Bulldogs stunning day

Scott Barnett (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

A strange day of cricket has left Bundoora United a step closer to locking in a Diamond Valley Cricket Association Money Shield top four spot.

Sitting fourth on the ladder, the Bulldogs started their two-day match against third placed Greensborough on Saturday.

With plenty on the line, not many people would have expected the Bulldogs to have already claimed first innings points at stumps on day one.

Bulldogs captain Joel Thompson was one left stunned by the day’s play.

“It was a strange day, I can not believe it,” he said. “It’s third versus fourth and finals are on the line.

“We were prepared to fight to the end. For us, a bit of luck went our way and we were able to have a good day.”

Greensborough won the toss and decided to bat. It would be a decision it would later regret as it was bowled out for just 54 in 40 overs.

Scott Barnett took 6-13 off his 15 overs, while Myer Zeally took 4-13 off his 14 overs.

Thompson said their whole bowling group bowled well.

“It’s good to see Myer get some reward,” he said. “He’s been bowling well throughout the year with not much luck and he was a bit flat about it.

“Scott does what he does.”

With only a small total to chase, the Bulldogs first aim was to make sure they got the runs to claim first innings points.

They were 5-150 at stumps with a 96 run lead. William Brennan top scored with 64.

Thompson said they would look to bat on when they resume on day two.

“We were sitting there chasing down the runs and then worked out what was next,” he said.

“We want to give the guys a bit of a hit and continue to score. We will reassess at some point what we are going to do.

“Double points [outright win] is a good things especially at this point of the year.”

Among those still to bat is Thompson, who is the division’s leading run scorer.

Thompson said while they wanted to give the others a bat, it was a chance to give his dislocated ankle a bit more rest.

“I’m coming off a dislocated ankle two weeks ago,” he said. “I pushed my rehab a little bit to have my best chance of being able to play.

“I was in a moon boot for just under two weeks, the doctors said I’m pretty lucky.”

“Bowling them out for 50 gives me an extra seven days and it’s good to see the other guys get a decent bat.”

The six points already in the bag moves the Bulldogs ahead of Greensborough on the ladder.

Thompson said they only have one aim for the rest of the regular season, make finals.

“If we can win, it takes out having to rely on other results,” he said. “Last year, just missing out still hurts us and drives us.

“We’re in a good position to play finals which is really pleasing.”

In other matches, Eltham is in the box seat to beat Laurimar. The Panthers at 1-57 in reply to 99.

Banyule made 9-221 against Bundoora Park, while Lower Eltham is 3-17 in reply to Lalor Stars 171, while Plenty made 197 against Montmorency.