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Match Day

All Match Day News from the ECA

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Composition of the final four in the balance in Dunstan

North Balwyn duo put East Doncaster to the sword, all other games delicately balanced

How Day 1 of the final round unfolded

As has been the case for most of the Dunstan season, not much went according to script on Saturday, and we are none the wiser as to who will win the coveted fourth spot or who is most in danger of the relegation zone. In the final round, every side had something to play for. A Glen Iris win away against Heathmont would secure their spot in the four. A loss opens the door for Canterbury or Bulleen (who are playing eachother).

Weather was warm and a bit soupy early, but burned off to be perfect batting conditions for most of the afternoon.

Heathmont and Glen Iris locked in a classic arm-wrestle

Heathmont 0/6 v Glen Iris 214
Fresh off their T20 Title win on Tuesday night, Glen Iris were sluggish early; at one stage were 5/76. However Fred McMillan picked up where he left off on Tuesday and lead a middle order counter attack with 75 (111 balls) supported by all rounder Lucas Skelton (51). A wagging tail got Heathmont over the important psychological 200 barrier, but they left 9 overs out on the park. Heathmont's attack of Jake Cairns (3/14), Dale Lawrence (3/46 from 21) and Dylan Howard (2/48) were excellent.

What to expect on Day 2?
Who knows. The Parker oval is a beauty to bat on once set, and the outfield can be lightning quick. Expect this one to be a tight semi-final like grind. Both sides have plenty to play for.
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Sudesh Guruge was sensational for Bulleen, claiming 5/44 from 20 overs. Photo © Chris Mirabella

Bulleen's good form continues. Canterbury batting listless

Bulleen 0/18 v Canterbury 156.
Canterbury Skipper Chris Moore had no hesitation batting after winning the toss, looking to set the agenda on the traditional batting-friendly deck at Koonung Park. Canterbury lost wickets early - Robert McKenna (36) and Oliver Will (26) steadied the ship, but neither could go on with it. Canterbury's middle order struggled. Bulleen's Sudesh Guruge (5/44 from 20) was excellent. His left arm off spin with plenty of variation, and with some scoreboard pressure to start with, got on top of Canterbury.
Stephen Seymour (64 from 111) played a lone hand for his side.

What to expect on Day 2?

This is Bulleen's match to lose. They are in form, and at home. It will take an inspired spell from the old hands Moore and Duckworth to strike early, and give the change up bowlers some of their own scoreboard pressure to play with. If not out opener Peter Martinich settles in, expect him to play an anchor role. It is hard to see Canterbury getting out of this one.
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Stephen Seymour played well for an innings saving 64. Photo © Chris Mirabella

Old Carey and Mont Albert in the balance, could go either way

Old Carey v Mont Albert 209
Old Carey elected to bowl at the toss. Mont Albert made a positive start, but as he has done many times, Jack Quartermain (4/37 from 17) claimed a bag of big wickets to keep the visitors on the back foot.  At one stage Mont Albert were 5 for 70 odd. Lachlan Fraser (73 from 163) was a rock in the middle order and with some lower order support from Skipper Andrew Padbury (25 from 62), Mont Albert managed to cobble together 209.

What to expect on Day 2.
This one is hard to pick. Like their fellow T20 Grand Finalists, Glen Iris, Mont Albert looked a bit under par and didn't put in their best effort, especially considering the battle for top spot was on the table. A top two spot is assured, but will not want to go the semi's with consecutive losses. We know that Old Carey loves a scrap and must finish the season with a big win.
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Lachlan Fraser belts 73 for Mont Albert. Photo © Chris Mirabella

Sam Perry and Nitesh Patel pummel East Doncaster

North Balwyn 4/304 v East Doncaster
The final round of the season is not the game to hand a potential finals opponent a major psychological free kick. East Doncaster Skipper Peter Dickson saw something in the deck - perhaps a bit sticky early - to invite North Balwyn to bat. They removed Max Tomkinson early, but that was about it.
Sam Perry (157 from 236) was given a life on 80, but othewise completely dominated the East Doncaster attack. When I arrived in the late afternoon, Perry had just brought up his ton, and then proceeded to smack the ball to all parts - fielders square of both sides of the wicket were reduced to witches hats as a series of pulls and reverses came off the middle of the bat. His skipper Nitesh Patel (74* from 138) relished the freedom also. An injury cloud hangs over Matt Vaiano - he couldn't bowl in the innings and was sorely missed.

What to expect on Day 2.
Given equal batting conditions, we expect East Doncaster to put in a good showing in reply. But 300+ run chases are very rare and mission #1 for East Doncaster is to bat the overs. We will be interested to see if James Binney rolls his arm over for the home side.
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Sam Perry was hitting the ball around Macleay Park for his second Dunstan century this season. Photo © Chris Mirabella


Match Day