Riverside posted 8/201 against Lower Eltham to give itself a strong chance of claiming its first win of the season next Saturday. Sean Money returned to post 55 as an opener and when Nathan Chrimes compiled 59, the ’Siders were looking to seize the match by the throat. However, that was when Dananjaya Fernando (5/27) went to work. Fernando blitzed the middle order to and left the Roos on an even keel come stumps.
Heidelberg’s competitive start in Barclay Shield has continued with a total of 185 at home against Epping. After missing Round 1, Lachlan Biggs (64) made his time at the crease count as he top-scored with old hand Brad Nihill hitting 36 as the pair hit 78 in a second wicket stand. Epping was not to be denied and Josh Henkel gave the ’Pingers reason to smile about his transfer signature as he bagged 4/41.
Rain robbed Diamond Creek of 19 overs against North Eltham but Tom McLean (40) and Jacob Ramsey (35) gritted their teeth to hold the course. After monstering Bundoora in Round 1, the Creek found the going a bit tougher against the Wanderers, reaching 5/156 at the end of day’s play.
An unbeaten 75-run stand between Lachlan Smart and Jason Kaminski saved Bundoora from a perilous position against Rosanna. Oliver Toussaint (4/19) and Scott Shelton (2/19) were in white-hot touch with the ball early, reducing the Bulls to 6/49 when Kaminski joined Smart. The pair batted out the rain-spoiled day to give their side some breathing space at 6/124.
A career-best performance from Plenty captain Gordon Zull has seen the Power rebound from its Round 1 shellacking at the hands of Epping to make 263 against Macleod. Zull (151) broke his previous personal best of 137 to stand clear in a batting line-up that was otherwise plagued by dangerous performances from Tim Wise and Brent Rodda (four wickets each).
Mitchell Harris was Mernda’s hero of the day against Lower Plenty. The alarm bells were ringing for the Demons early as the Lions slashed through the first four wickets for just 30 runs to bring Harris to the crease. The fourth-drop ground his runs out the hard way, hitting just eight boundaries in his innings of 88 not out but wresting Mernda the momentum back. With only 67.4 overs bowled for the day Lower Plenty will look to take quick wickets before chasing down a difficult total whilst Harris will look for support to grind out his maiden 100.
Eltham batsman Andrew Lamont made Loyola Reserve his own as he piled on a staggering 155 against Bundoora United. The Panthers opener’s career-best score included 18 boundaries and eight sixes and although his teammates struggled around him, Eltham nonetheless finished the day in a pretty position of 7/243.
The rain took 28 overs away from Banyule’s innings against Mill Park but the Bears fought to make it count. Opener Jake Smith carried his bat with an unbeaten to guide his side to 6/160 come the close of play.
Ruwinda Shaman made it two half centuries in as many starts as Montmorency navigated the rain and the Lalor Stars attack to make 4/177 off 59 overs. Shaman powered his way to 74 but had help from Mark O’Brien (45 not out).
The Research Eltham Collegians are in the box seat to go two from two after skittling the Old Paradians for just 170. The Collegians’ bowlers performed as a unit with Jack Sassella, Shannon Malone and Jack Fitzpatrick all snagging three wickets as Jason Berthet (73) was once again the Paradians’ best performer.
It was another stellar day with the bat for Bundoora Park as the Thunderbolts hit 8/254 against Diamond Creek. Blair Healy (46), Ryan Miller (42) and Kristian Doddato (40) kept the scoreboard busy and underlined the growing depth in the Park’s batting line-up.
Laurimar moved close to claiming another major scalp in Greensborough by stumps. Only Tom Vilchez (91) was able to get on top of the Power’s bowling as Nathan Woods took 5/70 and Steven Mitchell 3/31. Greensborough collapsed to 148 all out in a tick under 50 overs. Jake Zerella (58) and Daniel Roberts (25) proceeded to add insult to injury by piling on an unbeaten 84-run opening stand.
No Hurstbridge batsmen made a big score against Whittlesea but the resilience of their top order proved vital as the day went on. The Eagles were left ruing their inability to strike repeatedly in succession as no fewer than seven Bridges scored between 24 and 42 (Damon Earp was the highest scorer while Sahan Wijeseri hit 40) to take their side to 7/231 at stumps.
Thomastown hit its highest score in Mash Shield against South Morang and then inflicted further damage with the ball before stumps. Kanishka Nawagamuwa (62), Liam Andrews (37) and Daniel Francis (35) took their side to 238, breaking their previous record of 224 against Laurimar in Round 11, 2017. Further joy was to come as three Lions were sent back to the sheds in the final 13 overs to leave them reeling at 3/23 at the close of play.
Panton Hill took prime position against perennial bogey side Thomastown United with Glenn Motschall (56), Michael Stamkovski (52), Josh Barton (39) and Steven Tung (30) bolstering a total of 9/258 off there allotted 80 overs.