RINGWOOD star opening batsman David King made his second century in as many weeks as the Rams battled to a slight advantage after the first day of a clash against Dandenong at Shepley Oval on Saturday.
The Rams posted 237 with King (106) batting for 75 overs and leading his side out of trouble after they had fallen to 7-156 midway through the day.
King teamed with tail-enders Pat Ashton (16) and Blair Allan (25) to get the visitors past 200 before they were bowled out by the Panthers attack, featuring Test ace James Pattinson and his brother, state paceman Darren.
The Rams were equally pleased to snare the prized wicket of Panthers opener Tom Donnell with the second-last ball of the day as all-rounder Ian Holland rattled his stumps to leave the Panthers 1-30 at stumps.
Rams captain Ben Osborne said Donnell's wicket could prove vital heading into the second day's play. "Getting Donnell out was a massive wicket. He is one of the form batsmen in the competition and it gives us extra confidence heading into next week."
Osborne also left no doubt how highly he rates King, whose marathon innings followed a century in the Rams' run chase of 366 in the previous round.
"That was a super knock from David," Osborne said.
"He was backing up his ton from last week and facing two blokes who have played Test cricket — it just shows what he can do. I can't speak highly enough of him. It's fantastic how he stays in his game."
The match resumes at Shepley Oval, Dandenong, this Saturday at noon.