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By Richard Millott

Lysterfield have started their promotion season in the right path, putting in a sound performance against The Basin to commence Round 2.

The Bears won the toss and elected to bat, with a steady start highlighted by Blake Walter at the top of the order, departing for 48 with the score at 3/78. A number of starts littered the visitor’s scoresheet, however the Beavers were able to respond with wickets in a tight tussle. Brad Paull was the pick of the bowling, sending down 29 overs to claim 4/77, well supported by Nathan Walsh with 3/53 from 20 overs. The Bears day stopped with just shy of 70 overs on the board, the score at 9/177.

Belgrave’s early form continued against Upper Ferntree Gully, with Aaron Brunner again in the spotlight with his second century in as many rounds. The Belgrave batsmen could do no wrong and found ways to score quick runs. Brunner concluded the day at 111 not out, continuing next week alongside Luke Spence (77*). Earlier, Jarrod McPhee scored 61 to start the innings in the right foot. The Kings will be hoping to wrap the innings quickly before commencing a sizable chase given the Pies sit at 2/265 from 64 overs after the first day.

Mitch Ley caused headaches for all concerned down Eildon Parade, with the Panthers sitting precariously after a shortened day one. A decent start then brought Ryan Williamson (48) to the crease for Eildon Park to assist the scorecard, however today belonged to Ley has he claimed 5 of the 6 wickets to fall to end at 5/34 from 21.2 overs including 10 maidens. The day concluded early with Eildon Park at 6/125, still to face 21.4 overs before the Sharks begin their chase.

Knox Gardens strong form continued against Ferntree Gully Footballers. The Falcons won the toss and elected to bat first, with Pete Dunlop reaching 47 to have the score at 2/114. The middle order was the key to the Falcons’ innings with Matthew Bell (39) and Adam Wylde (45) providing quality support, however it was Jarrod Butcher who made the biggest contribution with an unbeaten century. With the ball, Sam Cuthbert claimed 3/70 for the Griffens on a day where Knox Gardens posted 6/283 as the score to beat.

Upwey travelled to Knoxfield for their matchup and made good use of the conditions to skittle the hosts. Chris Rumble (36) and skipper Zac Wilson (34) were the only Knights’ batsmen to get going, however the Tiger bowlers imposed their presence, wrapping up the innings claiming a collective 5/25. Cameron Wheeler (4/49) again found himself in familiar territory as pick of the bowling, alongside Steve Gannell, claiming 4/61 from 29 overs, including 12 maidens. The Knights will now turn for a similar bowling effort to restrict the visitors, the score set at 190 to chase next week.

In Decoite Shield, the Bradbury Run-Show rolled into Olinda. Ferntree Gully electing to bat first was well rewarded as Josh Henry (34) got the start the Blues were after before Jayden Bradbury and Jason Kilby – both fresh off starring performances on the FTGDCA Cricket Show on Eastern 98.1FM – combined to thwart the Bloods bowlers. Kilby departed for 37, however Bradbury will continue next week from 75 not out. The Blues faced 68 overs across the day, with play ending at 4/213.

Jay Wagner set tongues wagging for Knox Gardens in their match against South Belgrave. Wagner reached triple figures against the South attack, despite the best efforts of Daniel Maxwell (4/76) with the ball. Dylan Wylde (65) departed before tea, taken at 2/130 after 36 overs. From there, Wagner took control as the score nudged north of 250, bringing up the milestone to help the Falcons reach 7/295.

Monbulk have 198 on the board in their match against St Johns Tecoma. It was a horror start for the Hawks with both openers in the sheds at 2/5 before Braden Taeuber (46) and Shane Cosstick (36) brought back control to the batting team. A series of starts threatened however the Saints bowlers showed positive signs at Talaskia Reserve, taking wickets at key moments to dismiss the visitors. Andrew Wilson was the most prolific Saint with the ball, claiming 5/64 from 23 overs. The Hawks have already struck back in the chase, with Jake Sali dismissed before stumps at 1/17.

Rowville spent most of the day at the crease against Mountain Gate for good return. Alex Walker (71) and Jai Van Der Wert (53) both reached half centuries to propel the Hawks total, accompanied by starts from Monto Perera (36*) and Chanaka Gunawardana (31). Rowville faced 77 overs across the day, reaching 6/273 for their efforts.

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