Round seven of the Bendigo District Cricket Association gets under way on Saturday.
BENDIGO v GOLDEN SQUARE - Bendigo District RSL Oval
Bendigo - coming off a forgettable performance with the bat last week and now have to confront the ladder-leaders.
The Goers were routed for just 67 - the lowest score in the BDCA this season - by Huntly-North Epsom in the first innings last week.
To make matters worse for the Goers, they have lost young gun Nathan Fitzpatrick and bowler Scott Dole to injuries.
A challenging two days ahead.
• Runs - M. Blackman (189), M. Ryan (179), B. Andrews (163). Wickets - B. Andrews (8), N. Fitzpatrick (8), S. Dole (5).
Golden Square - continues to set the pace as the only undefeated side.
In the past two games Square has seen off challenges from fellow top-four teams Bendigo United and Eaglehawk.
Paceman Darren Clutton has been in ripping form with figures of 11-151 in his three games, while Grant Connelly’s 4-20 last week were his best bowling figues since the 2004-05 season.
• Runs - S. Johnson (273), G. Connelly (209), T. Wood (174). Wickets - S. Johnson (12), D. Clutton (11), L. Baird (11).
STRATHFIELDSAYE v HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM - Tannery Lane.
Strathfieldsaye - continue to defy the pre-season knockers after last week notching their third win of the season against Kangaroo Flat at Dower Park.
Captain Ben Devanny, who scored his maiden century last round, is leading the Jets brilliantly and at this stage would be favourite for the BDCA Cricketer of the Year with his combination of 276 runs and 16 wickets.
• Runs - B. Devanny (276), H. Schumacher (142), C. Devanny (121). Wickets - B. Devanny (16), J. Hargreaves (14), C. Devanny (9).
Huntly-North Epsom - has the Power finally found their mojo?
The Power lifted themselves off the bottom of the ladder last round with their win over Bendigo when they routed the Goers for just 67.
Dylan Gibson may be finding it tough going with the bat at the moment, but he’s proving very handy with the ball, with 6-15 his past two games.
• Runs - M. Hanson (194), L. McRae (175), J. Collinson (106). Wickets - Q. Bentley (13), S. Johnston (10), D. Gibson (8).
STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS v KANGAROO FLAT - Bell Oval
Strathdale - after a 2-2 start to the season, the Suns are starting to get a real look about them.
They’re now 4-2 and in second position on the ladder ahead of a home clash with Kangaroo Flat.
They belted Sandhurst last round and have plenty of players in form, headlined by the performances of Cameron Taylor (87 & 5-34), captain Linton Jacobs (113 n.o.) and Jacob DeAraugo (6-56) against the Dragons.
• Runs - C. Taylor (252), T. King (240), L. Jacobs (214). Wickets - B. DeAraugo (15), C. Taylor (15), J. DeAraugo (10).
Kangaroo Flat - a tough test for the Roos against the Suns.
Copped a 110-run hiding last week off Strathfieldsaye in a game where Josh Newlan’s 85 was the only highlight after the top-order crumbled.
As is the case with any young side coming up against a power team like the Suns, it’s a golden opportunity to learn from the best.
• Runs - S. Newlan (183), L. Shelton (164), D. Barber (160). Wickets - C. Barber (11), B. Hamblin (10), A. Burns (9).
WHITE HILLS v SANDHURST - KWD Oval
White Hills - what a win by the Demons last round against Eaglehawk, which now has White Hills just percentage off second position.
However, after their superb win over the Hawks when they were on the backfoot at stages with both bat and ball, they can’t undo all their hard work by losing to the battling Sandhurst.
Now have two players this season who have taken seven wickets in an innings in Rhys Irwin and Jake Foley.
• Runs - B. Stepien (177), S. Stagg (167), G. Davies (166). Wickets - J. Foley (15), R. Irwin (10), T. Colley (7).
Sandhurst - dropped to the bottom of the ladder after last week’s hiding at the hands of Strathdale-Maristians.
Were bowled out for 133 in the first innings by the Suns, but showed more fight in the second innings when they staved off an outright loss with a score of 8-200.
Despite only playing the past two games, Brenton Jones is now the Dragons’ leading run-scorer with 157.
• Runs - B. Jones (157), C. Howard (146), I. Conway (138). Wickets - L. Bowe (11), C. Howard (9), E. Bowe (9).
BENDIGO UNITED v EAGLEHAWK - Harry Trott Oval
Bendigo United - suffered its second loss of the season last week when beaten by Golden Square by 10 runs.
Plenty of talent in the Redbacks' batting line-up, but they will be looking for more out of their star batsmen after Matt Pinniger, Heath Behrens, Ben Gunn and Bryan Vance combined for just five runs last round.
Veteran Nick Crawford has been in good form with scores of 42, 50 and 46 n.o. in his past three innings.
With 17 wickets, including eight in his past two games, Miggy Podosky continues to impress with the ball.
• Runs - M. Pinniger (270), H. Behrens (161), B. Gunn (151). Wickets - M. Podosky (17) , L. McDermott (12), B. Gunn (11).
EAGLEHAWK - plenty of focus on how the Hawks' batting holds up this game.
From a 4-0 start to the season, the Hawks have lost their past two games to White Hills and Golden Square, with batting collapses marring both performances.
The past two defeats have included the Hawks losing 12 of their 20 wickets for scores of five or less.
Meanwhile, Andrew Smith is now the BDCA's leading wicket-taker with 18.
• Runs - A. West (185), J. Abbott (145), C. Jacobs (137). Wickets - A. Smith (18), A. Monro (12), T. Brown (5).