By Jackson Russell
Laurimar opened its Diamond Valley Cricket Association Mash Shield season with a 28-run win over Whittlesea at home.
After winning the toss and batting, captain Jake Zerella led from the fore with a 22-run partnership with Ashley Williams (8) and made 32 before he was caught by Suresh Fernando off Nathan Fowler for Laurimar’s second wicket after a 40-run partnership with Ned Welsh with Laurimar 2/62.
Welsh fell soon after for five, caught by Lachlan Beattie off Braydon Avola. He was joined by Harley Boland (4) and Andrew Nicholls (0) for Avola’s third and fourth wickets, both caught behind by Rajitha Ratnayake to have Laurimar 5/72.
Rian Boddy and Scott Toull were only able to put on 15 before Boddy was dismissed by Fernando for 19, caught by Fowler. Toull was unable to hang around much longer, dismissed for 4 as Laurimar fell to 7/95.
Nathan Woods and Michael Peters were able to put on a 38-run partnership before Woods was dismissed by Whittlesea captain Rodney Pratt for 10 and Peters was dismissed for 28 not long after by Fernando, leaving Laurimar 9/135.
Steven Mitchell and Chris Marienfeld were able to put on 44 for the final wicket before Mitchell was stumped by Ratnayake off Mitchell Komen for five, as the Power were bowled out for 179.
Avola led Whittlesea’s attack, taking 4/20 from eight overs with three maidens.
Whittlesea was unable to get the start it would have liked, losing opener Mitchell Komen early, run out by Ned Welsh for one after a 16-run partnership with Brody Bell.
Bell was dismissed by Scott Toull for 18 not long after, with the Eagles 2/29.
Laurimar was able to take wickets with consistency and did not allow Whittlesea to gather any momentum, with Michael Peters and Steven Mitchell combining to take the next five wickets as Whittlesea fell to 7/85.
The last wicket was especially important as Corey Baker was dismissed for 47, caught and bowled by Mitchell, after being the only middle-order batsman to make an impact on the scoreboard.
Lachlan Beattie (27) and Deakin Tennant (20) were able to put on 47 together, before both fell victim to Harley Boland to have Whittlesea 9/135.
Nathan Heaney and captain Rodney Pratt were able to hold onto the last wicket but could not get the scoreboard ticking over fast enough as Whittlesea ran out of overs, finishing at 9/151.
Mitchell led Laurimar’s attack, taking 3/10 from eight overs with two maidens.
Laurimar captain Jake Zerella said it was great to start the season with a win and a good all-round performance.
“To make 179 with your first hit then keep them to 151, that’s a pretty good effort with the bat and ball considering the amount of training we’ve had. We only had three official sessions before the start of the year so everyone was a bit rusty,” he said.
“I thought the fielding was fairly good, there were no really bad misfields and we held our catches pretty well, so it was a comprehensive effort.”
Zerella praised the performances of Chris Marienfeld and Steven Mitchell and rated the Power’s chances at season’s end.
“For [Marienfeld] to knock up 30 at the end was a pretty big effort and for [Mitchell] to get 3/10, they’re some pretty exciting figures,” he said.
“I think given the seasons we’ve had the last couple of years – and we’ve got the pretty much same side going around – we’re definitely a good chance.”
Mernda was unable to start its Money Shield season off right, suffering a nine-run loss to Bundoora United at home.
Bundoora United started well after winning the toss and batting, with a 41-run opening partnership.
Ryan Marnell triggered a middle-order collapse when he dismissed Bundoora United captain Mathew Ross for 38 with the visitors losing 4/20 to fall to 7/137.
Two late wickets were able to keep the score under control as Bundoora United finished the innings at 9/168.
Marnell finished with figures of 3/24 from six overs.
Mernda were within reach of chasing down the total all day, but couldn’t hold their wickets long enough, getting bowled out for 159 from 39 overs.