A preview of Saturday's day two in round seven of the Bendigo District Cricket Association.
BENDIGO UNITED v EAGLEHAWK - Harry Trott Oval.
BENDIGO United holds the upper hand in its match of the round against Eaglehawk.
The Redbacks have a score of 270 to defend, set up by Ben Gunn’s return to form with 122.
It’s going to take a vastly improved effort with the bat for the Hawks to be a chance on Saturday, with the side having been plagued by collapses their past two games.
On the back of two losses in a row, the Hawks need to stand up.
Last week’s best - Bendigo United: B. Gunn 122, H. Behrens 30, M. Pinniger 29. Eaglehawk - C. Jacobs 5-86, C. McGlashan 1-42, A. Smith 1-57.
STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS v KANGAROO FLAT - Bell Oval.
THIS game wasn’t shaping as being any sort of a contest when Kangaroo Flat collapsed to 4-22 last week, but it’s very much game-on entering day two.
The Roos scrambled to 165, before striking three times with the ball in removing Cameron Taylor (1), Linton Jacobs (3) and Ben DeAraugo (2).
The Suns will resume at a shaky 3-34. Travis King (16 n.o.), who survived last week, shapes as an obvious stumbling block for the Roos.
Last week’s best: Kangaroo Flat - A. Burns 52 & 1-11, B. Hamblin 27, J. Newlan 25. Strathdale - J. DeAraugo 4-38, C. Taylor 3-31, R. Haythorpe 3-41, T. King 16*.
STRATHFIELDSAYE v HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM - Tannery Lane.
NO play on last week’s first day means the Jets and Power will play under ordinary conditions.
And under that scenario, a draw is the most likely outcome.
Will be interesting to see if the clubs agree to a “gentlemen’s declaration” to try to force a result, or the game peters out and they split the points.
Strathfieldsaye leaders: Runs - B. Devanny (276), H. Schumacher (142), C. Devanny (121). Wickets - B. Devanny (16), J. Hargreaves (14), C. Devanny (9).
Huntly-North Epsom leaders: Runs - M. Hanson (194), L. McRae (175), J. Collinson (106). Wickets - Q. Bentley (13), S. Johnson (10), D. Gibson (8).
BENDIGO v GOLDEN SQUARE - Bendigo District RSL Oval.
CAN Bendigo pull off one of the upsets of the season against the undefeated Golden Square?
It was certainly looking possible last week when the young Goers had Square on the ropes at 7-90, before the ladder-leaders fought back to post 199 thanks to 73 n.o. from Jake Higgins.
After being bowled out for 67 in the first innings against Huntly-North Epsom last round, Bendigo is again in early trouble at 1-11 against a Square attack that will keep the pressure on.
• Last week’s best: Golden Square - J. Higgins 73*, J. Bysouth 29, S. Trollope 27. Bendigo - J. Higgs 4-41, M. Ryan 2-18, A. Pearson 2-35.
WHITE HILLS v SANDHURST - KWD Oval.
HITE Hills' captain Daniel Larke considers Saturday's round seven Bendigo District Cricket Association clash against Sandhurst a 50-50 contest.
The Demons will chase the Dragons' competitive score of 238 at White Hills' KWD Oval.
"It's probably one of those games that's 50-50 at the moment," Larke said on Friday.
"I've played in heaps of games where 240 hasn't been anywhere near enough at White Hills, but also games where it has just been enough.
"So that's why I think a score of 240 at White Hills is 50-50.
"We've brought an extra batsmen in this game in Oliver Geary, so we've got plenty of batting on Saturday with someone like Rhys Irwin who will be coming in at No.9."
One of the biggest challenges to the Demons' batsmen will be handling the spin of Sandhurst captain Craig Howard.
Howard has already made his mark on this game having scored 101 last week after he won the toss and batted.
White Hills has been one of the biggest surprise packets of the season. Having finished on the bottom of the ladder last season, the Demons are 4-2 and only percentage off second position.
Among the players who have been integral in the Demons' improvement has been 16-year-old Brayden Stepien. Stepien is White Hills' leading run-scorer with 177, which included a match-winning 69 n.o. against Eaglehawk last round.
He has also made 188 runs in the under-17 competition, while his talent was on show in the BDCA's under-17 McPherson Shield game against Seymour when he plundered 153 n.o. last Sunday.
Stepien also scored 61 in a school game for Bendigo Senior Secondary College on Tuesday.
"He's just got that freakish ability with the bat. He's a fantastic young talent," Larke said.
• Last week's best: Sandhurst - C. Howard 101, M. Holland 31, A. Winfield 22. White Hills - T. Colley 4-54, R. Irwin 3-43, J. Foley 2-65.