A big day for the club and an exciting day for our team as
we headed into our first T/20 match of the season against Eildon Park who we
scraped past in the semi final last season. Man, I feel old now having coached
9 of the 10 players but feeling good that I was hardly born when Morro was
playing junior cricket. Adam Wylde making his debut alongside pint sized
brothers Dyl and Josh after the old Fox pulled out to prepare for a big
Midnight Oil gig.
Another toss of the coin and another win for the good guys.
8 in a row now and almost certain next time a trip to the casino will destroy
all my luck. Decided for the first of these 8 times to bowl first just to see
if we remembered how to chase down a score, also I haven’t done anything for a
while and was a great chance for the skip to finally lead by example.
A second ball wicket to the skipper was the only highlight
for me but a 3 wicket in 10 ball start was impressive as heck as the wicket
taking machine Mohammad Drewsuf snared 2 in his first over. A brilliant and
tight start was followed by a couple of wood chopping batsmen who in the end
were no match for the ridiculously foul mouthed young Joshy McGowan as he spun a
treat collecting 2 middle over wickets in another impressive performance.
Gerard fought back well after a rusty start to tighten the screws and the super
slick Dyl Wylde finished off magnificently with the pill. Some great catching
and a crisp Callum O’Connor run out from the fence were all part of a solid
team effort from the youngsters. We ended up restricting Eildon Park for a
mediocre 8/121 and felt we had the upper hand.
Looking to pound some runs early to ease the pressure for
the rest of the guys Stuckey and O’Connor got us off to an ok start before
Callum couldn’t hold back any longer and launched one straight up in the air
and was caught. Some sensible batting from the ultra-smooth Josh Wylde and
rugged Stuckey saw the score tick along nicely before Josh too lost his cool
and spooned one which brought Morro in at the uncustomary number 4 spot. The old
warhorse did a great job plundering a quickfire 24 to get us in control and some
nervy moments towards the end mixed with some supremely discipline bowling from
the opposition (no extras) saw us creep to victory off the second last ball of
A superb innings from the talented T/20 specialist Lachie Stuckey
was the highlight of the match as he carried his bat to smash 63 not out
including the winning runs in a very mature innings by the 19 year old.
A great sign for the future of the club with such a young
side (8 under 22) getting over the line in a tight encounter. 4-0 now and
looking forward to the next game but more importantly seeing the old fox back
to lead us signing the song after the only disappointing effort of the day.
3rd XI vs South Belgrave @ South Belgrave Reserve
We ventured out to South Belgrave to take on a side that finished 2nd on the ladder at the end of the home and away season last year and were coming off a heavy defeat. South Belgrave have always been a proud club and no doubt they would have seen a game against the only 3rd XI in the competition as a chance to get some momentum back in the season. After some players pulled out from the grades above we lost Adam Wylde from last week but regained gun fielder Spencer Stuckey into our side. We managed to win the toss and despite telling everyone in the lead up we would bowl first if we won, I had a late change of mind and decided to have a bat first. Also a change in mind from earlier in the week I opened up with Rhys Marget.
Rhys and I struggled for the first over, only netting the 3 runs which has South Belgrave on top, however we took 13 off the next over (mainly thanks to me) and I then made the mistake of baiting Rhys that I was outdoing him so he decided he would take 17 off the next over. After 15 off the next over we had South Belgrave right on the back foot at 0/48 after the first 4 overs. Unfortunately Rhys went out trying to clear the fence in the 6th over with the score on 60 and a personal tally of 42. Nibby was in at his usual white ball position of first drop and probably tried a little too hard early on and took 6 balls to get off the mark. I continued on my merry way hitting boundaries and trying to take the pressure off him as he found his feet. Nibby played a supporting role to me until I was caught trying to go big off the first legal ball of the 11th over for 49.
From here Dos came in and Nibby took over the main role. Dos was castled for 5 in a partnership of 17 with Nibby which then saw Lamby come to the crease at 5. In somewhat of an uncharacteristic innings he batted through from this point for 18 off 21 and played a supporting role for Nibby who hit 36 at much better than a run a ball, showing that you can afford to take a bit of time to get going and catch up later on, and then Spencer Stuckey who hit 13 near the end and run Lamby absolutely ragged, and with a predicted HR of over 250. We finished with 4/176 off out 20 overs, which is a score that even the professionals would be happy with.
We went out to bowl full of confidence and despite some early wides, Devo picked up a wicket in the first over, getting their pinch hitting opening bat out for just 1. Devo finished with 1/12 from his 4 which included a maiden and 6 wides. Safe to say they really struggled to get him away. Nikhil opened from the other end and gave us 3 spells for him 4 overs. He finished with figures of 1/31 from 4 overs which probably wasn’t a true reflection of the way he bowled and he was unlucky not to have a 2nd wicket, had it not been for a butter fingers captain grassing a skied ball.
Bailey worked really hard for his 2/33 from 4. He copped a bit of tap early on, but that is T20 cricket and bowlers have to expect batsmen to really come at them hard at times throughout the game. I thought he held his nerve really well though and came back strong in his final 2 overs which also included a run out that he got. Overall it was another solid performance from the youngster who will only get better as the weeks go on. If it weren’t for Devo, Reidy would have been the pick of the bowlers, mixing up his pace well and even getting a wicket with his ridiculously slow knuckle ball. He finished with figures of 3/24 (4) and was extremely good bowling at the death. Nixon also continued his good form, finishing with 1/18 from 4 overs and tying the batsmen down as they looked to score some much needed quick runs.
Special mention to Spencer who also took catch of the day running back with the flight of the ball reminiscent of how I used to tear the saints up out on that wing back about 7 years ago with the oval ball. He can thank me for giving him the classic catch and not the regulation catch it would have been had I not moved him into the circle from the boundary a few balls earlier. Overall our fielding was much better than in previous games too which was very pleasing and something that we will hopefully take into the rest of the season. It was our most complete performance to date I feel and one that we can build on.
Next week we go up the hill again to take on Monbulk who are sitting in fourth place. A win against them and some other results going to form, would see us a couple of games inside the top 4 after 5 rounds with our season well and truly set up. Safe to say it is a pretty big game for us and we will be doing everything we can to stay on the winners list.