De Silva, Jayasingha top leaderboards

Triyan De Silva with his Gartside Medal for best player in DDCA Turf 2. 391269 Picture: JONTY RALPHSMITH

By Jonty Ralphsmith

Gun Heinz Southern Districts all-rounder Triyan De Silva took out the Charles Gartside Medal as the best Turf 2 player in the DDCA at the vote count held at the Dandenong Club on Sunday.

De Silva claimed the outright lead for the first time only in round 13, with his eight wickets against Lyndale in the penultimate round enough to edge out classy Cranbourne all-rounder Harsaroup Singh.

In his third year at the ‘Snake Pit’, the former Vic Premier cricketer was the standout bowler in the competition, taking 40 wickets at 13.

“It’s my third year at the club now and probably my most consistent,” De Silva said.

“Previously I’ve played good in moments, but it was either good or bad and no in between, whereas this year we’ve merged that gap a little bit.

“I think the last couple of years I’d have a couple of games where I’d be a bit everywhere, whereas this year with two-dayers it brings bowlers back into the game.

“Bowlers can run in and bowl rather than worrying about being tonked over their head so that’s been a good change.

“Focusing on hitting my spot this year, rather than hitting your spot two or three times and the fourth time you’re tonked because of fielding restrictions.”

Underlining that consistency, De Silva has taken multiple wickets in all but one game this season, highlighted by eight wickets for the match in round 13 against Lyndale.

De Silva believes his rhythm was the best when he took 5/42 off 20 against Parkfield and 4/62 off 27 against Dandenong West.

Among the quickest bowlers in the competition, the left-armer’s opening spells set the tone for his team, with his ability to continually take early wickets and return later when the match was in the balance critical to the Cobras’ plight.

“Everyone at HSD will tell you he’s the best player in Turf 2 in the time that I’ve been there; maybe alongside Pete Sweeney, so it’s good that he finally got the recognition,” said captain-coach Craig Hookey.

“The control he’s had this year with the new ball has been second to none and is something he hasn’t necessarily had in previous years and his skills swinging it both ways in the back end of the year has been huge – not many left armers can swing it both ways.

“He’s developed that skill throughout the year which has been really good and is what makes him so dangerous.

“In previous years, he’s been more of a batting all-rounder, but this year I think maybe the longer format helped his bowling a little bit.

“We did some work to ensure he was bowling longer spells, not shorter spells.

“I would say he is the definition of a genuine all-rounder.”

As well as his consistent bowling, De Silva finished in the top 10 run-scorers in the competition with 282 runs at 22 including half-centuries against Dandenong West and Keysborough.

Behind De Silva (29) and Singh (27), Keysborough skipper Christo Otto was a surprise third-place finish after playing a relative lone hand for the Knights throughout the season.

Shaun Weir was the early leader after strong form before Christmas and ultimately finished fourth with 22 votes, while Mackenzie Gardner’s strong finish propelled him to fifth.

Meanwhile, Doveton North’s Sachith Jayasingha was a surprise winner of the Ian McDonald Medal as the best player in the Turf 3 competition.

A final-round century against Doveton saw him pip warm favourite Jackson Marie at the post by one vote.

The Berwick Springs left-handed batter didn’t have the lead many anticipated going into the final month of the season, which was when it was expected he would stop voting.

But despite a trio of single figure scores in that period, he added two votes to his tally against Hampton Park – a game he scored only four runs.

That saw him briefly take the lead again, before Jayasingha’s big century in the final round against Doveton saw him take it back at the death.

Ultimately, Jayasingha’s capacity to deliver with both bat and ball for his team proved decisive in the outcome.

The left-arm orthodox spinner finished with an equal-competition-high 45 wickets at an average of 7.84, stifling opposition with his changes of pace and variation off the wicket during long spells.

The Hallam Kalora Park recruit, playing his first season down in Turf 3, also contributed 369 runs in the middle-order at an average of 36.9 as the star player of his side.


The Turf 2 Team of the Year was also announced, with Dandenong West the best-represented team with four players, followed by fellow finalists HSD and Cranbourne with three each.

Shaun Weir’s hot start to the season as an aggressive opener got him into the team, alongside Brent Patterson, who laid several strong foundations for the Cobras with 393 runs.

Narre Warren’s surprise packet with the bat, Sahan Jayawardana, was named first drop.

Brought into the Magpies side for his spin bowling, Jayawardana initially batted at nine, but two half centuries in his first three hits saw him promoted to the middle order, where he remained bankable.

Consistent Cranbourne opener Cam Kelly, his teammate Harsaroup Singh and the experienced Anthony Brannan made up the middle order.

De Silva was named at seven, followed by fast bowling all-rounder Jakeb Thomas, gloveman Mackenzie Gardner and quickie Nuwan Kulasekera.

Parkfield’s Nick Jeffrey (32 wickets at 9.81) edged out Malinga Bandara (28 wickets at 14) for the final spinner’s spot, while developing quick Adam Reid was named 12th man.

There was an even spread of players in the Turf 3 team of the year, with six teams represented – five of which had multiple players.

Big-hitters Jackson Marie (Berwick Springs) and Hasindu Waduge (Fountain Gate) form the opening combination, followed by first-year Silverton skipper Rob North.

Fountain Gate coach Chanaka ‘Ted’ Sampath is the backbone of the side as an all-rounder at four, followed by Lynbrook recruit Jatinder Singh.

Riley Hillman’s strong finish to an excellent season of improvement resulted in him being named as a batter-only at number six, followed by Silverton all-rounder Kalapu Gamage and fellow gloveman Charith Sylvester.

Jayasingha was put in at number nine, followed by the relentless Ethan Marinic and Coomoora spinner Malan Madusanka, who took 45 wickets for the season.

Doveton North opening bowler Gayan De Silva was named 12th man.

TURF 2 – TOP-10


Triyan De Silva – 29

Harsaroup Singh – 27

Christo Otto – 26

Shaun Weir – 22

Mackenzie Gardner – 21

Nick Jeffrey – 20

Adam Reid – 19

Sahan Jayawardana – 17

Damian Gamage – 16

Anthony Brannan – 15



Sachith Jayasingha – 17

Jackson Marie – 16

Chanaka ‘Ted’ Sampath – 13

Malan Madusanka – 13

Hasindu Waduge – 12

Dean Krelle – 8

Gayan De Silva – 8

Kaine Bundy – 8

Jatinder Singh – 7

Rob North – 7