Bendigo will go into Monday-week's Melbourne Country Week cricket carnival on the back of two defeats in two trial games.
After losing to Gisborne in a low-soring thriller last month, this time Bendigo was narrowly defeated in a high-scoring Kenmac Shield clash with old rival Ballarat.
After winning the toss and batting at Brown Reserve in Ballarat, Bendigo compiled 8-270 off its 50 overs.
In-form White Hills' duo Mitch Winter-Irving and Rhys Irwin opened the batting and put on 32 before Irwin fell for 12.
Winter-Irving and number three Jake Klemm kept the scoreboard ticking over until Klemm was bowled for 24.
Winter-Irving looked set for his second century in eight days, but he was judged lbw for 59 off 63 balls.
Ash Gray (31), skipper Ben DeAraugo (35) and Taylor Beard (31) all made starts but couldn't go on to a big score.
Liam Evans (29) and Adam Burns (31) added 55 for the seventh wicket to lift Bendigo 270.
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Bendigo made a brilliant start with the ball.
Irwin (1-25) struck early and a run out from Dylan Klemm put Ballarat on the back foot at 2-21.
Nathan Yates and Jarrod Burns resurrected Ballarat's innings with a brilliant partnership.
Yates hit four sixes in his quickfire 70 before he fell to leg-spinner Russell Stockdale.
His departure sparked a middle-order collapse of 4-14 to leave the home side 6-157 off 35 overs.
Ballarat looked in real trouble when it required 98 off the final 11 overs.
Jaoord Burns and Jonah Healy swung the game back in Ballarat's favour in the space of four overs.
They took 11 off a Liam Evans overs, seven off a Liam Smith over, 19 off a Dylan Klemm over and another 11 off Smith's next over to make the equation a more manageable 50 off 42 balls.
Smith dismissed Burns for a superb 100 off 101 balls to give Bendigo a lift.
With one over remaining, Ballarat required nine runs to win.
Healey hit Dylan Klemm's first ball for four to ease the pressure.
Ballarat followed up with two, one and one off the next three balls to tie the scores.
Healey hit the penultimate ball for four to seal victory and to bring up his half-century off 48 balls.
Stockdale was Bendigo's most successful bowler with 3-49 off his 10 overs, while Smith took 2-55 and Evans 1-43. Dylan Klemm had figures of 0-63 off 6.5 overs.
Bendigo and Ballarat are both in division two of Melbourne Country Week.
They don’t play each other in the preliminary rounds.
Bendigo’s MCW campaign starts against Goulburn Murray at Greenvale on February 18.
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