SANDHURST is now on its best winning streak in the Bendigo District Cricket Association for 30 years, and is the only undefeated team left standing after beating Kangaroo Flat on Saturday.
The Dragons’ victory was led by left-arm off-spinner Sam Sperling, who snared seven wickets as Kangaroo Flat capitulated from a promising position at Champions IGA Oval.
Chasing the Dragons’ 205 in a contest between what had been two unbeaten teams, the Roos recovered from the loss of two early wickets to advance to 2-70 in the 36th over with Dylan Gibson and Nathan Stubbings at the crease.
Yet the Roos faulted, losing 8-73 over the next 40 overs to be all out for 143 as the ladder-leading Dragons bowled their opposition out for less than 150 for the third game in a row.
Sperling took seven of the last eight wickets to fall to finish with the superb figures of 7-40 off 32 overs, including 13 maidens.
Sperling didn’t take his first wicket until his 13th over, at which stage he had conceded 16 runs, meaning his last 19 overs yielded 7-24.
Fittingly, he also took the match-winning catch to deliver the Dragons four wins in a row for the first time since the 1986-87 season.
The Roos’ collapse started when Gibson was caught at mid-on by Manning Walsh to be the first of Sperling’s seven victims.
Gibson top-scored for the Roos in making 49 to continue his solid season.
The Roos’ collapse included one period where they lost 5-10, falling from 4-92 to 9-102 during a stretch of play where Sperling took wickets in five consecutive overs.
Sperling’s seven wickets featured six that were caught – one of which was a brilliant diving effort by Zen Malik to dismiss Adam Burns (1) – and one bowled.
The other three wickets were taken by another left-armer in Rhys Smith (3-32 off 9.2), which included the first two to fall in Daniel Barber (4) and Jake Klemm (0) that had the Roos on the backfoot early at 2-5.
Roos’ opener Stubbings showed plenty of determination in facing 167 balls in making 14, while later, Liam Jones (17 n.o.) and No.11 Dylan Klemm (22) put on 41 for the last wicket.
While he didn’t take a wicket, Dragons’ all-rounder Taylor Beard conceded just 15 runs off 17 overs.
• Eaglehawk’s Andrew Smith has seen Bendigo’s Nathan Fitzpatrick’s 8-29 and raised him 8-27 to bowl the Hawks to a thrilling six-run win over the Goers at Axis Employment Oval.
The Goers began the day at 4-43 chasing the Hawks’ 116 – the target 74 runs with six wickets in hand.
Smith already had figures of 4-8 after day one, and didn’t take long to add to his tally on Saturday.
The veteran took the first two wickets to fall when he removed Xavier Ryan (4) and Alex Pearson (0) to at that stage have taken all six scalps as the Goers fell into further strife at 6-51.
That then became 7-65 when Anthony West and Matt Fitt combined to run out Tom Hart (7), before a steadying partnership between veterans Mark Ryan and Brett Andrews.
They added 28 for the eighth wicket, before Ryan (25) was bowled by Cam McGlashan (1-17).
Andrews and Bailey Goodwin (5 n.o.) then added 15 more as the Goers edged closer to their target, but Smith struck again with his seventh wicket when he had Andrews (19) trapped lbw with the score on 108.
That left Goodwin and No.11 Jack Francis needing nine runs with one wicket in hand to lift the Goers to victory.
But they only added two more before Francis (0) flicked a Smith delivery off his hip and was caught by Matt Ford at square leg as the Goers were all out for 110.
Smith’s 8-27 off 23.2 overs followed on from his 5-42 off 19.4 overs the previous round against Sandhurst.
His eight wickets included five caught, two lbw and one bowled as he surpassed his previous career-best figures of 7-64 against White Hills three seasons ago.
The Hawks – who took possession of the Symes Motors Cup – took the opportunity to enjoy some much-needed centre wicket batting practice in the second innings, finishing at 6-141 off 47 overs.
• White Hills’ lack of batting depth again reared its head in what is becoming an all-too-familiar story for the Demons this season.
From 1-61 in pursuit of Bendigo United’s 9-252 at Glen Loddon Homes Oval, the Demons lost 9-81 – including their last four wickets for just four runs – to be all out for 142.
In their three losses so far – all of which have been batting second – the Demons have had collapses of 8-91, 10-49 and 9-81.
It was an even bowling performance from the Redbacks, with Miggy Podsoky (3-31 off 10.5) – who took the last three wickets of the innings in the space of five balls – Jack Bouwmeester (2-27 off 8) and Leigh McDermott (2-10 off 11) all multiple wicket-takers.
Ollie Geary provided some entertainment with 40 off 26 (six fours, one six).
Geary scored 40 of the last 49 runs for the Demons, who had three of their top four batsmen in Gavin Bowles (29), Mitch Winter-Irving (26), who was run out first ball after tea by Podosky, and Sam Stagg (21) all make starts, but get out in the 20s.
• It has taken until the last weekend in November, but Strathdale-Maristians has its first win on the board.
The Suns responded to Huntly-North Epsom’s 128 with 9-198 off 95 overs – a run-rate of 2.08 – at Sunline Plastering Oval.
Opener Jack Neylon (48) top-scored for the Suns, who passed their target five wickets down, while skipper Linton Jacobs finished unbeaten on 30.
The batting woes of Cameron Taylor continued. He made his second duck of the season and has just seven runs from three hits.
The Power trio of Brett Elvey (2-36 off 28); Peter Moore (0-22 off 17); and Cameron Moore (2-33 off 19) were all economical, with their combined 64 overs costing 91 runs.
Brodie McRae had a busy day behind the stumps for the Power with four catches and a stumping.
• Strathfieldsaye produced an improved batting performance, but fell 19 runs short against Golden Square.
The Jets, whose previous highest score had been 8-141, knuckled down and batted their 85 overs out in making 8-233 in reply to Square’s 8-252.
Promoted to opener, Zoltan Smyth made the highest score by a Strathfieldsaye player this season with 58, which included cracking a window of the Golden Square social rooms when he smacked Jamie Bysouth (1-19) for a six.
Captain Ben Devanny (55) regained some form for the winless Jets in also making a half-century at MyJet Oval.
It was a memorable day for Square’s Callum Tibbett (2-53 off 18) and Kyal Rasmussen (1-37 off 15), who both took their first wickets in the first XI.
Tibbett’s first wicket was Luke Millard (29), while Rasmussen dismissed Beauden Rinaldi (11).