Top Four teams lock in finals berths
Posted by Ben McLean on Sunday, 22 Feb 2009 at 10:52pm

It's been an amazing run for the top 4 sides since christmas, with only 1 loss, that being the Twenty20 game decided by a bowl off! So with the momentum building into finals it's vital that every player hits the training track this week.

The 5ths have managed to get blokes on the field the last 2 weeks, but key batsman Barry Wild is not in the same form as he was earlier in the season, with only 7 runs since Christmas, come on Baz make the last game a belter.  Steve Agius has been in fine form however, he's punched out 2 50's this season and is well placed for presentation night silverware.  Ash Hawkes also performed well with the bat 45* on Saturday will do his chances of a recall into the 4's no end of good.  Anthony Howes also did well with 14* and 2 wickets.

The 4's had a bye last game and due to the "wash out" will probably only recieve 3 points when other sides get a minimum of 6 for their bye's.  Nonetheless, winning form will place them in the finals.  In this game John Mills ran himself out on 48, but combined with Ray Phillips 38, and put on an opening partnership of 74.  Bart Hoggett knocked out 48 runs in the middle order and has had a pretty good season with the bat.  Blake Lines took 4/36 and Greg Crook 3/41 were the pick of the bowlers, with Matt van Lith taking 2/50. The 4's won by 65 runs, and have a bloody good side heading into finals.

The 3's will move into the top 2 this week with an outright win over Rowville.  Sean Reid was the destroyer with his pace bowling, taking 5/29 & 4/16.  Ash Thompson took 3/20 in the first innings and punched out a fast 68.  Rob Howes took toll on the bowling also scoring 68, and Warren Comerford hit form with 69*.  Zane Thomas and Gavin Harding both hit 27, whilst Daine Vernon is now a bowler again taking 3/54.  The 3's ended up hitting 286 off 42 overs, 6.8 rpo, and won by an innings & 54 runs.

Belgrave tested the 2's by putting 256 on the board in week 1.  Nav Singh had the pick of the bowling figures with 3/43, Ian Jongen 2/29 and Jarrod Thorp 2/30 also bowled well.  Simon Taylor 24 and Nav Singh 29 both spent valuable time at the crease leading into finals, whilst Jarrod Thorpe looked good at the crease with 61.  Despite the solid start the team was 6/149 at tea.  But Jason Buljubasic 69, and Ben McLean 103* put on a season best 165 run 7th Wicket partnership to take the score to 311 and eventually win the game by 77 runs and prove the depth of batting may make the difference in finals with 5 batsman now scoring over 200 runs for the season in the 2's.

The 1st XI pushed hard for an outright victory against The Basin, having them 5/16 in the 8th over of the first innings.  The win was setup in the first innings of the game however, with Josh Phillips 100* posting his first ton and Sampath Hettiarchchige scoring 95 of the best.  The two put on a 111 run partnership, with some solid batting from Simon Grasser getting Josh his ton in the last over of the innings. Adam Wild continued to lead the way with the ball taking 6/51, and a couple more wickets next game gives him a chance at the association average.

A magical 168 points from yours truely this week has him best player of the round and takes the one and only $1,000 player of the round award, congrats, pity he didn't pick himself in his own team though.  Jmac and Daine tied for best team this round, so unfortunately miss out on the $10,000 that was up for grabs there, bad luck fellas.

Daine's Team
Dalton, Mark  21
Gregory, Joshua  41
Gregory, Mitchell 15
Hettiarachchige, Sampath © 210
Howes, Robert  88
Lepore, Ryan  6
Mulder, Travis  28
Thomas, Zane  52
Thompson, Ashley 125
Thorp, Jarrod  95
Vernon, Daine  37

Jmac's Team
Butcher, Jarrod  34
Gregory, Mitchell 15
Harding, Gavin  27
Howes, Robert  88
Marget, Rhys  11
Mulder, Travis  28
Singh, Navinder  75
Thomas, Zane  52
Thompson, Ashley © 250
Thorp, Jarrod  95
Van Lith, Matt  43

Lastly the upcoming sportsman's night has been replaced with a beer tasting night organised by Crazy Rob Cottle, mainly due to the fact that Bill has been quite crook in hospital at may not be out by the end of the week.  Of course the alcohol will be served responsibly by Crazy, who's also going to BBQ some hotdogs for everyone.  It's only going to cost $15 for food and the 5 samplers and if you name the beers in the correct order you have the chance to win a bottle of Jim Beam.  Get down to the event and support the club as we build up for finals.

Don't forget about the tennis on Friday night tOO.


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