Spinners work the magic

Hallam opening batsman Ben Hillard was in fine touch for the Hawks. 187707 Pictures: ROB CAREW

By Nick Creely



Springvale South’s highly impressive depth and class was on show against a quality Hallam Kalora Park side during Saturday’s DDCA Turf 1 clash at Frawley Road, with the Bloods taking the points despite two key injuries.

Defending 312 after a century to association legend Steven Spoljaric last week, the Bloods were unable to call upon the five time Wookey winner with the ball, with the all-rounder nursing sore ribs, while gun quick Jarrod Armitage jarred his thumb and could only muster up 6.3 overs.

It forced a reshuffle for Craig Slocombe’s side, who had to immediately turn to the spin brigade to get the job done, and all day, the Hawks threatened to steal a victory.

Prolific opening duo Ben Hillard (77) and Leigh Booth (44) notched up 89 for the first wicket – albeit slowly – to set a brilliant platform for the middle order – and soon after tea, the Hawks were setting themselves up for a crack at the target after Hillard compiled a 68 run stand with Jagveer Hayer (30) to bring the score out to 1/157.

But, a double strike to spin twins Malinga Bandara and Jarryd Straker saw both wickets of Hillard and Hayer fall in virtual succession, and from there, the two spinners went about their work in brilliant fashion, taking regular wickets despite the home side’s eagerness to take the game on at all costs after the tea interval.

The pair wore the Hawks down, with Bandara (6/104) and Straker (4/75) combining for 51 overs between them ton single handedly bowl the Bloods to a crucial win. In 80 overs, the Hawks were dismissed for 272, still 40 runs away from victory.

Down at Carroll Reserve, St Mary’s stunned Mordialloc in what was an absolutely dominant victory at home against the reigning premiers.

Now with four straight losses to start the season, the Bloodhounds need to find some form, and fast, or it will be season over in what has been a surprising dip from the lofty standards set from the previous two Turf 1 flags.

Defending a modest 167 against the Saints, the home side came into day two 1/26, and in a comfortable position.

From the outset, the Saints didn’t allow the visitors to get the game on their terms, with skipper Kaushyla Gajasinghe (38) and Rhys Serpanchy swiftly knocking about 83 runs, before Gajasinghe was trapped LBW.

Serpanchy continued on his merry way with the DDCA’s most in-form player, Ruwantha Kellepotha, guiding the Saints to a barnstorming victory.

Serpanchy cracked a sublime 106, a knock featuring 11 fours and three sixes, while Kellepotha remained unbeaten on 57, backing up his 5/49 on day one.

Buckley Ridges also snared a mammoth victory against North Dandenong, picking up an outright at Park Oval.

126 runs behind, with two wickets already down in their second dig, it was a case of how long the Maroons could hold on when play resumed on day two.

Despite some grit by Zafar Sheikh (32) and Romesh Jayasundara (20) to start the day, the Bucks broke the game apart in the middle order, snaring three wickets for the price of just one run, and eventually the visitors were rolled for 143.

And Berwick fought out the final day against HSD at Reedy Reserve, but the Cobras picked up a comfortable win.

After already secruing first-innings points on day one, the home side resumed on 4/190, and a blistering 84 to Michael ‘Slick’ Davies, off the back of Kaushyla Weeraratne’s 113 on day one, saw them reach 268 and with plenty of overs left to have a red-hot crack at the Bears.

The Bears never looked in any danger of conceding outright, with Josh Holden’s unbeaten 53 guiding them to 4/160 by stumps. Spinners Suraj Randiv (2/44) and Lee Brown (2/39) bowled well in the second dig.

In Turf 2, Reigning premier Narre North continue to build their form after a barnstorming win against Parkmore Pirates at Wachter Reserve on Saturday.

Resuming at 2/76 in pursuit of the Pirates’ 136, the Rams were dealt an early blow with Marshall Gray falling for 26 almost immediately into the day’s play; the visitors were largely untroubled thereafter, running down the target with seven wickets left in the shed before declaring on 5/203.

The Rams had a late crack at an outright and despite Ryan Hendy (3/31) continuing his vintage form, Amal Athulathmudali’s gritty 45 ensured the Pirates could fight their way to 4/84 off 32 overs by stumps.

Down at Greaves Reserve, Cranbourne snared their first victory of the season in a Saturday/Sunday clash with the winless Dandenong West.

The new look Eagles won the toss and had a bat, overcoming a top order collapse, to reach 170 after at one stage being 4/62.

Handy contributions from Cam Kelly (28), Martin Kelly (29) and Pardeep Boyal (27) ensured the Eagles could give their bowlers something to work with.

A late onslaught by Pardeep Boyal (3/34) had the Westers in dire trouble by stumps, with the Eagles seamer picking up three late wickets to leave the home side hanging on at 3/10.

But, some terrific fight the next morning by Thushira Madanayaka (42) and Nathan Power (22) gave the Westers a fighting chance, but Cam Kelly (3/22) and Martin Kelly (2/21) worked in tandem to pick up key wickets and roll the home side for 115.

Narre South, meanwhile, had a big win against Narre Warren as their bowlers took hold at Sweeney Reserve.

Defending a mammoth 351 off the back of a sublime day one hundred from Jonty Jenner, the Lions were greeted by some terrific fight by the Magpies, but were able to take enough wickets regularly to dismiss the home side for 207 in 79.4 overs.

And Dingley rolled St Brigid’s/St Louis for 181 after racking up 316 on day one, with left arm tweaker Dinuk Hettiarchchi snaring 5/86.

And in Turf 3, Beaconsfield enjoyed some quality time in the middle on day two of their clash against Lynbrook at Perc Allison Oval after already securing the win on day one.

Resuming at 1/12 and with a 60 run lead over the Lakers, Tigers skipper Matt Golding (112) notched up yet another DDCA century – his second for the season – with his side reaching 227 by stumps.

In other results, Coomoora, were able to hold off Keysborough in defence of their first innings total of 205, Parkfield (113 and 7/66) pulled off a stunner down at Dunblane Road, knocking over Fountain Gate (95) in a low scoring thriller, and Lyndale (8/206 and 0/50) snared an outright win over Silverton (80 and 172) at Barry Powell Reserve, with the Dales in fine form.

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