1st XI vs Belgrave @ Knox Gardens Reserve#1
In a big game for the first XI we welcomed Belgrave to our
place in some really hot conditions. Losing the toss Ďagainí, Belgrave wanted
to have a bat.
In a radical change is was Nav Singh that took the new ball
and bowled a lengthy spell of tight bowling. Alongside him was Burls however we
decided to change the pace really early and after 2 overs we had Meth come on
and it was spin from both ends. This continued until just past drinks. Nav
found a breakthrough of their inform skipper and Meth was tidy at the other
end. It was a real war of attrition and at tea it was in the balance at 1/109
off 50 overs. With the bulk of the work being done we found another gear and
were able to get wickets with regularity and that held the scoring at bay.
Burls and Scotty were prevalent after tea and the spinners were great. A few
tidy overs from Butch were very handy as well. Belgrave finished 6/211 in a
pretty good effort from the boys.
Day 2 started well with Pete and newly promoted Dyl Wylde
putting on 50 before Dyl was dismissed Lbw for 27. Joe, butch and first gamer Adam
Wylde and Scotty came and went quickly before Mitch Gregory came to the crease
and belted balls all over the park and get the run rate going. He put pressure
right on Belgrave and was able to change the game. He was dismissed for a fine
48 however we were reeling at 6/145. Boof was next to go for 2 and we were in
some trouble at 7/150. Pete finally got going and started flaying them to all
parts. Him and Nav the chipped away at the runs and were able to sneak us over
the line with 16 overs to spare with Pete finishing on 90*.
It was a very good chase and keeps our slim hopes alive. We
need to use this momentum and just keep winning to see what happens.
2nd XI vs South Belgrave @ South Belgrave Reserve
A big game for the 2nd XI with a chance to sneak
into 3rd position as we took on the 3rd placed South
Belgrave while we were poised in 4th spot on the ladder.
No suprises early as I again lost the toss (round 12 last
season being the last win) and without hesitation their skipper was keen to
have a hit. Another game and another 4 changes to a very unsettled 2nd
XI thus far meant club veteran Adam Wild would take the fresh pill with our
most favourite talk show host Drew Withers. Wilba started well snaffling an
early pole then removing their dangerous skipper the very next pill. All
bowlers started particularly well which included young Curn and my good self.
We all had a wicket and we were in a great position at 5/80 coming into the tea
break. Unfortunately, things changed after young Carlton and Wilba started
calling the not out opener names and he really got on a roll with the stick.
5/80 became 5/210 in no time with some crisp hitting especially off me with
numerous 140 odd metre maximums and a dint in the Wagner family car the only
thing slowing the rate as we were now onto our 3rd different ball.
The 3rd ball must have had something about it as we were able to
clean up the tail taking the last 5 scalps for just 22 runs. It was a great
start and a fantastic finish on the postage stamp sized oval. Wilba struck
early and late to finish with a 5fa while young Curn did a great job picking up
We survived a nervous 10 overs to be 0/8 at stumps.
Day 2 came along and we were pretty confident chasing a very
much par score and the fact we chased a similar score last week with ease. Our
gun opener Morro slapped one to gully early and the Pott fiddled around
scratching around for a few but the scoring rate was quite slow with some tight
bowling. Jack Marget came in at 4 and really impressed with his positive
batting which put the opposition on the back foot but unfortunately, he too
departed too soon on 24 off not many deliveries. Super talented and
ridiculously foul mouth Jay Wagner came in next and he and our rock at the top
Gez built a nice partnership but unfortunately again we lost another wicket at
a key time with Gez falling for a steady 26 just before the tea break. Tea time
and we were placed at 4/95 off 40 overs and needing a good partnership to get us
moving along. We were very poor and lost 4 for 10 in quick time and left
ourselves needing a miracle. Jay Wagner played some glorious shots to get us to
147 all out but it was a disappointing day for such a talented team.
Lessons to be learnt against one of the better teams which
now has us needing to win next week to try and sew up a finals birth.
3rd XI vs South Belgrave @ Knox Gardens#2
After a comprehensive performance against Rowville
last fortnight and wrapping up a Top 2 spot in the process, we headed back to
Argyle way knowing we had 3 games left at home to finish the year plus a
favourable draw which would give us a good chance at wrapping up the minor
premiership. We welcomed back Lachie Stuckey fresh from his trip
England, Foxy from the 2s and the big South African Thommo. The run of home games kicked off against South Belgrave, a
middle of the road side who still had some mathematical chance at sneaking into
the first week of March. With stand-in skipper Josh Devenuto-Wylde calling time on
his career due to his contract with the Zebras, Rhys took the reins and I was
stuck with the VC next to my name.
We won the toss and of course decided to bat on a newish
pitch and a slow outfield so anything around 180 was more like 250.
We started off poorly with the old foss Rhys chipping one
straight to mid-wicket for 2. That started a batting collapse that can only be
matched by Englandís top order where at one stage we were 6/36. Lachie hit one
straight to mid-wicket and called yes to burn young Benny Marget. I then joined
Lachie and put some sort of resistance together with a partnership of 10 off
around 12 overs before Lach hit one straight down fine legs throat for 14
(3/24). My painful innings finally came to end by being skittled through the
gate for 2, Lamby walked out, got hit on the pad then walked back to the
pavilion (5/24) before Thommo skied a full toss to leave us at 6/36 at drinks.
Things were looking grim and it semed as though we would be getting a second
hit before Jase and Reidy compiled a very patient but important partnership of
54. They were able to turn the strike over and somewhat punish the bad ball on
the outfield that was slower than Gregor batting.
Jase then snicked off for 19 (7/90). His dismissal brought
Foxy to the crease and he smacked a few around the park for a little cameo of
24 before Bailey and Reidy put on 31 for the 9th wicket which allowed to post a
competitive total before Bailey and King were then dismissed pretty quickly and
we were rolled for 156 off 78 with Reidy top scoring with 64*. He batted
superbly and to be able to be that patient and bat time and also bat for long
periods of time is a rarity these days and definitely took his opportunity up
Rocking up Day 2 we knew it would have to be a tough slog
and thatís exactly what it turned out to be. We gave the new rock to young gun
Bdog and Thommo. They started off really well with Thommo bowling one of the
openers around his legs and then the old Fox taking out 2 stumps and at drinks
the score was 2/25 with Bailey bowling fantastically without getting any
success with myself dropping a soda at 2nd. From there it was a slow burn with
South not even scoring at 2 an over and not much really happening. We brought
King on just before tea and bowled beautifully before he pulled one down and
the skipper taking a brilliant diving catch at square leg to get a key batsmen
out and at tea they were only 3/69 off 49.
After tea they put on a couple partnerships of 20 before
Rhys removed their overseas professional with a good catch by Reidy at mid on
and the Fox removing their opening bat with a clean caught and bowled to get
our noses ahead at 5/104. From there it was all Knox Gardens as King cleaned up
the tail and they lost 6/25 to be all out for 129 off 70 overs.
Everyone bowled brilliantly but King was a standout with
5/34 from his 19, Foxy 3/30 off 15 and Bailey without taking a wicket 0/15 off
After being 6/36 it was a great effort to take the 6
points, we had to fight and slog it out and I think it was a good prep come
finals time and learn how to win tough games. We are still searching for that
perfect game and with players still to come back down from the 2s and holidays
we are building nicely and hoping we can make it 3rd time lucky for the 3s
4th XI vs South Belgrave @ Raes Land
This week we had South Belgrave away and with us being out of
the top 4 this was going to be an important game to get back into the top 4. I
lost the toss and we fielded first
Myself and Nibby opened the bowling and we were able to keep
things tight and this pressure let to the first wicket falling in the 8th
over with them being 1/13. Unfortunately from there a few missed chances and we
didnít bowl tight enough through the middle overs which gave them a chance to
get away a little. We kept working hard and got the breakthrough in the 27th
over when Nibby got his first and dismissed one of the openers for 56 with them
on 2/87. We keep working and were unable to get any further sculps and they
finished their 35 overs at 2/110.
In reply, Scotty and Deepak opened for us. It wasnít our day
though with Deepak chopping one on and we were 1/5 after 3 overs. From there
Scotty was unlucky to pick out the fielder and he to went with the score at
2/11. Nibby nicked one behind and left a quick as he came and we were 3/11 and
in a little trouble. We lost our next wicket not long after and we were 4/15.
Fortunately for us Crystal v2 and Gregor dug deep before Gregor was out with us
at 5/40. I was in next and not able to improve on my average when I chopped one
on and we were 6/41. Young Mulder hang around with Crystal v2 before him and
Crystal v2 were out and we were 8/62 with Crystal v2 compiling a great knock of
37. TP added some excitement and himself and the Gator saw us through for the
day to finish at 8/92.
It was always going to be tough for us to come back from
where we were but not impossible. They unfortunately got away with a few and
the breakthrough came off Scottys bowling to have them 3/154. They continued to
take advantage of their wickets in and hard work saw us get the next wicket
through Young Mulders first ever senior wicket to have them 4/206. We had Young
Mulder and Direin bowling and they dug deep and got the next wicket at 5/232.
From there it was a succession of wickets to have them 8/239.
TP and the Gator continued things for us and unfortunately
it wasnít long before the Gator was bowled and we were 9/95. Sammy came in next
and faced a few balls before TP skied one in the next over going out for 29 and
we were all out for 95.
This is our lowest score this season and for as long as I
can remember. It was a disappointing result as finals would only be possible
now if we win the next 2 games and results go our way. It was great to see the
younger bowlers try hard and dig deep and get some reward and great to see
Crystal v2 and TP doing some damage with the bat. We will continue to fight
hard to make finals and give the last 2 games a red-hot crack.