ROUND 3 WASH UP
Posted by Ben McLean on Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 at 9:24am

Knox Gardens 1st XI failed to capitilise on another useful start on Saturday going down to Upwey at home.

Upwey had the best of the conditions winning the toss and batting first on week 1. After a fairly solid start KGCC had them on the ropes when they ran out captain Mulchay (68) at 5/146. We then rolled through the lower order to be in the box position at 8/173. To Upwey’s credit their bottom order batted really well and cashed in during the final 5 over to be 9/245 at the close of play.

The mood in the rooms was typically buoyant despite the last half an hour not going entirely the home sides way. The wicket takers for the day were Simon Grasser 3/46 (13) Nav 2/33 (9) and the pick of the bowlers Adam Wild although only taking 1 wicket went for 41 runs from 24 overs. The wickets are sure to follow for “Wilba” as he looks dangerous whenever the ball is in his hands.

The teams returned on Saturday under grey skies and good bowling conditions. Again our two openers Shan Small and Jarrod Butcher were instrumental in seeing off the openers. They put together their 3rd consecutive opening stand of 50+ and when Butcher (36) departed at 1/73 the young Falcons were in front. Nav Singh came to steady the ship and some tight bowling from an experienced opposition saw us 3/100 at tea with Shan Small making a fighting knock of 40.

Rear guard action was required by our middle order but unfortunately wickets fell regularly. KGCC lost 9 for 52 runs. Some good batting by Trav Mulder and Simon Grasser gave the home crowd something to cheer about late but the damage had been done. Eventually Knox Gardens were all out in the 73rd over for 176.

The 1 dayers return over the coming cup weekend and we get into the first round of the T20’s this Tuesday against local rival Knoxfield. Hopefully our 1st XI can get a couple of wins over the next week to put us back to level pegging. Some really good signs from the group and I’m positive they will bounce back.

The 2nd XI captained by Rhys Marget were at “The Dome” in Upwey and a big score in week 1 was always on the cards. After a cracking start the skipper was caught on the fence for 17 with the score at 1/18. His opening partner Scotty McInerney made a classy 43 while Benny McLean continued his great start to the year with 41. Dovey Hay was the only batsman to reach the 50 mark making 55 in his first start for the season.

Speaking exclusively with me after the game Hay said “I was seeing them like a family meatlovers out there today, I had the opportunity to post a big score but I threw it away like on old garlic bread crust”.

The lads were confident they had the runs on the board ultimately posting 267. Other notables included Sean Reid 35, Matty Young 31 and Daine Vernon 20*.

Tight bowling was the order of the day on day 2. Alas the lads couldn’t really ever find any rhythm and at tea found themselves in big trouble at 2/179. Things didn’t get any better for the boys and a strong Upwey side passed us 2 down and still 19 overs in the bank. Hopefully the lads can bounce back with the ball this week as there are some extremely encouraging signs from this group.

The 3rd XI were keen to put a horrific round 2 result behind them when the hosted Upwey on the bottom oval. The match was set up by a fantastic opening partnership by skipper Jason Buljubasic and Andrew Potts. The pair led this young side from the front and it was an excellent display of patience and waiting for the loose one.

Jason was dismissed when the score was on 73 making a solid 24. His partner was set to go on for a big score but he was out shortly after tea making a gritty 51. Sam Bakker chimed in with a well made 26 and looks to be a prospective talent. All up the 3rds made 186 on a very sluggish outfield.

On day 2 early wickets were key and the opening bowlers delivered with both Alex Doropoulos and Dan Foden taking 2 a piece. There was a quiet hum around the ground as a small crowd gathered to see the great man have a trundle and they weren’t disappointed when Tehan Wijekulasuriya was thrown the ball. He proceeded to dismantle the opposition and ended up with 3/36 and was the pick of the bowlers.

All in all a great result from this playing group and well done to Jason on turning it around. Certain to be more wins for these guys down the track.

Well, for the 4ths, it really was a tale of two very different days. Winning the toss against Johnson Park, we decided to have a bat. Thommo and Andy G got us off to a solid start with a 58 run partnership in quick time. Chris Stuckey then joined Thommo to keep the momentum going. When Thommo retired with a belligerent 102 next to his name (7 6s & 12 4s), Nibby Jongen joined Chris to finish off the day with us in the comfortable position of 1/207 off 35 with Chris on 50 and Nibby on 39. After an early wicket with the ball, things got away from us with JP 1/78 off 18 at drinks although we finished off well leaving them 4/126 off 35.  Jeff Greenway with a tidy 1/5 off 7 led the way. At the end of day 1 we felt pretty good about our position.

Day 2, however, started ominously with JP looking to make amends. A bloke called Joe Dantini, unavailable last week, added some spice to their bowling attack. Apparently he was JP’s Wilba about 10 years ago and, while he hadn't played seriously for a few years, he was still very sharp and had a bag full of tricks. Chris Stuckey was looking to settle in again when he was c&b for a well made 51. Nibby was joined by Haydos and they withstood the experienced bowlers for a few overs before Nibby was unfortunately caught at backward square for a well made 48, unfortunately just short of a milestone but the experience in the middle will see him do that and more in the future - well done Nibby!!  Dantini finished with 2/4 off 8 but the job was done with JP into our middle order.  In what is becoming a trend for the 4ths, the remainder of the innings became a bit of a procession.  From 1/218 (1 retired) to all out 248 with Haydos standing firm on 7 not out having withstood the experienced and talented JP attack for 27 overs.

 

We thought we were a chance with JP needing 123 off 35 and 6 wickets in hand but we needed to bowl well.  Unfortunately, all bowlers suffered rhythm problems with a too short or too full length and legside line being contagious.  JP’s #5 batsmen Gary Saultry, another experienced veteran, who was lucky to survive a plumb LBW last week did a ‘Thommo’ carving 103 in quick time with the majority through or over the fine leg to mid wicket boundaries.  JP finished on 6/260 from 61 overs having scored 2/134 from 26 overs on day 2.  Disappointing doesn’t quite describe it but you just can’t buy experience and JP’s Div 7 team has plenty of that!!

 

There are always positives, however, with Nibby making his highest ever score; Haydos taking his first senior wicket and spending more valuable time at the crease and showing others how to place value on your wicket; Chris Stuckey finding form at the top of the order, and; Jeff further enhancing his reputation finishing with 1/24 off 10 (after 1/5 off 7 last week).  Thanks to Thommo for coming down and showing how it can be done……..in 1’s, 4’s and 6’s.

Best of luck for the coming 1 dayers – Go Falcons

Simon Wilkinson              

Chief Executive Officer of National Cricket Operations

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