Saturday December 7, 2019
Another sparkling performance from Plenty captain Gordon Zull steadied the ship for the Power against North Eltham. Zull reached 74, taking his season tally to 394 from five innings, while opener Jackson Gavin crafted a knock of 52. The Wanderers rallied to crash through Plenty’s lower order, taking the score from 4/190 to 211 all out. Tharindu Ranasinghe took 5/35 to bring his side back into the game.
Heidelberg was able to keep Macleod at bay and scrounge together 195. Pawan Edirisinghe top-scored with 59 to defy a vintage Rob Wise performance (6/64) and his 38-run ninth-wicket stand with Andrew Fotinopoulos (25) was the crucial partnership that changed the balance of power come stumps.
It was Tom Emmins’ day as the Epping wicketkeeper hit an unbeaten 151 against Riverside to send the most emphatic message yet that the Blues are premiership contenders. Emmins passed his previous high score of 107 and found a staunch ally in Anthony Licovski (69) to reach stumps at 4/287.
Bundoora will have to fight for its life to prevent Lower Eltham from reaching 137 next Saturday. After their second outright defeat in four matches against Heidelberg, the Bulls were once again dismissed cheaply with Andrew Hone and Andrew Walshe taking three wickets each. However, the momentum was turned back in Bundoora’s favour by stumps as Jayden Kaminski and Narinder Sharma struck to leave the score at 2/33.
Rosanna can hold its head high after making the highest score yet against unbeaten ladder-leaders Diamond Creek. Nick Horsford (47) and Scott Shelton (36) formed the heart of Rosanna’s 179 and the wicket of Jacob Ramsey in the three overs before sealed a strong first day.
North Eltham came within a hair’s breadth of pulling off a remarkable comeback win over Plenty but was left just four runs short in a heartbreaking finish. The Wanderers appeared to be sinking to defeat at 6/113 chasing 212 but Jordan Drinkall (64 not out) steadily erased the deficit until it seemed that his side would prevail. The Power desperately hung on with Tanuj Rajarathna striking the fatal blow as he removed Connor O’Leary to keep his side in the top four.
Heidelberg retained a top four position and extended Macleod’s winless start to the season to five matches with a 51-run win. Andrew Fotinopoulos took his first five-wicket haul in Barclay Shield as the Eagles were dismissed for 144 as their last four wickets fell for just six runs.
Epping remains undefeated after claiming the scalp of Riverside with a 91-run win. A week after Tom Emmins’ 151 had powered the Blues to 4/287, Josh Henkel turned in yet another match-defining bowling effort with 4/42.
A 51-run seventh-wicket stand between Mackenzie Stanley and Ray Mitchell saved Lower Eltham from a disastrous loss against Bundoora. The Roos had collapsed to 6/72 in chase of the Bulls’ before Stanley (32 not out) and Mitchell (27) brought their side to within 14 runs of victory to stabilise Lower Eltham’s finals chances.
Diamond Creek saw off yet another challenger in Rosanna but the ladder-leaders had to survive their biggest scare yet after falling to 5/77 in pursuit of 180. Adam Brown’s unbeaten 70 with Dale Campbell dug the Creek out of a growing hole and Rosanna could only watch on as the favourites prevailed by four wickets.
The surging Bundoora United top order had a day out against Research Eltham Collegians. Thissa Sanjeewa (92), Scott Barnett (78) and Mat Ross (32) racked up a total of 9/287 to once again give the Bulldogs the upper hand.
Montmorency’s growing batting maturity was on display as four Magpies passed 30 in their innings of 266 against Old Paradians. Trent Groom top-scored with 53 with Ruwinda Shaman (39), Cam Wright and Daniel Leahy (both 37) playing vital support roles.
The top four blockbuster between ladder-leaders Banyule and fourth-placed Eltham is precariously placed at the end of the first day. The Bears batted first and reached 198 in a roller-coaster innings that featured Brent O’Connor making 67 and Nick Murray 51 but their last seven batsmen combining for just 17 runs.
Mill Park was out to prove its boilover win against the Lalor Stars in Round 4 was no fluke and delivered a strong innings against Mernda. Opener Justin Lyon top-scored with 50, supported by Round 4 centurion Dalton Polius (49), to give the Tigers a total of 227 to defend next Saturday.
A gutsy middle order display from Lower Plenty saw the Lions defy the Lalor Stars to reach 202 all out. Alex Horner (48), Luke Sirianni (44) and Brent Zerafa (40) took their side from the edge of a collapse at 3/44 to give Lower Plenty a glimmer of hope against the Stars next Saturday.
Research Eltham Collegians gave Bundoora United a scare in their pursuit of 287 but once the wickets started falling there was no stemming the bleeding. Brixton Timewell (68), Phil Zumbo (38) and Will Purvis (33) had their side on track for a memorable finish at 4/170 but the loss of Purvis threw the Collegians out of control. The final six wickets fell for 51 runs to keep the Bulldogs in second position.
Old Paradians opener Shaun Barker pitted himself against Montmorency almost single-handedly but fell short of both victory and a century. Barker hit 93 of the Paradians’ 191 and was the last man out as the Magpies’ run in the top four rolls on for another match.
Banyule put another challenger to the sword by defeating Eltham by 41 runs to maintain its position atop the Money Shield ladder. Nick Murray was the best of the bowlers for the Bears, taking 4/33 in their defence of 198 with Brent O’Connor adding a pair of wickets to his first innings knock of 67. Andrew Lamont (56) plagued the Bears but once Murray had him caught behind the Panthers’ steadily spiralled to a defeat.
Dalton Polius burned through Mernda to extend Mill Park’s winning streak to three matches. Polius bagged 5/10 as the Redlegs collapsed to 124 all out in pursuit of 227.
A new personal best from opener Alex Manoilovski saw the Lalor Stars return to the winner’s list at the expense of Lower Plenty. Manoilovski’s unbeaten 129 destroyed the Lions’ hopes of defending 202, opened the door for a six-wicket win and pushed his side back into the top four.
The blockbuster between Hurstbridge and Laurimar will be an arm wrestle next week. The unbeaten Bridgers managed just 170 with the Power needing 138 more with nine wickets in hand to take top of the ladder next Saturday.
A record-breaking performance from Sanka Wijegunurathne has put Thomastown United in a commanding position against Whittlesea. Wijegunarathne’s 147 is his highest score and his club’s highest Mash Shield score. Dulanga Lakmal topped up the innings with 54 as the Kookaburras posted 5/307 against the Eagles.
Bundoora Park is in the box seat to extend its unbeaten run to five games after hitting 245 against South Morang. Ryan Miller (83), Parvinderpal Singh (54) and Thilina Herath (42) did the grunt work for the Power to again highlight the batting depth at hand in the DVCA’s newest club.
Panton Hill’s middle order bumped their side to a strong position at the end of the first day against Diamond Creek. The runs were drying up for the Redbacks before 15-year old Steve Tung (53) delivered his first senior half-century and Austin McCrabb and Rick Ford both contributed 29 as Panton Hill reached 230.
Thomastown is well in the hunt for its first win of the season against Greensborough. Dhushanta Ranatunga (75) and Lou Alberti (46) carved out innings-defining performances to take their side to 222 and the momentum peaked before stumps as Khaliq Murtaza claimed the vital wicket of Tom Vilchez.
Laurimar claimed bragging rights in the top four blockbuster against Hurstbridge, cruising to a six-wicket win. Ash Williams (44 not out) and Rhian Boddy (36 not out) carried their side to the target of 171 in an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand to keep Laurimar atop the ladder with a percentage buffer clear of Bundoora Park.
Aggressive lower order partnerships weren’t enough to save Whittlesea from a perilous start against Thomastown United. The Eagles were on the ropes before Suresh Fernando (78) and Brody Bell (51) belligerently restored their flagging chances. The Kookaburras nonetheless sealed another win by 60 runs and remain in fourth position.
Bundoora Park pencilled in win number five by 96 runs over South Morang. The Power had the upper hand from the outset in its defence of 245 but three-wicket hauls from Daniel Fox and Thilina Herath settled the issue and dismissed the Lions for 149.
After four straight defeats, Diamond Creek recorded its first win in Mash Shield after Callum Sexton and Brad Shallard held out for a 29-run tenth-wicket stand to steal a one-wicket win over Panton Hill. The pair came together at 9/207 and clawed their way to the erasure of the 24 runs needed for the Creek’s first ever win.
Thomastown has leap-frogged Greensborough on the ladder with a 50-run win. The Borough’s chase of 223 ebbed and flowed, bouncing from 3/11 to 3/118 to 6/124 as Shanak Kethbevilage (5/35) turned in a matchwinning performance for Thomastown.