The RV Solutions Weekend Wrap - Round 3
A sensational hundred from captain Aaron Hardie hauled 1st grade over the line in a thriller against Perth at Fletcher Park.
The Dragons were made to field on a chilly day after losing the toss, with the Demons seizing the early momentum thanks to an opening partnership of 91, followed by a second wicket partnership of 92.
Perth looked set to post an imposing score with 10 overs to go, with state representatives Sam Fanning and Jon Wells set at the crease with 182 runs on the board and 9 wickets in hand.
The score may have made for worse reading if not for Waheguru Dhillon, who bowled excellently through the middle overs to end with 2 for 34 from 10 overs, with his control over line and length a feature.
Matt Hanna and Iszak Milentis combined to make a decisive intervention in the 40th over, with Milentis sharply catching Wells at deep midwicket off Hanna’s bowling.
Fanning continued on his way to post a magnificent hundred, but Perth’s other batters struggled to find their feet, with Hanna (3/35 from 10 overs) and Oli Arkinstall (2/34 from 5 overs) taking regular wickets.
In the end, a last ball six set a target of 258.
Milentis was spectacular in the field, taking 4 superb catches and producing a spectacular direct hit runout from deep midwicket.
Milentis and Blair Walsh started the chase brightly against a strong Perth attack featuring state representatives Liam Guthrie and Josh Nicholas, before Walsh unluckily feathered an inside edge behind on 4.
An outstanding 138 run partnership between Milentis and Hardie then put the Dragons in a strong position, with strong running between the wickets a feature of the pair.
The combination was broken when Milentis was given out after an elongated appeal for an excellent 72.
Kallen Bond came to the crease and smashed his first ball through the covers for a boundary, but departed two balls later for 5.
John Sanders came to the crease as the required rate climbed and contributed with a run-a-ball 23, with a slog sweep over midwicket for six the highlight.
Sanders was dismissed with 34 needed from 26 balls, and the immediate loss of Arkinstall and Dhillon in quick succession threatened to turn the game.
After the dismissal of Dhillon on the first ball of the 47th over, Hardie went berserk, taking 14 from the ensuing 5 balls to bring the chase back into hand.
No boundaries were hit in the next 2 overs, but hard running from Hardie and Liam Hindle ensured the job remained under control.
With 8 required off the last over, a dot ball was followed up by two Hardie runs, with Hindle then run out off the 3rd ball of the over, desperately trying to turn a single into two.
With 5 required off 3, Hardie smashed state teammate Guthrie over mid on for four to leave just one run required for victory.
After some confusion over whether the game was finished, a slap over mid-off did the trick, with a famous victory secured with a ball to spare, with Hardie finishing on 136 not out.
The Dragons triumph in a dramatic final over!
2nd grade couldn’t quite continue the winning momentum at Burrendah, going down by 5 wickets.
Ellis Cassidy won the toss and batted, but soon lost opening partner Keegan de Koker and David Cameron.
Ethan Smith joined Cassidy and the pair put on 30 runs before the captain was caught behind for 25.
Smith carried on, registering partnerships with fellow youngsters Sean Boers and Jack Chapman of 33 and 51 respectively.
The loss of Smith for 52 and Chapman for 30 meant the innings stalled at the death without a set batter at the crease, and ended with 8 balls to spare on a total of 174.
After the break, Cassidy claimed a wicket in his first and second overs to reduce the Demons to 2 for 6.
From there, Perth managed to build a succession of strong partnerships, with Vidit Vashisht (1/16 from 4 overs) and Declan Crowder (1/42 from 8.5 overs) making the interventions.
In the end, Perth tracked down their target for the loss of five wickets, and with 19 balls to spare.
Cassidy tried seven bowlers in the search for a winning formula, with himself (2/42 from 10 overs) the only bowler to claim multiple victims.
3rd grade made it a Dragons two for two at Fletcher Park, defeating Perth by 42 runs.
Captain Stewart Hepburn won the toss and batted, but there was early trouble as he was dismissed alongside Blake Third and Apurv Sharma in quick succession.
Stuart Smith and Cameron Becker then came and went as the score slumped to 5/68.
Opener Davinder Singh was a point of resistance, and combined with Zac Mowat to put on a much-needed partnership of 35 for the sixth wicket.
Mowat and Singh were then dismissed in quick succession for 24 and 38 respectively, but enterprising knocks from Stuart Biss (29) and Arnav Pimple (23) lifted the score to 165 all out.
In reply, Pimple claimed both openers in his opening spell, with a wicket to new ball partner Lachie Searle leaving the Demons at 3/40.
From there, Hepburn continued his outstanding bowling form, wiping out the middle order to finish with figures of 4/10 from his 9 overs.
Some lower order resistance delayed the inevitable, but Mowat eventually claimed the final wicket to bowl Perth out for 123.
4th grade have registered their first victory of the season, winning by 3 wickets.
After captain Aaron McCall won the toss and bowled, Perth managed a score of 8/181 from their 45 overs.
James Scott (2/25 from 6 overs) and Ian D’Souza (2/26 from 6 overs) took multiple wickets, while McCall, Khushdilpreet Sandhu, James Andrews, and Brayden Lee all chipped in with a wicket each.
A 47 run opening partnership between Raghav Raj and Kris Elliot got the chase off to a strong start, but ended when Raj was dismissed for 27.
Elliot continued to anchor the chase until he was dismissed for 58, but contributions from Brayden Lee (27) and Muhammad Salman (19*) brought the total within reach.
A Salman boundary secured a victory with the best part of 5 overs to spare.
The under 17’s have set a solid score on the first day of their two day fixture against Perth, posting 9/191 from their 50 overs at Fletcher Park.
Captain Ethan Smith won the toss and made an aggressive start to the innings, racing to 29 from 28 balls before being dismissed.
Brayden Lee then combined with Lagan Sandhu to continue the momentum with a 37 run partnership, which ended when Sandhu fell for 17.
Some quick wickets threatened to stall the innings, but Lee found a partner in Blake Third, who was run out after making 25.
Lee was soon victim to the same mode of dismissal for 35, but some late hitting from Bradie Paliethorpe (32 from 21 deliveries) and Daniel Hornby (19 from 19 deliveries) ensured a very defendable score was posted.
Under 15’s have started well in their clash against Perth at Burrendah, constructing a score of 196.
The loss of openers Rajat Deksmush and Dineth Mendis with the score on 10 caused some early worries, but captain Blake Stephen underpinned the innings with 61 from 109 balls.
Pavanasan Govender was also a solid contributor, making 37 batting at number 6.
Good work from Charlie Gough (19) and Veedi Pelpola (17) at the death ensured the Dragons posted a very defendable score.