under ominous skies after losing the toss.
The star opening batting combination of skipper Tom Donnell (25) and Brett Forsyth (12) combined for just 22 in their first wicket stand before Forsyth became the first of Steve Reid’s three victims – caught behind by keeper-batsman Jarrod Martignago.
Donnell fell soon after at 2/49, bowled by AJ Gregory, and continued the tone of Panthers batsmen departing just when they’d made a start.
No less than five Dandenong batsmen reached double figures throughout the day’s play, but Donnell and Lincoln Edwards (33) were the only two to pass 20.
In fact Donnell has departed in the 20s in three of his four hits so far this season – the other being a stellar unbeaten 90 in Round 3 against Northcote.
Edwards looked in fine touch on Saturday until he was bowled by Liam Scammell – the first of his two scalps as he finished with the impressive 2/8 from his five overs.
It was Reid who was the biggest shining light in the Melbourne Uni attack as he finished with 3/27 from his 14 overs, while Wes Agar (1/29) was the other wicket-taker.
Casey-South Melbourne’s game against Melbourne at the Albert Ground was abandoned.
It’s important to note that the Victorian Premier Cricket firsts, seconds and fourths will play a Rule 18 one-dayer next Saturday, while the thirds will continue their Round 4 two-dayer.
In other Dandenong Cricket Club news, young spinner Sophie Molineux was simply awe-inspiring for the Southern Stars as the left-armer claimed the impressive figures of 4/14 from nine overs in Australia’s one day international victory over Pakistan in Malaysia on Saturday.
Batting first, Australia posted 7/273 thanks in no small part to skipper Meg Lanning’s 12th one-day ton and first since her return from shoulder surgery.
Then it was Molineux’s turn to shine as Pakistan was dismissed for 123 – sealing an unassailable series win for the Aussies after game two of the three-game series.
In the Dandenong District Cricket Association over the weekend, all junior games, and senior games – both synthetic and turf – were called off.
Springvale South’s Round 2 showdown with Berwick at Alex Nelson Reserve, Mordialloc’s clash with North Dandenong at Ben Kavanagh Reserve, Hallam Kalora Park’s clash with St Mary’s at Hallam Recreation Reserve, and Heinz Southern Districts’ showdown with Buckley Ridges at KM Reedy Reserve will all take place this coming Saturday.
Hallam Kalora Park, Springvale South, Buckley Ridges, and North Dandenong all recorded crucial first-up wins in the season-opening round.