TRARALGON and Central Gippsland made winning starts to their Gippsland Cricket League campaigns at the weekend.
The Tornados breezed past Warragul in a low-scoring affair, while Central Gippsland scored a surprise victory over Sale-Maffra.
CENTRAL GIPPSLAND 9/167 def SALE MAFFRA 143
Central Gippsland caused the big upset of round one by defeating last year’s premier Sale-Maffra.
The underdog went in without stars Rhys Holdsworth and Andrew Philip, who were trialling for Victoria Country, but managed a memorable heist in their absence.
Acting captain and veteran Anthony Bloomfield won the toss at Bundalaguah and proceeded to bat first.
Bloomfield peeled off a fine 55 at the top of the order and received great support from Daniel Siddle (30) and Fraser Smith (30) as the visitor finished with a competitive 9/167 from its 50 overs.
Rohan Diamond was Sale-Maffra’s best bowler with 3/14.
Sale-Maffra struggled with the run chase, but new skipper Jack Tatterson (43) stood up to the plate along with Josh Rurahwe (32).
The premier only lasted 40 overs and was dismissed for 143.
Tim Dowe (3/34), Chris Johnson (2/21) and Mitchell Cowell (2/28) starred with the ball for the unexpected victors.
TRARALGON 5/93 def WARRAGUL 89
Warragul elected to bat first at the picturesque Hallora Recreation Reserve but lived to regret the decision as the side collapsed to be all out for a miserable 89 off only 39.2 overs.
Trevor Gardiner (21) top scored for the home team, while Ben Julin was outstanding for Traralgon, capturing 5/25 off 8.2 overs.
He received great assistance from Todd Mann, skipper Michael Warne and Matt Golding.
Traralgon was able to reach the low target comfortably, losing five wickets along the way.
Jordan Gilmore steered his team to victory with an excellent 41 not out and Traralgon closed at 5/93.
Aaron Fawcett (3/37) was the stand out with the ball for Warragul.
BAIRNSDALE 180 def LEONGATHA 118
Bairnsdale won the toss at Lucknow and decided to bat.
Prolific GCL batsman Ray Stevens notched a handy 51 and was well supported by Rohan Blanford, who contributed a valuable 47.
Bairnsdale finished with 180 off 49.1 overs.
Tim Wightman (3/28), Alan Jenkins (2/18) and Shane Dole (2/34) were best with the ball for Leongatha.
In reply Leongatha was cruising at 1/74, but collapsed to be all out for 118.
Only Thomas Wyatt (40) and Jason Wilson (25) could make any impression with the bat for the visitors.
Fine bowling from Nick Davies (3/12), Dion Holden (3/15) and skipper Marcus Latham (2/20) sealed the victory for last year’s runner up.