KING OF THE JUNGLE AS MCGOWAN TAMES TIGERS
By Richard Millott
Round 5 got underway on Saturday with performances with both bat and ball in perfect cricket conditions.
Josh McGowan celebrated his recall to the 1st XI for Knox Gardens in their match against Upwey. The Falcons started very well with the score at 1/4 within 3 overs as Matt Mulchay (45) helped to lead the fightback for the Tigers as they reached 4/130 from the 46 overs to Tea. Soon after tea, McGowan sent down a double wicket maiden to turn the score to 6/171 and find the way for the Falcons. Jordan Dunstone (41), Julian Whetsone (34) and Lachie Jansen (32) pushed the score to 244, however McGowan was the star of the day claiming 6/91.
Ferntree Gully Footballers set the highest score of the day in their match against Belgrave. The Magpie bowlers had to work hard for the first breakthrough as Lachlan Storey (67) and Braydon Dobinson (54) both reached half centuries from the top of the order to be 2/145. After the Tea Break, the Griffens’ middle order ticked over the score as Nick Bogar (30) and Kuldeep Sidhu (31) joined Cohen McElroy (74*) to close out the innings at 5/296. For the Pies, Jarrod McPhee sent down 30 overs, returning the best figures of 3/96.
Lysterfield bounced back well in their key match against Eildon Park. The Panthers were in trouble early with wickets falling in the second and third overs. Adam Kinniburgh (3/51) struck shortly after with another double to have the score at 4/28. Ryan Williamson (45) provided resistance to the attack to take the score to 5/98 at Tea, with Darren de Souza (64*) and Jacob Evans (41) continuing the push across the day. Brad Paull helped the Beavers to close out the innings, with the Panthers reaching 9/206 from their allotment.
Upper Ferntree Gully played host to The Basin at Kings Park, restricting the Bears after some early breakthroughs. The Kings made breakthroughs with the ball on a regular basis to have the score 3/68, with Shane Luck (48) the early resistance against his former club. Corey Williams and Sajana De Silva both claimed 3 wickets each whilst the Bears bats, in particular Adam Masters (39), turned the scoreboard over to set the target at 9/207.
A defiant Steve Devenish half century helped Johnson Park in their matchup against Knoxfield. The Knights struck early to remove both openers at 2/25, with Steve Devenish leading the middle order of Joe Hayes (33) and Gerard Petrie (38) to keep pushing the score. With the ball, the Knights shared the wickets around, with Trent Atkinson the pick of the bowling with 3/46 to help dismiss the Sharks for 204.
In Decoite Sheild, Tafadzwa Kamungozi had a good day with the ball against Mountain Gate to restrict the visitors. Kamungozi claimed the first 4 wickets of the match before the Gators fought back through Shaun Morris (87) and Kallum Croxford (36). Kamungozi dismissed Croxford to leave the score at 6/154 as Morris searched for a century, being the last wicket to fall at 193. Kamungozi claimed 6/85 from the 29 maidens he sent down for the Bloods, 7 of which were maidens. The hosts saw off a 9 over stanza, reaching 0/15 in reply.
Ferntree Gully travelled up the hill to take on Monbulk, with the visitors taking first use of the pitch. The Blues settled in nicely at the crease, with Josh Henry (35) providing a solid base from the top of the order. The scene was set with Harry Cowling (78) and Adrian Catalano (52) both reaching half centuries, whilst Jason Kilby (48) and Jake Evans (31*) provided plenty of support for the Blues to reach 7/282. Craig Broekhof was the pick of the Hawks bowling attack with 3/70.
Hayden Morrison lead the way for Knox Gardens in their encounter with St Johns Tecoma. Morrison reached 83 for the Falcons as the only batsmen on the scorecard, whilst with the ball Aaron Grenda proved a handful, his 4/23 giving headaches to the Falcons as the home team reached 234 across the day.
Rowville hosted South Belgrave at Seebeck Reserve. Whilst individual scores are not known at time of print, Rowville batted first and reached 201 as a target late in the day, with South Belgrave commencing their innings without incident at 0/0.
With all matches well balanced, it sets the scene for a super weekend of cricket next week with the conclusion of Round 6 as well as the Round 3 T20 Replay, allowing teams to potentially transform their seasons with 2 wins in as many days.