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Match Day

All Match Day News from the ECA

Nitesh Patel digs deep - gives North Balwyn a chance in Dunstan Grand Final

Mont Albert spinner Fats Singh opens the bowling - takes five wickets

Mont Albert well placed with perfect batting conditions forecast for Day Two

At then end of day one of the Dunstan Shield Grand Final, Mont Albert is in a good position, having bowled out North Balwyn for 165. They are 0/3 after facing one over before the end of play.
Retiring legendary umprie Eddy Secker was given the honor of conducting the toss - which he did using a pre-decimal currency Australian penny. Nitesh Patel called tails correctly and had no hesitation in batting in the perfect conditions.  
The big crowd didn't have to wait long for the highly anticipated duel between Mont Albert spinner Fateh 'Fats' Singh and the leading Dunstan run scorer Sam Perry. Singh taking the new ball from the northern end. Alarm bells may have started ringing in the North Balywn camp as Singh got the ball to turn sharply almost immediately. That turn plus the extra bounce of the hard ball saw Perry nick a beautifully executed ball to Mont Albert's Tim Wright at first slip, which he took cleanly.
There wasn't much joy in the pitch at the other end for quick Ben Howes, although he bowled a good line and kept the pressure on. 
First change quick Charlie Thorn eased into his work picking up the big wicket of Max Tomkinson, caught at the wicket. Singh had Sreehari Subramonian LBW after the number three attemted an impatient-looking pull to a flatter ball. Meanwhile Nitesh Patel was hitting the ball cleanly and was looking in good form; exhibiting his well-earned reputation for coolness under pressure.
Mont Albert Skipper Andrew Padbury then bowled Louis Macciocca and things were looking grim for the visitors. Brothers Xavier (26 from 75) and Jude Bateman (13) provided resistance, and despite the slow going, North Balwyn started to dig themselves out of a hole. Nitesh Patel was finally dismissed late in the day for his patient 81 from 184 - having guided his team to something the bowlers can bowl to. All the Mont Albert bowlers were excellent - Singh finshed with 5/77 from 40 overs. Ben Howes 3/43. On day two, we expect Alex Smith to be into the attack early. Both sides will be wanting to win that crucial first hour.
Day two commences at 12.30pm at Mont Albert Reserve on Sunday 17 March.
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FATS

Mont Albert spinner Fateh 'Fats' Singh opened the bowling in the 2023-24 Dunstan Shield Grand Final - he took 5/77 from 40 overs to put his side in a good position at the end of Day one. Photo © Chris Mirabella 2024
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An ECA
LEGEND

Retiring ECA legendary umpire Eddy Secka does the honors at the coin toss. Here with Mont Albert skipper Andrew Padbury (left) and North Balwyn skipper Nitesh Patel Photo © Chris Mirabella 2024
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Cool in a
CRISIS

Nitesh Patel, the North Balwyn skipper, managed to stay focused while the Mont Albert bowling attack made early breakthroughs. He top-scored for his side with 81. Photo © Chris Mirabella 2024
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Huge
MOMENT

Mont Albert's Tim Wright at first slip takes the catch off Fateh Singh's bowling to remove North Balwyn's opener Sam Perry. The keeper is Michael Minz. Photo © Chirs Mirabella 2024
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