Three teams are undefeated after two rounds of the Bendigo District Cricket Association.
Reigning premier Strathdale-Maristians, last summer's preliminary finalist Eaglehawk and big improvers Bendigo United have 2-0 records.
At the other end of the scale, three teams are without a win.
White Hills have a 0-2 record as do two of last summer's top four teams - Kangaroo Flat and Huntly-North Epsom.
Chasing down a score of more than 200 in a BDCA one-day game is no mean feat.
Chasing down a score of more than 200 against one of the best bowling attacks in the league with the best part of five overs up your sleeve is even more noteworthy.
That's what Eaglehawk achieved in its impressive five-wicket win over Kangaroo Flat at Dower Park.
The Borough improved to 2-0 after making light work of its chase of 214 for victory.
Russell Stockdale (45 off 36 balls) and Angus Chisholm made the most of the fast outfield to put the Hawks ahead of the required run rate.
Anthony West (36 off 35 balls) batted with freedom before Ben Williams (38 not out off 72 balls), Broadie Hawke (36 off 45 balls) and Brendan Archbold (16 not out off 15 balls) finished the job.
Uncharacteristically, it was the Roos' pace squadron which bore the brunt of the Hawks' batters.
Brent Hamblin (1-58) conceded more than eight runs per over, while Adam Burns (1-44) and Dylan Klemm (1-27 off five overs) also found it tough. The Roos gave up 16 runs in wides.
The Roos could also point the finger at their batsmen for not making the most of perfect conditions to bat in.
After winning the toss and batting, the Roos raced to 0-77 in 11 overs.
The Barber brothers - Daniel and Chris - pounced on anything loose and had the home side well-placed for a big score.
The introduction of Eaglehawk skipper Nick Farley (3-23) and youngster Angus Chisholm (3-25) to the bowling attack changed the momentum of the innings.
From 0-80, the Roos lost Chris Barber (34 off 26 balls), Daniel Barber (44 off 46 balls), Burns for a duck and Dylan Achison for four to fall to 4-95.
Jake Klemm and Dylan Klemm dug in to try and rebuild the Roos' innings.
Jake was struck in the back of the head/neck by a Farley bouncer, but he batted on.
The siblings added 41 before Dylan was dismissed for 25.
Jake Klemm and Hamblin put together a strong partnership of 62 before Klemm fell for 61 off 89 balls.
Hamblin (32 off 42 balls) was dismissed off the final ball of the innings.
"When they (Kangaroo Flat) were 0-80 I thought we were going to be chasing 300,'' Farley said with a chuckle.
"It was the quickest I've seen that outfield, so we did well to drag it back. After the start they had, we were happy to be chasing 213.
"We were always in front of the run rate with the bat which was nice. It was a good win and we set ourselves up for another big game next week against Bendigo United."
Bendigo United is a genuine premiership threat and some old war wounds came back to haunt Strathfieldsaye in an entertaining round two clash at Tannery Lane.
For the first time since the 2014-15 season the Redbacks have a 2-0 record after edging out the Jets by four wickets.
Set 167 for victory, Bendigo United passed the total six wickets down and with 15 balls to spare.
That target of 167 looked set to be much higher after the Jets raced to 0-50 in 11 overs.
However, the Jets lost wickets in clumps - an issue in previous seasons as well - and the lack of a meaningful partnership in the middle of the innings meant they didn't take full advantage of the good start.
Abe Sheahan top-scored with 46 off 98 balls, while fellow opener Tim Wood made a brisk 29 off 36 balls.
Spinner Will Thrum (3-31) claimed his second three-wicket haul in as many matches, while teenage off-spinner Xavier Austin produced a second consecutive crucial spell and had figures of 2-19 off nine overs.
The Redbacks' run chase was launched by skipper Clayton Holmes.
The aggressive right-hander took the game up to the Jets' attack and it paid dividends.
He raced to 60 off as many balls and added 83 for the first wicket with Tom Starr.
Even the loss of round one hero Riley Treloar for a duck didn't appear to hinder the visitors as they cruised to 2-119.
However, the loss of Zane Keighran (23) sparked a collapse that left the door slightly ajar for Strathfieldsaye.
Starr's patient innings of 48 off 101 balls ended with the score on 145, leaving the Redbacks still requiring 22 runs for victory and with four wickets in hand.
Jake Thrum (13 not out) and Austin (11 not out), who bats with a temperament beyond his years, safely guided the Redbacks home.
Leg-spinner Darcy Hunter followed up his six-wicket haul in round one with 3-36 off nine overs in round two.
Fellow spinner Savith Priyan took 2-26 off nine overs.
A match-turning partnership with the bat, a classic catch to dismiss one of the best batters in the league and a first XI career-best haul from an unheralded bowler were the highlights of Sandhurst's upset win over Huntly-North Epsom.
A stunning late batting collapse from the home side saw the Dragons hold on by 21 runs to open their account for the season and inflict the Power's second loss on the trot.
In a pleasing sign for Sandhurst, the win was achieved without reigning Cricketer of the Year Joel Murphy having a major influence on the game.
He fell for 16 in the Dragons' score of 5-196.
Dylan Gibson (53 off 96 balls) and Ben Leed (33 off 69 balls) batted steadily to guide the Dragons to 4-117 with nine overs remaining.
At that stage the Dragons probably would have taken a score of 170, but power hitter Ash Gray had other ideas.
Gray smashed 45 off just 28 balls, including six fours and one six, to lift the Dragons well past the 170 mark.
He combined with Nahid Hossain (34 not out off 46 balls) for a 77-run stand and the Dragons finished 5-196 off their 45 overs.
Power skipper Elliott Massina (3-26 off nine overs) was the pick of the bowlers.
In reply, the Power lost two early wickets before Ryan Grundy and Danushka Wijemanna set about reeling in the imposing total.
The shotmakers appeared to have the game in control as the Power cruised to 2-115 with 22 overs remaining.
The game turned when leg-spinner Ben Evans (2-54) clean bowled Wijemanna for 34.
A short time later Grundy fell for a fine 66 off 75 balls when Hossain held on to a brilliant catch off Evans' bowling.
The teenager ran back with the flight of the ball from mid-on and launched a full-length dive to complete the catch.
Grundy hadn't looked like being dismissed and Hossien's catch proved to be a match defining.
Even after Grundy's dismissal the Power had experienced duo Adam Ward and Massina at the crease. They added 22 runs to have the home side 4-156.
Enter Ben Yarwood. The Sandhurst left-armer clean bowled Massina for three, then removed Judd Gilchrist for a duck, the dangerous Ward was caught at cover off a leading edge for 43 and, finally, Shane Gilchrist for five.
Yarwood's second spell of 4-12 from six overs was the catalyst for the Power losing their final six wickets for 19 runs.
Yarwood finished with 4-24 off eight overs and the Power were dismissed for 175.
Gibson capped a fine all-round game for the Dragons by taking 2-19 off eight overs.
"It was a funny game, it swayed a few different ways, but we got the chocolates in the end,'' Murphy said.
"We were worried when they (Grundy and Wijemanna) were batting the way they were, but we knew if we could break that partnership that things could change because we had runs on the board.
"Nahid's catch (to dismiss Grundy) was incredible. It was a crucial moment.
"We've had a couple of injuries to our bowlers, so Ben (Yarwood) has had to step up. For him to close out the match like that will give him plenty of confidence."
Strathdale's Daniel Clohesy fell five runs short of his maiden first XI century in the Suns' 77-run win over White Hills at Bell Oval.
Starved of opportunities with the bat in the middle-order last season, Clohesy has taken the place of his great mate James Vlaeminck at the top of the Strathdale order this summer.
Saturday's knock against the Demons was a confidence-booster as he plundered 11 fours and four sixes in his 91-ball stay at the crease.
He looked set to post three figures until he played across the line of a Mitch Winter-Irving delivery in the 31st over.
While he was disappointed not to make a century, Clohesy's innings laid the foundation for the Suns to build an imposing target of 5-254 off their 45 overs.
Clohesy and Grant Waldron (69 off 96 balls) added 124 for the second wicket before Sam Johnston (28 off 20 balls), James Barri (23 off 23 balls) and Ben DeAraugo (20 not out off 14 balls) chipped in with valuable runs in the latter overs.
Winter-Irving (2-39) and Linc Jacobs (1-39) were the pick of the White Hills' attack.
In reply, the Demons gave themselves a platform to launch from when they raced to 2-93 in the 20th over.
Rhys Irwin and Ollie Geary were scoring freely before Geary holed out off Cam Taylor for 32 off 30 balls.
Geary's departure took the wind out of the Demons' sail.
Irwin made a well-deserved half-century before falling for 63 off 99 balls, while Winter-Irving added 32 off 63 balls and first-gamer Sam Lowes made 16 not out.
The Demons finished 6-177 off their 45 overs - a much improved effort with the bat.
One of the highlights for the Suns was first-gamer Liam Nihill (1-15) claiming his first wicket at first XI level when he trapped Caleb Barras lbw for two.
Taylor finished with 3-31 off his nine overs, while Johnston claimed 2-29.
Bendigo opened its account for the 2021-22 season with a five-wicket win over Golden Square at Atkins Street.
The Goers' victory was built around a fine bowling performance.
The Bulldogs won the toss and batted and made a solid start to be 0-29.
However, the game turned quickly as Craig Pearce and Bendigo skipper Nathan Fitzptarick combined to remove Square's top three batsmen for the addition of six more runs, including the prized scalp of Liam Smith for a duck.
Star all-rounder Scott Trollope (32 off 56 balls) tried to launch a rescue mission for the Dogs, but he couldn't find any support.
Fitzpatrick (3-12), Pearce (3-30) and Kyle Humphrys (2-11 off nine overs) did the damage with the ball as Square spluttered to 130 all out off 40.1 overs.
To win the game, Square needed to bowl out the home side.
When Bendigo's top-order stumbled to 3-37, the Dogs could sniff a second-straight gutsy win.
They couldn't maintain that scoreboard pressure as Goers' all-rounder Dylan Johnstone played arguably his best innings with the bat for the club.
Batting at number five, Johnstone made an unbeaten 44 off 76 balls, including five fours and one six, to guide Bendigo home.
Smith bowled tightly for Square to have figures of 1-11 off eight overs.
"It was a good win. We were in a couple of positions today where last year we would have folded,'' Fitzpatrick said.
"We had them 5-60, they got to 5-100 and last year we would have let them off the hook and they would have made 180. Today we bowled them out for 130.
"With the bat we were 3-30 and it was good the way we put together a couple of partnerships.
"We're a very young team with six or seven players under the age of 22. We're inexperienced, but those young players are quality players and we'll back them in to execute."
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