Cricket has returned to the Seymour area in the first day of the two-day format.
In the Seymour District Cricket Association A-grade on Saturday, Yea took on Avenel, Tallarook hosted Broadford and Eastern Hill held Kilmore.
Despite what the A-grade ladder shows, the battle to stave off the wooden spoon has become the unlikely spectacle of the round after the first day’s play.
Hosting Kilmore at Kings Park in Seymour, Eastern Hill sent the visitors in to bat with the hopes of early dismissals and start the chase before the end of play.
And in one part the home side did receive its wish, sending Kilmore opener Ben Trezise back to the pavilion for 0, and the visitors to 1-0, courtesy of Fraser Lewis’ bowling.
However, Kilmore got going and, with the help of Ashley Lovick, who notched up 62 batting at number five, the visitors reached 8-157 off the allocated 68 overs.
The pick of the home team’s bowlers was Ben Bryant, who grabbed four wickets for 36 runs off his 22 overs.
Eastern Hill coach Craig White said Bryant starred early on for the home side.
‘‘We started really well and our opener was really good. He bowled 11 maidens in 22 overs,’’ he said.
‘‘Taking 4-36 was a fantastic effort. He went unchanged for a long time so big credit to him.
‘‘Having Kilmore at 7-73 we were certainly on top, but they fought really hard for that eighth wicket partnership and made a big impact (76 runs).’’
White said the side bowled well right up until the final stand of the day.
‘‘Realistically we should have gone a little better than that. They can bat on, which they will, and if they could get another 20 runs that’d be great for them.
‘‘I’d really like to see us stand up and just be patient when we’re batting. If we have 60 overs to face it’s a maximum of three runs an over, so we can still make a game of this,’’ he said.
In the other two matches of the round, Avenel has the Yea Tigers in a stranglehold and Tallarook is in control against Broadford.
The Tigers won the toss and elected to bat against Avenel, but the away side’s bowlers carved up Yea, dismissing the home side all-out for 69 off 32.3 overs.
Tom Burke (3-24) and Robert Brown (3-18) bagged three wickets each, while Max Lawrence and Kyle Hippisley nabbed two each.
With 18 overs remaining in the day’s play Avenel reached the commanding position of 2-65 and at one stage was 0-59 before losing two quick wickets at the end of the day.
Despite being shortened due to rain, the home side grabbed the ascendency by recording 5-125, in the Tallarook-Broadford match.
Wickets were shared among the bowlers and none of the Tallarook top order managed to get off the ground, with Leigh Irving top-scoring with 28.