A high five from Lucas Dredge has Footscray primed for an assault on an outright result against a dismal Casey-South Melbourne in the Victorian Premier Cricket.
Dredge was back to his devastating best for the Bulldogs, taking 5-17 off seven overs at Casey Fields to destroy the Swans’ middle and lower orders and leave the hosts all out for 61.
Bulldogs captain Dylan Kight was full of praise for the bowler.
“He was just bowling fast and getting it in the right areas,” Kight said. “He came back from an injury this year. He’s been taking it slowly but surely to get it right, but he’s making up for lost ground now.”
The early damage was inflicted by Footscray’s new-ball operators Hamish Winter-Irving and Jonah Koch. Winter-Irving took 2-23 off nine overs, including four maidens, while Koch went one better with 3-20 off seven overs.
So damaging was Footscray’s bowling attack, it sent down only 23 overs in a nice freshen-up for the team.
The main beneficiary of the impressive bowling was wicketkeeper Kight, who took five catches and none of the acrobatic kind.
“They put it in the right areas, made them play and – lucky enough – they nicked a lot of balls,” Kight said. “They were all pretty straightforward catches.”
Footscray was never going to miss out on first-innings points, but the rest of the day was about positioning itself for a run at an outright.
The Bulldogs were a bit scratchy early in their innings, passing the target three down, but once first innings points were under lock and key they hit the launch button.
Greg Munro’s 38 off 51 got the Bulldogs past the target before Kight (85 off 76) and Hayden Butterworth (54 off 79) accelerated the scoring.
Kight is one of the form batsmen in the competition with 624 runs at an average of 69.3.
He admits that he missed out on a “golden chance” to get his first century since round two, but he can’t complain as his knock alone out-scored the whole Swans team.
Footscray declared at 7-231, a lead of 170 with a massive 24 overs to bowl late on day one.
“We were able to declare a lot earlier than we planned on,” Kight said. “We wanted to give ourselves at least 20 overs to bowl at them.”
Batting for a second time, Casey-South Melbourne finished the day on 4-62, still trailing by 108 runs.