Round 12 Match Report
Posted by Ben McLean on Monday, 24 Feb 2014 at 4:29pm

1st XI

Losing the toss and bowling at home the lads struck early. With bottom placed Belgrave 2/28 one may have been forgiven that this may have been a formality. To Belgrave’s credit they showed real fight and their counter punch was nothing short of brutal. Daisy Adams showed he is still a force to be reckoned with bowling 18 overs on the trot in the first session with the handy return of 1/21. Wickets were also taken by Zach and Wilba. At tea the game was evenly poised at 3/120 with 46 overs gone.

After tea the skipper called on Trav Mulder and the old fox delivered removing the dangerous Sri Lankan  Fernando for a very quick 49. Belgrave upped the tempo and put the foot down. Wickets fell fairly regularly but the scoring didn’t yield. After a shower and a chance to re-group the last overs of Day 1 were evenly spilt but Belgrave had got to 283. A formidable total but one the players had the belief of chasing down. Congrats to Belgrave’s John Levell for a splendid 120 and a huge congrats to our own Zach Flintoff on his first senior 5fa for the cost of 56 runs.

 Day 2 saw similarly cool conditions. A quick start was what was needed from the openers and early the signs were promising until Shan Small got a nick to first slip. Nav and Butch dug in and at 1/50 it was game on. Unfortunately Butch played at a wider one and nicked to slip. Wayne needed to step up and take the game on and when he spooned one to cover with the score on 65 the game was certainly in Belgrave’s favour. Batting at 5 Zach got a leading edge and was gone for 8 and very next ball Rhys played at a wide one to have us reeling at 5/91. When Nav departed 15 minutes before tea the situation was dire at 6/109.

After tea Daisy and Boof Gregory scored freely but the total was too much. Daisy batted well for 38 but in the end our tail really didn’t fire a shot and the lads were bundled out for 159 in the 56th over.

Do or die next week vs Monbulk and everyone knows exactly what the prize is…. Good luck.

2nd XI

Bowling first on the fluky Belgrave oval the boys looked to bowl 5th placed Belgrave out chase them down quickly and secure a  top 2 finish. Following a similar trend to that of the 1’s the 2’s had Belgrave on the ropes at 2/14. An excellent partnership of 115 turned the game on its head and  when rain intervened with 10 overs remaining the Belgrave lads were 7/242 with still 10 overs to bat.

Early day 2 the KGCC bowlers finished the remaining 10 overs and the score ended up 9/270. Matty Young finished with 4/74 and Daine Vernon had them in all sorts with 2/59 off 24. Ash Hakes bowled with good control with 1/52 off 21 overs.

The decision to continue batting on day 2 ultimately left the result of a draw being possible as only 80 overs can be bowled for the day. After losing Dovey Hay early the top few failed to take advantage with Brett Morrison 32 Jez McKinnon 22 and Matt Young 28 all getting starts.

With the opportunity to salvage a draw, enter the man who was built for these situations, the wall of Knox Gardens… Sean Reid. With 34 overs remaining in the day the probability of him knocking up a quick fire 143 was less than likely. In true Reid fashion he proceeded to dead bat anything on the stumps and leave anything missing them, apparently much to the ire of the opposition. He with Daine Vernon and Gerard Jongen didn’t allow the Belgrave bowlers the chance to get the points and the team held on for a spirited draw. Still 2nd on the ladder and a win next week will secure top 2.

3rd XI

The 3’s played on the surface of the moon otherwise known as the bottom oval. Their opponent was the Knox City 2nd XI who from the looks certainly had some experience on their side against our young colts.

The boys won the toss and batted first. Jase Buljubasic and Corne batted very well and put on 88 for the 1st wicket. Corne notched up his 50 and departed soon after. The hero of the batting innings was with out a doubt the big hitting Matt Lambrick. He despatched the attack to all areas on his way to 89*. This enabled the guys to post a very respectable 247. Anthony Jongen (I keep typing his name) made a solid 33 in support.

Knox Gardens odds came in sharply when Knox City were 2/8 but the next 2 hours were ones this young side would rather forget. The middle order took control and at tea they were 4 down for 200 hundred. Knox City passed our boys 4 down in the 45th over and continued to bat the remainder of the day. Best of the bowlers was Jack Marget taking 3fa.

One more week lads and I am sure we can pull off a much needed and deserved win.

4th XI

By Greg Bakker

Can anybody explain the home ground advantage in playing at Llewellyn Reserve (2nd oval) for the first time this season? 

 

Anyway, after our disappointing 3 wicket loss to the ladder leader last round, we came up against our round 1 opponent in Knoxfield who, despite trouncing us in that game, were around our position on the ladder after 11 rounds.  Despite the promotion of a couple of our young batsmen to the 3s and playing on an unfamiliar surface, we went in with a reasonable amount of confidence. We still had a strong bowling attack so we looked forward to giving ourselves an opportunity.

 

Winning the toss, we chose to bat first.  With 3 players not being available the following week, the batting lineup was tweaked to ensure we did not have to bat short.  Having been 3/2 off 10 overs last time we played them, we were off to a better start - 3/24 off 16 overs!!  Still not the greatest start but Knoxfield were bowling a disciplined line and length. As has been the case a few times this season, a re-build was required. Enter Scotty…….hitting 4 4s and 3 6s in a hard hitting 59, Scotty got us back on track.  With Crookie contributing 10 (including a 5!), we ended the 1st stage of our innings at 5/106 with Adam Wylde (10) and Nixon (5) still at the crease.  Not a bad position considering we had Chris still in the shed for next week!

 

As we walked out to field, a few drops of rain started to fall from the dark clouds that had gathered around the area. What happened next requires a blow-by-blow description.  Crookie starting off with a run-through almost back flipped as his foot hit the crease.  Tossing a bit of dirt across the landing area, Crookie was more comfortable and went back to the top of his run up.  The 2nd ball would have taken middle stump out of the ground had it not hit the pads…….the ensuing argument with the young umpire who refused to tell Crookie what was wrong with it was the flame that lit the fuse!!  The 3rd ball took the gloves and was caught in slip by Matty.  The 4th ball took the outside edge with a blinder of a catch by Scotty who juggled the ball several times before completing the catch. The hat-trick ball was patted to gully before the 6th ball was edged/gloved down leg to be taken by Liam.  Wow, were we in the game.  Crookie had 3/0 off 1 over.  Scotty grabbed a wicket soon after and we had them 4/10 off 4 overs.  As I then said to the guys, those first 4 wickets were a bit too easy but the next 6 were going to be a hell of a lot harder to get. 

 

The no. 6 batsman was one of Knoxfield’s quicker bowlers who we welcomed to the crease, not for the fact that he was going to be the next wicket lost but this was our chance to stand up for our young gun Adam Wylde.  While Adam is playing senior cricket, he is still one of the youngest (possibly the youngest) in the team and also, possibly, the most height challenged who, while batting near the end of our innings, was peppered with short balls by this young guy.  The faster bowlers in our team were lining up to give him some of his own.  Crookie and Scotty followed by Chris turned up the chin music while a few fielders got up close and personal and let him know all about it.  To his credit, he said it’s what he’d expect and he didn’t flinch, swatting a few balls from around his face.  You’ve gotta love the competitive side of cricket!!

 

Unfortunately, the comment about the next 6 wickets being harder was proving to be prophetic as, not only was Robbie Maibaum (Knoxfield’s no. 5 and best batsman) still at the crease, the rain was starting to fall a little heavier and they started to look more comfortable.  Noting that the batsmen were handling the pace a bit too easily and, with the pitch becoming slippery in the conditions, we reverted to spin at both ends - Thihan’s leggies at one end and Nixon’s offies at the other.  While chin music didn’t work, a slower bouncing long-hop did as the no. 6 smacked the ball straight to deepish cover to give Thihan his first 4s wicket in his first over - 5/48 from 13 overs. 

 

Due to the rain, the ball was becoming like soap and our bowling was rendered ineffective.  As a result, good balls were easily defended and all bad balls were pounced upon and dispatched to the boundary. When we were forced to come off the ground for a 15 minute rain delay, Knoxfield’s score had progressed to 5/105 off 21 overs.  After the break, we attempted to put the brakes on as we bowled the remaining 14 overs.  While the no. 5 batsman batted very well, we had numerous opportunities to dismiss the no. 7 batsman but his luck was definitely in. When we suggested he buy a Tatts ticket, he actually agreed with us.  The day ended with Knoxfield on 5/170 and us with a lot of work to do…….and a ball to dry out!!

 

Starting the 2nd day 64 runs behind and with a lead around 80 considered a safe position, we needed 140 at an average of 4 runs an over. Looking for a solid start with wickets in hand, we could then push the rate up as we approached the end of the 35 overs.  With Adam and Nixon at the crease, a safe and solid start was almost assured.  The Knoxfield bowling, again, was right on the spot, particularly from a bowler who has been playing Div 3 this season joining them for the 2nd week.  Losing Nixon (15) at 124, Chris joined Adam.  Looking very, very scratchy (selectors, take note!), Chris tried to push the run rate along while at the other end, Adam just continued doing what he does so very, very well!!  Adam (51) finally departed, succumbing to another short ball from the bowler who peppered him the previous week, after a 64 run partnership with Chris.  That left us on 188, 18 runs ahead with 7 overs left.  Chris (31) and Callum O’Connor (11) saw us finally reach a score of 213, a lead of 43.  

 

Needing 44 to win with 5 wickets in hand, we went out with the intention of knocking over the last 5 wickets and getting our first win this year.  After a couple more dropped chances off “Tatts man”, we finally broke through to end a 145 run partnership with Robbie Maibaum contributing 88 (after a 91 last round!).  We needed 4 wickets, they needed 21 runs!  Enter Mr Stuckey, a Biologist (teacher) in his comeback season as a Bowlologist!  The new batsman lasted a couple of balls before being plumb LBW - 3 wickets needed, 17 runs for them.  The next victim poked at a ball outside off to be well caught by Alex D-Nop at 2nd slip - 2 wickets, 11 runs. That’s where the fairy tale ended as “Tatts man” survived a couple more times on his way to scoring the winning runs in another heartbreakingly close loss for our boys.  Even “Tatts man” agreed that he was extremely lucky in getting to 84no, a score so high that he would not have even achieved that in his dreams prior to this game.

 

If there’s a lesson to be learnt from the past couple of games, it’s that you are never out of a game. You are only 1 wicket away from a possible batting collapse; while you have wickets and overs in hand, you can still score runs. Every run scored or saved in the field will count.  Keep going, keep trying, keep your head up and never give up hope. 

 

Thanks to Michelle Flintoff and Simon for looking after us both weeks with afternoon teas and drinks for what was an unusual 3rd home game at a remote ground.

 

The particularly sad result from this loss is that we have now dropped to 10th on the ladder and, with a game against 2nd placed Rowville to finish the season, without a win we will drop down to 11th (2nd last).  I know for a fact that we are a better team than that and our performances have been much better than that ladder position would suggest. Having the 5th best percentage in Div 7 of 0.9951 shows that we have been very competitive all season with many close results.  We will continue to hold our heads high and put it right up to Rowville this week!

 

I will also take this opportunity to implore everyone to get onto Bails this week for the RI medal this Saturday night. We need to confirm numbers ASAP and it is imperative that you support this event.

Please get in contact with Bails or myself THIS WEEK to reserve your seat.

Thanks and good luck to everyone this week,

Simon Wilkinson
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