READ MORE - Bendigo v Eaglehawk, round 1 | PHOTOS
HUNTLY-North Epsom's BDCA premiership defence has begun with a reminder of the cornerstone of its success last season - its bowling.
The Power comfortably defended its score of 123 against Sandhurst on Saturday's opening day of the 2019-20 season, routing the Dragons for just 72 in reply to win by 51 runs at Strauch Reserve
New Power recruit Lewis Stabler had an immediate impact with the ball, while all-rounder Adam Ward picked up from where he left off last season.
Having bagged 37 wickets last season, Ward opened his 2019-20 account with a haul of 4-19 off nine overs bowling first change.
Ward's four-for came on the back of Stabler (2-16) and last season's grand final hero Mitch Whittle (2-16) having the Dragons' innings in tatters early.
The Dragons were reeling at 3-9 in just the sixth over, with Joel Murphy (0), captain Taylor Beard (2) and debutant Nahid Hossain (0) all back in the pavilion.
Stabler took just three deliveries to take his first wicket for the Power when he had Murphy caught behind by fellow recruit Ajith Rajapaksha.
Rajapaksha also caught Beard off Stabler, with the Power's new wicket-keeper ending his first outing for the club with four catches.
The Dragons were all out in the 37th over, with only Shasheen Fernando (24), Nathan Walsh (17) and the returning Ben Leed (14) making double figures, while five players were dismissed for ducks.
As well as their early trouble at 3-9, the Dragons later lost 5-7, crashing from 3-41 to 8-48 during the period where Ward took all four of his wickets.
Earlier after winning the toss and batting, the Power's 123 was built off the back of knocks from Sandun Ranathunga and captain Elliott Massina.
Ranathunga (41) and Massina (40) combined for 81 of the Power's runs and shared in a 66-run partnership for the fourth wicket that took the score from a dicey 3-27 to 93.
However, once Massina was dismissed the Power lost their last seven wickets for just 30 runs to be all out in the 44th over.
Dragons' leg-spinning recruit Ben Evans was quick to make his mark for his new club with 4-21 off eight overs on debut.
Evans' first wicket, which came in his second over, was the crucial scalp of Massina, who was caught by Sam Sperling.
Evans also dismissed Ranathunga, while his wickets also included the dangerous Ward (6).
Strathfieldsaye produced a dominant bowling performance to get its season off to a winning start at the expense of Golden Square.
Minus its top three run-scorers of last season in Tim Wood, Ben Gunn and Scott Woodman, Golden Square could muster just 81 after winning the toss and batting at Tannery Lane.
Square made the Jets work for their wickets early, with Strathfieldsaye picking up just one in the first 16 overs - Ryan Hartley (10), caught by wicket-keeper Jack Stubbs off Chathura Damith.
However, the dismissal of Jake Higgins (21), caught and bowled by Jets' skipper Ben Devanny in the 17th over, proved the bursting of the dam wall for Square.
Higgins' wicket sparked a loss of 9-45 as Square was all out in the 36th over.
It was an even spread with the ball for the Jets - imports Damith (2-12) and Savith Priyan (2-6), who both only arrived in Australia on Friday afternoon, combined for 4-18 off 14 overs.
Devanny (2-17) and recruit Stuart Payne (2-3) also took two wickets apiece against the under siege Square line-up.
"I was really happy with the way we bowled today... we only bowled one or two wides and didn't give them much short to pull or cut, so it was a good start by the boys," Devanny said.
The Jets didn't have it all their own way with the bat in their chase.
Square had the pressure on with Strathfieldsaye 4-27 in the 17th over.
However, knocks from Devanny (30 n.o.) and Damith (17 n.o.), who hit the first ball he faced of the season for six off Higgins (1-23), led the Jets to 5-84 and victory in the 33rd over.
The victory was Strathfielsaye's first over Golden Square since 2015-16.
Some lusty late hitting from new captain Miggy Podosky propelled Bendigo United to a three-wicket win with just over four overs to spare against White Hills at Harry Trott Oval.
The Redbacks had the task well and truly ahead of them at 7-156 in the 35th over chasing the Demons' 7-211.
Yet just over 20 minutes later the Redbacks had the six points safely locked away after Podosky took the long handle to the Demons.
Podosky belted an unbeaten 47 off just 36 balls, which included three sixes and three boundaries, with he and Ashley Younghusband (8 n.o.) putting on an unbroken 46 for the eighth wicket.
While Podosky, whose 47 was a career high, finished the job for the Redbacks, earlier Jake Klemm and Nick Williamson laid the foundation with a 95-run stand for the second wicket.
Klemm began his season with a brisk run-a-ball 71 laced with seven boundaries and two sixes, while opener Williamson compiled 37.
Captain Mitch Winter-Irving (2-49) and spin twins Linc Jacobs (2-41) and Jack Bourke (2-41) picked up two wickets apiece for the Demons, who had plenty of momentum on their side after the Redbacks slipped from 3-140 to 7-156.
White Hills' 7-211 batting first was built on the back of contributions led by opener Rhys Irwin (49), Caleb Barras (45 n.o.) and Gavin Bowles (38), with the trio among seven Demons' players who made double figures.
After openers Irwin and Mitch Winter-Irving (20) put on 39 for the first wicket, Bowles and Irwin then added 65 for the second wicket.
The Redbacks may have been having flashbacks to last season when Ollie Geary got his innings off to a flyer.
Having made his maiden century at Harry Trott Oval against the Redbacks last season Geary whacked two fours and a six and after just eight balls was already on 19.
However, Geary then became the first wicket for new Bendigo United opening bowler Tom Batters (1-45) to bring his cameo to an abrupt end.
As well as their key contributions with the bat, Klemm (3-37) and Podosky (3-56) also took three wickets.
The Redbacks have only won one game for each of the past two years, but have wasted no time getting on the board in the opening round.
Eaglehawk emerged victorious from its encounter with Bendigo at Atkins Street by 25 runs.
The Hawks compiled 8-185 off their 45 overs batting first led by knocks from Aaron Monro (35), opener Russell Stockdale (32), Anthony West (32) and Ben Williams (27).
And an unbroken 22 for the ninth wicket between Angus Chisholm (13 n.o.) on debut and Brendan Archbold (8 n.o.) also proved handy.
The Goers will have a spin-heavy attack this season and their quartet of tweakers - Kyle Humphrys (2-31), Tom Hart (0-23), Liam Evans (0-14) and Indian Ramdas Kamath (1-29) - combined for 3-97 off 26 overs.
While he didn't take a wicket, Evans gave little away, with his 14 runs coming off nine overs. The Hawks scored off just 11 of his 54 deliveries.
As well as Humphrys' two, opening bowler Bailey Goodwin (2-44) also snared two wickets for the Goers, who were in early disarray at 3-18 in the ninth over in reply.
Desperate for a steadying partnership, all-rounders Alex Pearson and Kamath provided it as they added 101 for the fourth wicket.
Pearson played his shots from the outset with his first 25 runs featuring a pair of boundaries and sixes.
Pearson made 46 before he was caught and bowled by Monro (1-28), while Kamath (58) notched a half-century in his first innings with the club.
From 3-119 the Goers' last seven wickets fell for 41 runs to be all out for 160 in the 42nd over in what was an innings where they had five players dismissed for five ducks.
It was a solid start for the Hawks' new-look bowling attack.
Given the opportunity to take the new ball, Nick Farley (3-20) and Josh Williams (2-27) took five wickets between them, while leg-spinner Stockdale snared 3-45.
Chisholm marked his debut with the Hawks by also claiming his first wicket when he removed Evans (0).
Strathdale-Maristians produced the opening day's best batting performance en route to a 58-run victory over Kangaroo Flat at Dower Park.
With Cameron Taylor and recruit Grant Waldron both scoring half-centuries, the Suns cracked 5-225.
Taylor - the reigning BDCA Cricketer of the Year - notched 50 opening, while Waldron immediately proved what a valuable acquisition he will be at the Suns with 58 off 79 at No.3.
The Suns had three partnerships of 50-plus in their innings.
Openers Taylor and James Vlaeminck (26) put on 54 for the first wicket; Taylor and Waldron added 71 for the second; while Waldron and Sam Johnston (41) teamed for 53 for the fourth.
Vlaeminck had looked in sparkling touch at the start of the day, striking five boundaries in his first six scoring shots.
The Roos' five wickets were shared between captain Brent Hamblin (3-44) and veteran Adam Burns (2-34), whose BDCA career is now spanning into a third decade.
If the task of needing 226 to win wasn't challenging enough at the start of the Roos' innings, it became all the more harder when they were 2-4 in the fourth over and later 7-81 in the 20th.
However, just like last season against the Suns at Dower Park, the Roos' tail wagged as the last three wickets combined to add 86 runs and push the score to 167.
Hamblin (24) and Dylan Klemm (28 n.o.) ticked the runs over late for the Roos, whose top-scorer was new English keeper-batsman Ben Birkhead.
Batting at No.5 Birkhead compiled 45 off 69, while No.3 Chris Barber had the Suns chasing some leather as he cracked six fours and one six in a quickfire 37 off 25.
In typical Taylor fashion for the Suns, his season is again off to a solid all-round start, backing up his 50 with the bat with 3-29 off nine overs with his leg spin, while also taking a catch.
Taylor was among six Suns' bowlers who took wickets, which included much-vaunted new recruit, former Scottish international bowler Chris Sole (2-13).
71 - Jake Klemm
58 - Grant Waldron
58 - Ramdas Kamath
50 - Cameron Taylor
49 - Rhys Irwin
47* - Miggy Podsoky
46 - Alex Pearson
4-19 - Adam Ward
4-21 - Ben Evans
3-20 - Nick Farley
3-29 - Cameron Taylor
3-37 - Jake Klemm
3-44 - Brent Hamblin
3-56 - Miggy Podosky
1 - STRATHDALE
Points: 6, 2.69%
2 - STRATHFIELDSAYE
Points: 6, 2.07%
3 - HUNTLY-NORTH
Points: 6, 1.71%
4 - EAGLEHAWK
Points: 6, 1.45%
5 - BENDIGO UNITED
Points: 6, 1.00%
6 - WHITE HILLS
Points: 0, 1.00%
7 - BENDIGO
Points: 0, 0.69%
8 - SANDHURST
Points: 0, 0.59%
9 - GOLDEN SQUARE
Points: 0, 0.48%
10 - KANGAROO FLAT
Points: 0, 0.37%
Strathdale-Maristians v Eaglehawk (next Sat, Sun)
at Bell Oval
White Hills v Kangaroo Flat
at Scott Street
Sandhurst v Bendigo United
at Weeroona Oval
Bendigo v Golden Square
at Atkins Street
Strathfieldsaye v Huntly-North Epsom
at Tannery Lane
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