WANDO Vale all-rounder Lionel Balzan capped off a game he will remember for a long time when he scored an outstanding 157 against Merino at the weekend, which followed his excellent 6-32, including a hat-trick, on the first day of the match.
Overall, it was an eventful weekend for the Casterton and District Cricket Association as both Casterton and Pigeon Ponds picked up big bonus points in the senior competition with impressive outright victories over Dergholm and Edenhope respectively.
Wando Vale also had a massive first innings victory over Merino by 241 runs, but chose not to chase outright points. In the juniors, Edenhope’s Gavin Smith took a hat-trick against Merino.
Merino v Wando Vale
Wando Vale resumed at 1-66 chasing Merino’s first innings total of 109. Lionel Balzan and Troy O’Connell extended their unbroken second wicket partnership from 34 to 168 with a powerful display of batting on a comparatively slow Merino Recreation Reserve.
When the score was 200, O’Connell was caught by Matt Kurzman from the bowling of Matt Koutroubas for 88 and a 100 runs later, Balzan was the third wicket to fall when Matt Kurzman was able to get through his defences and shatter his stumps for 157.
Kyle Carlin (19) was the only other Wando Vale batsman to reach double figures in the team total of 350. Kurzman was the outstanding performer with the ball for Merino with 4-60 from his 14 overs.
Merino batted again and reached 1-74 with Josh Searle on 41no and Nathan Clarke 30no.
Wando Vale won by 241 runs on the first innings and scored 26 points to Merino’s nine.
Dergholm v Casterton
Casterton resumed at 1-46 with an overall lead of 87 runs over Dergholm. The big decision for Casterton’s Joe McArlein was when to declare the innings closed to maximise his own team’s bonus points and also the chance of outright victory.
As events unfolded, he got the balance right. The overnight batsmen struggled for early runs against a Dergholm opening attack of Jacob Shannon and Ken Dixon. When the score was 59, Ricky Killey was trapped in front by Jacob Shannon for 36. Kane Forbes then arrived at the batting crease for a masterful innings of controlled batsmanship.
McArlein (6) was dismissed with the score at 3-92, LBW to Damian Wombwell. Forbes and Sam Penfold then decided to attack the bowling as the runs began to flow freely.
After a fourth wicket partnership of 124 in much better than even time, Jacob Shannon snared his second wicket when Sam Penfold was caught by Nathan Heron for 53.
After a rollicking 42-run partnership for the fifth wicket, McArlein declared the Casterton innings closed at 4-258. Forbes’ 116 not out was made in just 100 minutes.
Top contributor with the ball for the Scrubbers was Jacob Shannon with 2-76. Casterton had 41 overs to dismiss Dergholm to gain the outright points. Jacob Shannon (0) was bowled by Ricky Killey and the Scrubbers were off to a bad start at 1-0.
Leonard Dixon and Andrew Plummer (20) took the score to 21 before Plummer was caught by Ken Jeffrey from a lofted shot off the bowling of Ricky Killey. Nathan Heron (0) and Damian Wombwell (9) didn’t stay long as the Scrubbers slumped to 4-44.
Captain Leonard Dixon and Justin Carlin added 44 valuable runs for Dergholm as time and overs continued to run out. Carlin (15) was finally dismissed caught Brad Talbot off Forbes, the first of Forbes’ four wickets for the afternoon.
The departure of Justin Carlin was a signal for a big push by the Casterton bowlers. The last six Dergholm batsmen fell for just 12 runs as the Scrubbers were all out for 100 in the 37th over, just four overs short of saving the outright defeat.
Forbes capped off a brilliant afternoon with 4-14 from 9 overs, while Joe McArlein (3-30) and Rick Killey (2-13) chimed in with valuable wickets. Casterton won outright by 199 runs and scored 41 points and Dergholm 11.