Our last game of the home and away season and after
qualifying for the finals last weekend we now had a slim chance to bag a home
semi-final with a win over The Basin.
After being sent in to bat we started ok with a mix of good
hitting and average bowling before we hit the skids and lost 3 quick wickets to
leave us 3/43 off 10 overs and needing a solid partnership to get us back on
track. Two youngsters Lachie Stuckey and the fun loving Curn hung in there for
us against some decent bowling and fielding and hit a 28 run stand that was halted
after Stuckey was looking to get the scoring moving for a patient 17. This
brought the hard hitting Nibby in for his first hit in the 2nd XI
and he held his own slapping a few around before departing with the score 5/97.
Even harder hitting Ash Thomo came in next and looked to get the scoreboard
moving with some big swipes but there was not as much contact as we are accustomed to and
we then batted out our overs making what seemed a bit below par with Josh
Curnow top scoring on 44 in our total of 6/145 off 40 overs.
We needed to start well to have any chance but unfortunately
for us the opposition had other ideas as they really chanced their arm and had
a fair bit of luck mixed with some really powerful hitting and put us to the
sword. The bowling and fielding was OK but with a lack of runs on the board
against a quality opposition it was always going to be hard work. They ended up
passing our score 2 down with plenty of overs left. The result mattered little
as the top 2 sides won anyway and we look forward to a clash with top side
Eildon Park this week in a sudden death final and a chance to play off in the
big dance. We will take a lot of confidence into the semi-final after a really
strong win only weeks ago against the top side and will give it our best crack
with our strongest side.
3rd XI vs Eildon Park @ Wantirna College
The final game of the season had us playing Eildon Park at home in what will hopefully be our final game at “The College”. Eildon Park won the toss and decided to bat first much to the disappointment of Run McLean who was keen to get out there and slay some more boundaries. We welcomed back Hawksey who dismissed the opposition skipper for 20 with the score on 25 and Devo struck with the score on 29 to have us in a good position. They then managed to form a bit of a partnership with Nikhil taking the next wicket with the score on 84. Nikhil finished with 8 overs 1/34 bowling in the middle overs in what was an impressive performance. Gerard managed to strike after a smart catch by our skipper to have them 4/131. Unfortunately from here a further partnership followed with only a run out coming to dismiss their opening bat for 85. They finished their innings 5/193 with Nikhil and Hawkesy the pick of the bowlers. We dropped far too many catches and this will be a focus at training leading into the semi final.
Run McLean did what he does at the top of the order, setting the tone with a flurry of boundaries whilst I stood down the other end making them look like they were bowling like Mitch Johnson. McLean ended his innings with 55 off 55 balls to set up the chase and departed with the score on 82. Gerard came in at 3 and looked good for his 14 before hitting a simple chance to cover with the score on 109. Dosmanstagram played a very unlike Dosmanstagram innings scoring 21 off 31 balls, however he was caught trying to go big with the score on 147. This saw Matt Lambrick come to the crease to join myself and all of a sudden we needed 40 off the last 6 overs. Some hard hitting (Nibby style batting) from Lamby saw him get 36 not out off just 24 balls, with myself finishing with 52 off 102 as we passed Eildon Park in the 39th over 3 down.
A solid batting and bowling performance that was let down by some poor fielding. It is vital that we get to training, work on our catching and hold our chances in the semi final if we want to go through to the Grand Final.
4th XI vs Monbulk @ Silvan Reserve
Sitting in 3rd position coming into the last round, we were faced with the prospect of potentially dropping to 6th if we lost to Monbulk. Being a predominantly 2 day team, particularly without big hitting Dyl, we needed as strong a team as possible in the 1 dayer. While Dyl and Tom were off making sure that Tom’s brother made it to the altar, we welcomed Sam, the prodigal son, back to the 4s and managed to hang onto Monty…….albeit, only just!
Winning the toss, we chose to bat first on the picturesque and well grassed Silvan ground. With Monty and Scotty being given lives in each of the first 2 overs, we knew it was going to be a tough day at the office. Undeterred, they shot out of the blocks with boundary after boundary getting us off to a 52 run start after 10, however, Monty going for another pull shot skied a catch to be out for a brisk 28. Deepak joined Scotty who was still looking for runs at every opportunity before he suffered the same fate and was caught from a well-timed but ill-placed pull shot to be out for 29. Sam joined Deepak who set about playing his natural game until the newly introduced spinner enticed a lofted drive and he was caught at short cover for 16 in the last over before drinks. Maybe he was beaten by the lack of turn having just returned from a trip to spin friendly India! Drinks were taken exactly halfway through the innings with 17 overs and 3 balls gone and the score on 3/88. With all due respect to Benny’s batting capabilities, we were down to our last recognised senior batsmen so couldn’t afford to put a foot wrong. Sam and Justin did exactly what was needed with quick singles, turning 1s into 2s and picking off anything loose without risks. Together they put on 85 with Justin unfortunately sacrificing his wicket in the 2nd last over in the pursuit of quick runs for a timely 44 runs that fully tested his suspect hammy. Crookie came and went leaving Sam and Benny to finish it off at 5/183 with Sam unbeaten on a very mature and extremely well made 58.
Monbulk batted pretty deep so we knew it was not going to be an easy session in the field, especially when their Captain opened up with a flurry of big swings in the 1st over he faced scoring 10 runs. Crookie and Varun bowled really well but, as always, did so without luck. Swinging the changes with Sam coming into the wind and Scotty with it slowed the run rate. It also saw Sam getting through the defences of the young talented opener for our 1st wicket with the score on 74 in the 14th over. As we all know, 1 wicket generally brings another as we witnessed a brilliant comeback in the field from Deepak who, having earlier overrun a ball that went to the fence, chased down a drive to just inside the mid-off boundary, turned and threw in one action with the hard hitting captain run out by at least a metre at the bowlers end. At 2/76 in the 15th, we were well and truly back in the game. With Scotty having the #4 smartly caught by Crookie off a skied pull and then clean bowling the #3, we’d dragged them back to 4/98 off 22 overs. Leaving Sam with 2 overs in hand allowed King to be brought in to the attack with immediate effect but unfortunately no cigar as shots were skied to all parts of the ground with none of them going to hand. With Varun bowling well at the other end, King kept working away and was finally rewarded with a smart stumping to Benny - 5/122 off 26 leaving 62 to get off 9 overs. Monbulk now had a couple of experienced Division 3 players at the crease in Dekkers and Dafina as they tried to work Varun and King around for more than a single a ball. Getting to the last 4 overs and Monbulk needing 39 to win, Sam was reintroduced to the attack and got the result we needed with Dekkers caught by King at mid-wicket. Crookie came on at the other end as the equation became 33 off 3 then 25 off 2 then 15 to win off the last over. With the field spread far and wide, Crookie bowled it brilliantly with only 1 cross batted swipe finding its way to the boundary with nothing but dot balls and miss-hit singles from the rest as they fell 7 runs short.
We had clawed our way back into 3rd spot and a berth in the semis.
KGCC 5/183 (Sam 58no; Justin 44; Scotty 29; Monty 28; Deepak 16) def Monbulk 6/176 (Scotty 2/18; Sam 2/34; King 1/36)
Having been promoted to Division 6 this season with 7 other teams, we were up against the 3rds teams from 5 of those clubs and regularly competing against players who were typically playing or pushing for promotion to Division 3. With a season result of 5 wins, a tie and 3 losses (1 each to the top 2), we have earned the right to play finals. Throughout the season we have been well served by strong and sustained individual performances from players like Scotty, Dyl, Spencer and Sam but it’s also as a result of team oriented performances of the lesser known or less visibly successful players in Deepak, Benny, Tom, Raj, Justin, TPug, Gregor and the tireless and luckless efforts of players like Crookie and Varun (and a sprinkling of Monty at the end) that has got us into this position. We are a bloody good team and we are not there just to make up the numbers. The boys can’t wait to represent KGCC with honour this coming weekend.
Great win to the 1s in the last round in what will hopefully give them something to build on next season. Good luck to the 2s and 3s this weekend.
Go Get ‘em Gardens!