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DDCA T20 Comp: Round Robin Preview

After a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, the DDCA’s T20 competition is set to return on Saturday, and with a fresh new format. Sides from Turf 1, 2 and 3 have been randomly split into eight pools of three, with all round robin games to take place across three timeslots on Saturday, and the winner of each pool progressing to the quarter finals.

In another exciting development, a marquee match is set to take place under lights at Parkfield Reserve, with Parkfield taking on Fountain Gate from 6pm.

The competition’s been known to dish up surprises, with St Brigid’s/ St Louis famously downing a string of Turf 1 powerhouses to take out the 2018/19 instalment from the depths of Turf 2.

Read The Sporting Landscape’s comprehensive preview for all eight pools below.

Pool 1

Teams: Springvale South, Cranbourne, Hampton Park

Location: Casey Fields Oval #2

Fixture: Cranbourne vs Hampton Park (9.30am), Hampton Park vs Springvale South (12pm), Cranbourne vs Springvale South (2.30pm).

Players to watch: Keep an eye on Springy South duo Ryan Quirk and Jordan Wyatt, who are both nestled inside the top 3 Turf 1 run scorers.

Cranbourne also holds a potent duo in the form of the Sweeney brothers, who returned to the club in 2020 after lengthy Premier cricket stints. 33-year-old Peter Sweeney leads the Turf 2 wickets this season with 19 scalps at 9.21, and last season he won the Gartside Medal with 554 runs at an average of 79, making him a threat with both bat and ball. He played over 80 First XI games for Dandenong and was part of their 2010/11 premiership team. Peter’s older brother Mick, age 35, averaged 50 with bat in Turf 2 last season and is Cranbourne’s head coach. He also has 60 1st XI games under his belt for Dandy.

Prediction: Despite some resistance from Cranbourne, Springvale South will progress from this pool relatively unscathed. They’re the benchmark in the DDCA at present, with last year’s Turf 1 flag in the bank, and an undefeated start to this season with a whopping percentage of 2.92 to match. Expect to see the Bloods very deep in this T20 tournament.

Hampton Park have only banked one win in Turf 3 this season and should struggle in a tough group.

Pool 2

Teams: Buckley Ridges, Narre South, Coomoora

Location: Park Oval

Fixture: Buckley Ridges vs Coomoora (9.30am), Narre South vs Coomoora (12pm), Buckley Ridges vs Narre South (2.30pm)

Players to watch: Narre South’s international pair Jeevan Mendis and Jonty Jenner are set to bring plenty of entertainment on Saturday.

As Mendis hasn’t been available for every match this season it’ll be interesting to see if he fronts up for the Lions on Saturday. Assuming he does, he’ll be a valuable addition as he sits second in the Turf 1 runs and 3rd in the wickets this season, having only played four of a possible six games. The former Sri Lankan star has over 80 international games under his belt and played in two World Cups, he’s also featured for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash.

Another player to keep an eye on is Jersey international Jonty Jenner. Jenner was instrumental in Narre South earning promotion from Turf 2 in season 2018/19, striking a 146 and 165 among other big scores. Jenner has 30 T20 Internationals to his name for the small island of Jersey and has also sub-fielded in the place of Stuart Broad in a Test for England against South Africa.

Buckley Ridges also possess some serious quality in the form of Mahela Udawatte and Daniel Watson.

Udawatte has represented Sri Lanka in every format, albeit somewhat fleetingly with 19 games in total. The 36-year-old averaged 40 in Turf 1 last season and is averaging 34 from four hits this season

Champion player Daniel Watson has returned to Buckley after a year off, and can be damaging on his day with plenty of big T20 and Turf 1 hundreds to his name.

Prediction: Expect Turf 3 outfit Coomoora to struggle in what’s a very tough group. Who’s to advance will come down to a blockbuster clash between two of the stronger Turf 1 outfits in Buckley Ridges and Narre South.

Narre South have an exciting young team suited to the T20 format and could be spearheaded by internationals Jeevan Mendis and Jonty Jenner. Despite this, the miniscule Park Oval plays into Buckley’s hands as they can play the ground better than anyone, and should be too good regardless if this season’s form is anything to go by. Buckley progress.

Pool 3

Teams: North Dandenong, Heinz Southern Districts, Lyndale

Location: Barry Powell Reserve Oval #1

Fixture: Lyndale vs HSD (9.30am), North Dandenong vs HSD (12pm), Lyndale vs North Dandenong (2.30pm).

Players to watch: North Dandenong’s Ramneet Dhinsda is averaging 36 with bat in hand and sits 6th in the Turf 1 runs. Has a long Premier Firsts record to his name for Kingston Hawthorn and has also notched Super Slam half-centuries in the past.

Himesh Galhenage has been leading the way at Lyndale with 226 runs at 45, including a century against Keysborough. He’s nearly surpassed his run tally from last season and it’s only Christmas, in a very rich vein of form.

For HSD, all-rounder Triyan De Silva. Always poses a threat. He finished second in the runs and sixth in the wickets in Turf 2 last season. The Patterson duo have also been dangerous, with Ryan picking up 15 wickets at an average of 11 while Brent sits fifth in the Turf 2 runs with an average of 60.

Prediction: This shapes to be a really interesting group, with the traditionally weaker and perennial seventh-place Turf 1 finishers North Dandenong pitted against two of the better Turf 2 sides in HSD and Lyndale, who sit second and third respectively.

Wouldn’t be surprised if this group finishes one win apiece and is decided by net run rate, however based on current form expect to see North Dandenong qualify for the knockouts as they’re in a purple patch, sitting fourth in Turf 1.

Pool 4

Teams: Doveton, Narre Warren, Parkmore

Location: Robinson Reserve

Fixture: Doveton vs Parkmore (9.30am), Parkmore vs Narre Warren (12pm), Doveton vs Narre Warren (2.30pm)

Players to watch: Ryan Hendy has been leading the way with the ball for Doveton, picking up 15 wickets at the very tidy average of 9.87 this season.

Dulan Waddage has been a standout performer for Parkmore this season, having struck 198 runs at an average of 39.

For Narre Warren, Josh Dinger could pose a threat with ball in hand as he has nine wickets at 14 to date this season. Keep your eye on Zach Allen (155 runs) and Luke Clarke (averaging 41) with the bat as well.

Prediction: Another very open group, and the fact that every team was either promoted or relegated last season makes the form guide even harder to read. Like Pool 3, don’t be surprised if this also comes down to net run rate.

Doveton, who were promoted from Turf 3 last season, sit fifth in Turf 2, while the relegated Narre Warren sit fourth. Parkmore earnt promotion into Turf 1 last season and have only picked up one win to date, but their percentage means they sit sixth and and a very open table only has them a game out of fourth.

It’s a toss of the coin as to who will win out of Doveton and Narre Warren, but expect Parkmore trump them both, even if slightly, and progress to the quarter finals.

Pool 5

Teams: Hallam Kalora Park, St Mary’s, Beaconsfield

Location: Hallam Recreation Reserve

Fixture: Hallam Kalora Park vs Beaconsfield (9.30am), St Mary’s vs Beaconsfield (12pm), Hallam Kalora Park vs St Mary’s (2.30pm)

Players to watch: Hallam Kalora Park are sitting pretty in Turf 1 and with good reason, as there’s talent everywhere you look at Frawley Road. Sachith Jayasingha is putting together a season to remember with the ball, having already picked up 16 wickets at an average of 9.56, while stalwarts Jordan Hammond and Leigh Booth bring plenty of experience and are up there in both the runs and wickets tallies for Turf 1.

Former Buckley Ridges champion Susantha Pradeep has found himself at St Mary’s this season. Pradeep’s tidy medium pacers can be difficult to get away, and he’s pick up a 4-fa in Turf 1 this season, while also striking 65 not out against Narre South, however he’s failed to reach double figures in any other innings. The Saints Raveen Nanayakkara is another player to keep your eye on, and has shown he can go big striking 120 against Parkmore this season.

For Beaconsfield, Tyler Clark has been the standout with bat in hand, plundering 287 runs at an average of 57.4, while Jack Burchill and Mark Cooper have both claimed 10 wickets apiece.

Prediction: Arguably the strongest pool in the competition, it says two Turf 1 sides in Hallam and St Mary’s pitted against the cream of the crop in Turf 2. Beaconsfield are undefeated to date and their whopping percentage of 2.34 is more than double that of second-place.

Still, the gap in standard between Turf 1 and 2 is significant, as evidenced by clubs like Narre Warren winning promotion to the top echelon only to find themselves back in Turf 2 a season later. Beacy do however have a great chance to test themselves against Turf 1 outfits, and don’t be surprised if they’re able to knock-off cellar dwellers St Mary’s.

Hallam were crowned Turf 1 champions the season before last, and a large portion of that team has stuck together, expect them to be too good for St Mary’s and Beaconsfield and book their place in the quarter finals.

Pool 6

Teams: Springvale, Keysborough, Dandenong West

Location: Keysborough Reserve

Fixture: Keysborough vs Springvale (9.30am), Springvale vs Dandenong West (12pm), Keysborough vs Dandenong West (2.30pm)

Players to watch: Despite Keysborough’s floundering position at the bottom of Turf 2, Yohan Arumadura sits second in the runs with 246 at an average of 41.

But Dandy West is where the interest lies, with Sri Lankan internationals Nuwan Kulasekara and Malinga Bandara lining up for the Turf 3 outfit. Bandara has nine wickets at 13 this season, while Kulasakera has nine wickets at an average of eight ad 192 runs to match, averaging 96 if you don’t mind.

To think players of that calibre will be lining up in this competition is tough to comprehend. Kulasekara after all was once the world’s number one ranked ODI bowler and has played over 250 matches for Sri Lanka across all three formats.

Prediction: In T20’s more so than anything, there’s a capacity for standout individuals to win games off their own back if they really turn it on, and Kulasekara and Bandara are two players that can and have done that. For this reason, Turf 3 high-flyers Dandy West will progress ahead of Turf 2’s Keysborough and secure a quarter-final berth.

Pool 7

Teams: Berwick, Lynbrook, Silverton

Location: Fotheringham Reserve

Fixture: Silverton vs Lynbrook (9.30am), Berwick vs Lynbrook (12pm), Silverton vs Berwick (2.30pm)

Players to watch: DDCA champion Matt Chasemore, who once featured for Victoria’s Second XI, had hoped to drop out of Turf 1 to focus on playing with his son in Berwick’s seconds and thirds. However he’s found himself back in Turf 1 in recent weeks and if he lines up in the T20’s will most certainly be one to watch. A batsman that knows how to build an innings, it’s worth noting he’s lead both Crambourne and Berwick to the Cricket Victoria Regional Big Bash crown on the hallowed turf of the MCG.

Another Bear that could be set for a big day is Jordy Cleland. Cleland took over Berwick’s captaincy this season and is only averaging 19 with bat in hand. He seems to be always handy for a 20 or 30 but doesn’t go with it as much as he’d like, however when he does it’s a sight to behold, like the last instalment of this competition three seasons ago where he bashed his way to 133 against Narre South.

Prediction: Despite a below average start to the Turf 1 season by their standards, Berwick have been blessed with an easy group featuring to Turf 3 sides and should progress unscathed.

Pool 8

Teams: Parkfield, Fountain Gate, Berwick Springs

Location: Parkfield Reserve

Fixture: Parkfield vs Berwick Springs (1pm), Berwick Springs vs Fountain Gate (3.30pm), Parkfield vs Fountain Gate (6pm)

Players to watch: Parkfield’s Dishan Malalasekara has 188 runs, which sees him in fourth on the Turf 2 leaderboard.

Davi Premi of Fountain Gate has struck to half centuries in Turf 3, while Hasindu Waduge is Turf 3’s leading wickettaker with 14 scalps at a very tidy 8.5.

Prediction: Expect this pool to be decided by the 6pm clash under lights between Parkfield and Fountain Gate. Berwick Springs are floundering at the bottom of Turf 3 and shouldn’t pose a threat to either side.

It could be a narrow affair between the Parkfield and the Gators, but Parkfield are playing on their home turf and reside in Turf 2, so should get the job done and advance.

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