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Match Day

All Match Day News from the ECA

Players, umpires feel heat as a March monster weather event threatens to upend Semi-Final weekend

Bowlers dig deep to apply semi-final pressure on batters. Glen Iris puts the brakes on Mont Albert, while East Doncaster top order made to earn every run at Zerbes

The hot northerly arrived early, and the temperature hovered around 37.5 deg most of afternoon on day one of the Dunstan Semi Final Round. Somehow the games were not 'heated-off' and remarkably for the conditions, the bolwers in both matches held the whip hand. We have two classic semi-finals delicately poised at the end of Day 1. With the weather forecast for Day 2 the same as Day 1, it promises to be a battle of attrition.


North Balwyn's Luke Stacker in action on day one of the Dunstan Shield Semi Final against East Doncaster at Zerbes Reserve.  Photo © Chris Mirabella 2024

East Doncaster 9/219 v North Balwyn

At Zerbes Reserve, East Doncaster skipper Peter Dickson called correctly and had no hesitation in batting first against North Balwyn. Openers Mitch Chappell (35) and Matt Vaiano (42) made a steady start against the tight bowling of Luke Stacker and Ryan Roberts. Matt Vaiano survived a big appeal for a caught behind decision early, and went on to play an uncharacteristically conservative knock before he was bolwed by Stacker. Peter Dickson (63) and Rob Sayer (23) combined for a critical partnership - and with a solid foundation, East Doncaster's strategy was clear. Get to tea and let the oppresive heat take the toll on the bowlers with cheaper runs possibly on offer in the last 20 overs. But North Balwyn's Xavier Bateman (3/78) relished the workload and was rewarded for his efforts - assisted by a North Balwyn quick holding down the other end. Alex Smith cleaned up the lower order with 4/28. It is a classic Semi Final tussle - runs at a premium, and a match with plenty of ebbs and flows. Too close to call.


Mont Albert's opener Jack Woods was set when he got this peach from Glen Iris' David Carman in their semi final. Photo © Chris Mirabella 2024

Mont Albert 9/172 v Glen Iris

Glen Iris have given themselves a real chance in their semi-final by restricting Mont Albert to 9/172 at Mont Albert Reserve. With veteran Tim Wright (11) and Jack Woods (46) settled at the crease, it was looking like a long day ahed for the Glen Iris attack. When David Carman (4/38)  was brought on at the northerly end, his wobbly mediums swung the momentum of the game. In a few overs he removed Tim Wright LBW and then completely deceived Jack Wood (bowled). With Andrew Stolzenburg steaming in at the other end, Mont Albert got into a rut, with both Lachlan Fraser and Charlie Waite stuggling to hit the ball off the square against the tight bowling. Stolzenburg had Fraser, caught at the wicket, and Carman struck again after tea trapping Fraser in front. Spinner Lucas Skelton then grabbed the prize wicket of Fateh Singh for 27. Not surprisingly Mont Albert Skipper Andrew Padbury (24*) dug in and with some dogged rear-guard support from Michael Minz and James Blair-Holt Mont Albert scrambled to 172. We expect Day 2 of this match to be a tight tussle.
Mitch Chappell defends one that goes big from Luke Stacker in the Dunstan Shield Semi Final between East Doncaster and North Balwyn. Photo Chris Mirabella © 2024
Glen Iris' David Carman (4/38) shook up the Mont Albert innings with his controlled medium-pace spell. Here celebrating picking up Mont Albert's Tim Wright LBW. Photo Chris Mirabella © 2024

Match Day