The 1st XI had a must win game against the second placed Belgrave at home. After a solid week on the track and some new blood in the side the vibe going into the game was the best it has been all season. We won the toss and bowled with " Debut Drew " setting the tone with a double wicket maiden early. All the bowlers continued from there. Zach , Wilba , Scotty Mac, Daine and Drew all finished with 2 wickets to dismiss Belgrave for 144. We finished the day having to face out 8 overs finishing at 1/21. Day 2 saw the early wicket of Nav fall and at 2/32 Scotty Mac joined Shan at the crease in a tricky situation. Those two put on a magnificent 115 run partnership to ensure we secured the points with a nice percentage boost also. Shan finished on 65* whilst Scotty 55* for us to pass them at 2/147.
Round 10 v Belgrave
The 2's headed up to the picturesque Belgrave Recreation Reserve to possibly secure a finals birth. We won the toss and elected to bat, the old firm off Rhys and Morro were back together and characteristically got off to a flyer with a 48 run partnership off just 7 overs. The runs continued to flow quickly until Rhys was dismissed at the start of the 12th for a hard hitting 64 with the score on 2/75. Steady partnerships from Jezza, Jack, Lamby and CJ saw us reach 5/164 at tea off 41 overs. This continued after tea until CJ was run out for a brilliant 59, this had us 9/261 off 69 overs at which point the skipper decided to call the boys in and have a late crack at the Belgrave openers. We managed to get through 8 overs with Jack and Braet claiming a wicket each to see them 2/23 at stumps, a good days work although it would have been nice to see a couple of batters get a big score after the top 7 all made double figures but didn't go on with it.
Day 2 got off to a great start with the veteran Foxy Mulder bowling an amazing yet luckless first spell and he was well supported by the big giraffe Lukey at the other end claiming 2 early wickets. When Josh claimed his first wicket Belgrave had slumped to 5/81 and the game looked well in control. With runs on the board we set attacking fields which allowed Belgrave to score freely but 2 late wickets to Rhys saw them 7/167 at tea. A real focus for the day was our fielding and it was nothing short of outstanding, the standard has now been set for the remainder of the season. After tea was a real fight with a couple of Belgraves tail showing some real application, however,we didn't drop our standards in the field and a brilliant direct hit run out to Youngy for the 10th wicket gave us the win. Wickets were shared with Luke 2, Rhys 2, Josh 2/25 off 9, Jack 2/19 off 10 and Braet 1 but although wicketless Foxy was the pick off the bowlers for the day.
We have now cemented a spot in the finals and we can use the next 2 games to build our game up in preparation for a tilt at back to back flags. It's also pleasing to see our young guns CJ, Josh and Jack really starting to establish themselves at senior level and making solid contributions to the teams success.
We hosted The Basin in a crucial game. On day 1, after two days of rain and on a slowish ground, we lost the toss and were asked to bat. The rot started in the first over with the loss of Benny Mc for 0, the rot then continued with no batsman able to get on top of The Basin attack. The only batsmen to show anything at all being Thommo (17) and Porno (15). A combination of good bowling and poor batting saw us in all sorts of trouble at 9/96 with about 20 overs remaining. It seemed we would be out in the field pretty soon when number 11 Nix headed out to join Gez for our final wicket. These two youngsters had other ideas however and put on an amazing undefeated 9th wicket partnership of 90 to elevate our score to something respectable at 9/186. Gerard and Nixon both batted very sensibly and showed the way to some of the more experienced guys. They were both scoring freely by the end as Gerard finished at 59* and Nix with 31*. This partnership gave us some hope from what looked to be a hopeless position earlier.
Day two and The Basin definitely had the better of the batting conditions with a warm day and fast ground. We started ok with an early wicket and were in the game at 1/3 but unfortunately that was the only joy we had for some time as the other opener and number 3 put on a 172 run partnership that took the game away from us. The fielding was good with Porno being a standout. The bowling was also ok with a special mention to Nibby who bowled very consistently and with good pace. Despite this we were just not able to find a break through until Nibby had Leigh Cook caught behind by Benny for 89. There was only a few runs remaining at that stage and they passed us only 2 down.
A disappointing loss where for two games in a row our batting has not been up to scratch and our bowling has lacked the firepower we need. Finals now looks to be a very long shot but we need to finish the season strongly in the last two games.
Having suffered our first defeat of the season in the previous round, we were keen to redeem ourselves against Lysterfield who were just outside the top 4 and keen to push for a spot inside it.
We welcomed Juzzie and Lachie back from holidays and also Varun who was paying us a visit from the 3s losing Porno who returned to the 3s with Thommo joining him. The plan was to restrict the opposition with our stronger bowling attack to hopefully make it easier on our slightly thinner batting stocks so, winning the toss, we decided to try and assert that advantage by bowling first. While Lysterfield got off to a fast start, Juzzie pegged them back with a couple of wickets leaving them 2/61 off 18 at drinks. While we were a little unlucky with several opportunities not being taken, the bowlers and fielders did exceptionally well after drinks to restrict them to 2/96 off the initial 35 overs.
Not having had the luxury of having the same opening batting combination for more than one game this season, we went the romantic option of father and son duo Chris and Lach Stuckey. Lach hit his straps early on in his first innings as an opener with a string of hard hitting scoring shots where he reached 26 (4 4s) before scoring his first single. Chris was unfortunate to be given out caught behind down the leg side in an opening stand of 35. That wicket brought Brent to the crease allowing him to combine well with Lach in an entertaining partnership that got us to 1/58 at drinks.Unfortunately Lach fell agonisingly short of his half century when he was out for 48 with the score on 79. Grega joined Brent and between them they saw us through to stumps with the score on 2/126, a lead of 30 runs, in an unbroken 47 run partnership with Brent on 42 and Grega 19 (only 31 short of a Garden Party!).
Resuming play in week 2, the plan was to strangle them and apply ‘dot ball’ pressure to get them to take risks. Chris (7 overs 0/10) and Tony (7ov 2/16) combined beautifully to leave them 4/132 off 49, a lead of only 6 with 21 overs left and 6 wickets in hand. Varun and Devo bowled really well together although Lysterfield managed to snick a few through slips for some cheap runs which, after a couple of field position changes, dried up and further ‘dot ball’ pressure was applied. Nikhil then came on and reaped the rewards with an impressive spell that netted him 2/14 off 4 overs plus an assisted run out while Ty tweaked a few without much luck although it did result in his first wicket in senior cricket. The end result was Lysterfield scoring 9/229 off 70, a lead of 103, with 7/133 from 35 overs scored on the 2nd day. Nikhil 2/17; Juzzie 2/25; Tony 2/30; Ty 1/24; Devo 1/45
Needing 104 to win and having Grega retired to attend a wedding (really should only be allowed when it’s your own wedding!), Varun joined Brent at the crease. Varun (10) was unlucky to top edge to backward square and then Brent went 2 balls later caught after getting the ball tangled in the bowlers arm for a well-made and responsible 54, his 3rd half century of the season. With 2 new batsmen at the crease needing 79 off 30, it was slow going initially but the tempo started to lift when Tony (17) was caught after a 28 run stand that saw the target reduced to 51 off 16. GB (11) left soon after with young Spencer joined by Ty needing 46 off 15 with 3 wickets in hand. Lysterfield were all over themselves having been vocal throughout the innings but this drove them to a whole new level…….but all to no avail as both Ty (24no) and Spencer (22no) batted with incredible composure to reach the target without incident in an unbroken stand of 48 with 5 overs remaining to get us a much needed win.
KGCC 6/232 - Brent 54; Lach 48; Ty 24*; Spencer 22*; Grega 19*; Tony 17
This was a great win for this team which came as a result of a committed team effort in the field on an extremely difficult ground (Stud Park Reserve) that absolutely wrecked the ball every time it hit the ground and, from a batting perspective, while there were 2 scores that stand out, 8 of the 9 batsmen got starts with only 1 not reaching double figures.