Posted by Ben McLean on Monday, 14 Oct 2013 at 8:47am

Redemption came in the form of 4 points on Saturday afternoon for Knox Gardens 1st XI at Kings Park. A complete effort highlighted by the continuing sparkling form of opening duo Jarrod Butcher and Shan Small.

The pair combined for a stand of 84 when Smally (40) fell in the 19th over after skipper Wayne McInerney won the toss and elected to bat in fairly flukey, blustery conditions. Nav Singh came to the crease and he and Butcher combined for an excellent 55 run stand that allowed our middle order to capitalize on a fantastic start. Navís departure (18) brought Wayne McInerney to the crease and a mix up saw the unfortunate demise of Butcher for a well compiled 64. Back to back fifties for our very own Country Week representative and he looks to be in for a great year.

To Wayneís credit he continued on where Butchy left off and took to the Upper Gully attack blasting 2 6ís and a boundary in a 25 ball cameo that yielded 34 runs and an important partnership with young Zach Flintoff of 47 runs. Boof came in a played a quick knock and the damage had been done with the side heading into the sheds 5/207. Zach finished unbeaten on 22 and has still not been dismissed in the first XI.

Our bowlers maintained excellent lines and held Upper Gully to 35 at the ten over mark. The first wicket fell in the 15th over off the bowling of Sime Grasser when the old fox Trav Mulder held a screamer to break the opening partnership. From there things continued well for Knox Gardens with a fine spell from Adam Metherall 1/29 (8) and Zach Flintoff 2/30 (7). Adam Wild came on to ice the game and Upper Gully finished up 7/164 some 43 runs behind.

In all aspects a very clinical victory for our 1st XI and we outplayed our opponents in every aspect of the match. Congratulations to Wayne McInerney on his first win as captain also.

In the 2ís Matty Young sent a timely reminder to selectors ahead of the T20ís that he is still a force to be reckoned with. Coming to the crease with plenty of overs remaining Young blasted an unbeaten 60 that included a number of maxiís and 5 boundaryís. Brett Morrison won the toss and elected to bat and after losing regular wickets some solid batting in the middle order saw the side reach 6/184.

Valuable contributions came from Ben McLean 25, Corne Mostert 29 and big Ash Thompson 22 but it was the clean hitting from Matt Young that stole the show. Upper Gully started well with both openers getting starts but it was new Knox Gardens player Dan (Fletch) Foden claiming the first two scalps and his first wickets for the club. He finished with 2/12 (5). In the end the weight of runs was too much for Upper Gully and the boys recorded a solid win, bowling their opponents out in the 37th over 32 runs short. Other wicket takers were Sean Reid 2/33 (8) Ash Thompson 2/38 (6) and Rhys Marget 2/3 (1.4).

An inexperienced 3rd XI travelled to Upper Gullyís top oval and faced a side with a number of talented players. Skipper Jason Buljubasic lost the toss and Upper Gully got on the front foot immediately. In the end the Upper Gully lads put on 307 after their 40 overs in an innings that comprised 21 6ís. Best of our bowlers were Sam Bakker 3/40 (8) and Manoj Wijekulisurya 0/7 (4) in what was a tough afternoon.

In reply and to Jasonís credit the boys showed plenty of fight. One of the most important things that young cricketers need to learn is to put value on your wicket and Jason led by example carving out 23 and not allowing the opposition to bowl his side out. Young stars Sam Bakker (19*) and Josh Curnow (13*) batted extremely well through the last 10 overs to be 4/101 at the end of the 40 overs. All in all a tough day for the boys but the club will ensure you bounce back and will get around you this week.

Winning the toss and batting first, with a few handy inclusions this week, the 4ths were reasonably confident of a better showing than last week. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be the start that was hoped for with another top order collapse. This week, however, we fought it out with Ian Jongen (46) and young Jackson Marget  (34) putting together a match winning 87 run 5th wicket partnership. A handy 11 from Twiggy Wilkinson saw us finish with a competitive total of 8/122.

After a solid start by Rowville that saw them reach 1/41 off 11 overs, young Jack (1/5 off 2) knocked back the middle peg of no 3 to bring their gun batsman to the crease. Immediately tossing the ball to the experienced duo of Adrian Zandt and Ian Jongen to weave their magic saw Rowville reduced to 7/75 with Adrian (4/33) and Ian (0/8 off 6) applying the pressure at both ends. Nibby Jongen and Matty Tymensen each chipped in with a wicket each before Juzzy Woodcock rattled the stumps of the last 2 batsmen to see us home by 6 runs. A great team effort in the field with everyone supporting the efforts of the bowling attack.

This week will offer another challenge to our top sides as they face a very experienced Upwey in the first round of 2 day cricket. Good luck to all involved and lets strive for 4 wins in the next fortnight.


Simon Wilkinson


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