1st XI vs Johnson Park @ Fair Park Reserve
Last week we headed to Fair Park Reserve in excitement that
we finally might get two full days of cricket in. In saying that, there were a
few of us who were a little flat we couldnít listen to Triple Jís hottest 100.
Despite that, the boys were confident in taking on Johnson Park with both sides
desperate for a win
As always I lost the toss on a day that can only be
described as bloody boiling hot! The rest of the team were least impressed but
we got on with the job as we were asked to field. All was well as Wilba got us
off to a flyer with a wicket in the first over but Johnson park batted
extremely well in Bali like conditions with one of their gun bats Steve
Devenish making a fantastic 144. The boys did the best we could with little
luck as Johnson Park compiled 9/289 on day one. The pick of the bowlers being
Wilba with 3/67 off his 15 and Shannon small with 12 overs, 5 maidens, 0/26.
After having a lawn bowls session on the Thursday night for
our training session, all the boys turned up fresh and ready to attack the run
chase. We had an ok start as we were 2/40 early but we controlled the day from
then on. Josh Gregory and myself putting on a 120 run partnership before Boofa
was trapped in front for a well-made 55. Niraj then came to the crease and he continued
where Boof left off, taking control of the game. Niraj and Myself put on an
unbeaten 127 run partnership helping us pass the total off 289 with 7 wickets
in hand and 13 overs to spare. Niraj finished on 47* and I ended up on 143*. It
was one of the better batting days I can remember for our club and gives us a
real boot coming into this weekís match against our old foe in Eildon Park.
2nd XI vs Johnson Park @ Knox Gardens Reserve
Finally back on home soil and with my lucky gold coin in
hand, I flipped it like a wizard casting a spell across the land. For
the 9th time this season I won the toss and I really considered
bowling before once again panicking and giving the young lads a hit.
After a passionate spiel about our batsmen going on to make massive
scores the old fox reiterated what I just said seconds before and we were out in
the middle on what seemed a batsman friendly afternoon.
A steady batting line up once again but unfortunately without
our Mr consistent so far this season Gerard Jongen as he had better things to
do. In his place was the loveable and wonderfully talented Callum OíConnor back
to stake his claim for a position. We started ok without the usual fireworks as
we steadily pounded the runs before senior Morro was adjudged leg before for an
unlucky 13. Our young batting stars were up for the challenge with Lachie ĎGod
I love cricketí Stuckey once again amongst the runs with a very mature 40, not
his most fluent innings but keeps learning and impressing with each game. Pint
sized Adam Wylde looked a million bucks before running himself out for a classy
28 and just about the pick of the batsmen Callum batted really positively and
was smart about his innings before being stumped by the smallest of margins for
70 with the score on 4/172. Needing another big partnership to reach our pre-game
target Hayden Morrison was joined by the super slick Dyl Wylde and the two were
brilliant. The two combined for a possibly record breaking 209 run partnership
to blast the team to a whopping 4/381. Hayden was measured and picked the gaps
well the longer he batted and Dyl finished with a flurry to entertain the small
crowd. Hayden finishing on 102* and Dyl 107*, fantastic display by the two
young men. Not that Mitchy Gregory was overly impressed padded up to bat next
and not being used.
Day 2 was upon us and the clouds were staying away so we
were very confident of getting the points. A lowly ranked team we backed
ourselves to get their wickets with little fuss, especially since we were
welcoming back the young looking and rather old moving spearhead Drew Withers.
Drewy went bang bang bang and just like that they were 3/30 and we were in
control. Young Curney was trialed with the new pill also and did quite well
without snaring a pole. The old fox bowled his usual spell without luck before
myself and Mitchy Gregory guided us to tea with the score 5/98 and the weapon
had a couple. I picked up the opposition skipper and then Mitchy did the rest.
MG bowled and barnstorming 22 straight overs bamboozling the middle to latter
order and picked up a career best 6/69 but that didnít quite ease the pain of
not getting a hit the week beforeÖ
Solid win against a lowly ranked team but now we ramp it up
playing a couple of contenders on the run to finals. Really excited about the
progress of our young stars week in, week out.
3rd XI vs FTG Footballer @ Knox Gardens Reserve #2
The long awaited opening of the bottom oval against Footballers had finally arrived with them winning the toss and deciding to bat first on what looked to be a very slow outfield on a warm and humid day. We started off with Devo and young Bailey with the new ball, with both of them getting an early wicket each and keeping the runs well down. It was trying conditions for them as the heat made them tire a bit earlier than in previous weeks and we soon went to spin with Nixon and King coming into the attack with great effect.
The spinners bowled the majority of the remaining overs after the first spell, save for a few overs of pace from Devo and Bailey to break things up, and whatever Josh Wylde calls what he delivers (unsure if it is pace, spin or a combination of both). King was the pick of the bowlers with 4/45 from 22 while Nixon supported him well with 2/40 off 23.5 overs to take the game away from the Footballers and dismiss them for 144 in 72.5 overs, which was just enough to ensure we didnít have to bat overnight. Of the rest of the bowlers Bailey had 1/22 off 12, Devo 1/34 off 13 and Josh 0/3 off 2. In total we bowled 22 maidens which built up enough pressure for us to get wickets which was really pleasing as we followed our game plan.
Coming in to bat the next week the ground was significantly quicker. Unfortunately I had pinged my hammy in the field and Nixon was forced to run for me throughout the roughly 2 and a half hours I spent at the crease. Rhys got off to a quick start before Cranston hit the top of off with him on 7 and the score on 8 in the second over, with no shot offered. Josh came in at 3 and looked reasonably comfortable turning the strike over and manipulating the field well. Unfortunately he again got trapped in front ending a 42 run partnership with him on 27.
Reidy was in at 4 and looked to bat time. He and I put on 67 for the 3rd wicket which really put us in a great position before I skied one to mid on who took a pretty good catch, for 47. Spencer came in and he and Reidy got us to the finish line, however soon after Spencer was dismissed for 12 with the score on 145. Lamby was next in and he crashed 36 in a partnership of 47 before being caught. We then finished the day with an unbeaten 67 run partnership between Reidy and Nibby who ended up 66 and 42 respectively. Reidy was extremely patient in his innings and this is hopefully something he can build upon going into the latter part of the season and hopefully into March.
It was a pleasing performance and one we can build on going into next week against the unbeaten Lysterfield. With all respect to Footballers, we know that next week is going to be a much tougher challenge for us, but one that we are looking forward to taking on and hopefully proving that we deserve to be up there with the best teams in division 4.
4th XI vs Upwey Tecoma @ Upwey Recreation Reserve
This week we had Upwey Tecoma at their postage stamp ground
and needed to give them a red hot crack to cement our spot in the top 4 for
I lost the toss and they sent us in to bat.
Scotty and Deepak opened for us and as per usual had us off
to a quick solid start before Scotty fell victim to the keeperís quick hands
behind the stumps while being up and that saw us lose our first wicket for 30
with Scotty making 25. From there, Jay and Deepak dug deep and put some great
value on their wickets for a partnership of 82 which included Deepak making
another 50 before he was trapped LBW by Crossy for 55 with the score 2/112.
Unfortunately, they got a couple of quick wickets with Jay caught behind not too
long after to have the score 3/131 and then Ben Marget with the score 4/131. We
then had two fresh batters to the crease in Sammy and Tommy who saw out the
last couple of overs with no loss.
Mitch Potts and Nikkas opened the bowling for us but luck
was on their side with the opener batters having more edges than a 50 cent
piece! I came into the attack and had one of the openers caught behind for 29
and the score at 1/55. Myself and Sammy worked hard and they continued to ride
their luck with edges galore and 4 runs being the result pretty much every time.
A change in bowling had Tommy get a crisp stumping and the score was now at
2/100. Scotty and Varun came into the attack and after a few overs Scotty got
the other opener trapped LBW with the score 3/196. We didnít have any other joy
for the day with them ending up on 210 at the end of dayís play.
Second week we regrouped and knew it was not going to be
easy but we needed to bat well and not give them anything. Tommy and Sammy did
exactly that, seeing off the openers and first change bowlers before playing
some beautiful shots until an absolute freak delivery had Tom bowled for 22
with the ball just taking the top of the bail to end a 76 run partnership and
have us 5/207 and still 3 runs behind their score. Gerard then graced us with
his presence and got to work with Sammy combining well together for a 71 run
partnership before Gerard put a short ball that was hit like a laser straight
to the fielder on the boundary to have him out for 22 and us 6/278. We had 6
overs left to put a score up and it was go time as Porno made a quick fire 6, I
only managed 4 and we were 8/295. Gregor came in and managed to hit yet another
6 for the season although some would argue that it didnít count on that ground
as he and Sammy got us up to 316 with Gregor on 13 not and a bloody brilliant
knock by Sammy seeing him finish on a fantastic 90 not!!
They needed 107 for victory and we needed things to go our
way with much needed early wickets! Nikkas bowled beautifully straight up and
in his first 2 overs got two edges behind but unluckily for us and him, he was
a victim of some dubious decision making and questionable sportsmanship from one
of their umps. We put that behind us and kept fighting while their old blocks
continued to swing out of their arses and unfortunately we couldnít manage a scalp
with one of their players reaching his 100 and retiring before reaching our
score with 19 overs to spare!
It was a very tough game in the end and one that had a high
importance for us to win. Most batters all got starts, a big congrats to a
great knock by Deepak and another bloody fantastic effort from Sammy with the
bat. Although things didnít go our way in the field we kept the chat up, kept
our heads up and fought all the way and that was great to see. We have now
dropped down to 4th on the ladder with 10 points between us and 5th.
We however have 2 games remaining for the season against 1st and 2nd
on the ladder and will need to win at least 1 of these games to play finals. It
wont be easy but if we canít beat the teams in the top 4 then we arenít ready
and donít deserve to play finals against those same teams.