Old Scotch Cricket Club First XI bravely went down swinging today to record their second consecutive defeat of the season by 29 runs against Melbourne High Old Boys away at Woodfull-Miller Oval.
All seemed to be going well until Sam Shearer was dismissed off a freakish diving one handed catch at short backward square leg and soon after George Dick holed out at mid-on for a well crafted 23. The score was 5 for 78 at the end of the 26th over, after skipper Tom Murray was earlier fired out LBW for 27 after he smashed the ball into his pads and he departed the scene visibly disappointed.
With the target of 196 seemingly out of sight, all seemed lost when Will Hays strode out to the crease to join forces with Dickinson who was also fresh to the wicket and to that point had been circumspect in his approach.
With the run rate climbing to an improbable 10 an over, suddenly Dickinson launched an astonishing assault on the Melbourne High Old Boy bowlers, despatching them to all parts of the oval. Soon, Hays followed suit smashing boundaries and launching one over deep midwicket for a telling six. As the pair traded a welter of boundaries, their hitherto mute teammates on the sidelines found voice as an unlikely victory seemed a remarkable possibility.
After a stunning 82 run partnership in approximately ten overs, their union was finally broken when Hays was beaten in flight as he danced down the pitch to be stumped after making a cavalier 26.
With 36 required off 18 deliveries, wickets predictably fell as the Old Scotch tail sacrificed all in an effort to pull off an audacious victory. Old Scotch were dismissed 29 runs short of the target in what had been an entertaining struggle.
Man of the Match Matthew Dickinson was left stranded at the non strikers end to finish with a heroic 61 not out. It was an innings of great heroism and fanaticism as Dickinson swung lustily to the very last in a forlorn attempt to manufacture the impossible victory.
Earlier, Gary Bennett continued his remarkable form with the new ball snaring 3 for 17 to lead the way. Bennett continues to defy age and looks set for a big season yet again.
The Old Scotch 2s ran headlong into competition newcomers Monash Tigers out at Central Reserve North in Glen Waverley. The young Tigers compiled 4 for 173 from their allotted 40 overs in an impressive batting display from the teenagers.
In reply, the 2s got off to a slow start to be 2 for 40 at drinks. In an attempt to ramp up the run rate after the break, the Scotchies batsmen self destructed to collapse in spectacular fashion to be all out for 72.
Whilst the defeat was disappointing, three key players were missing that could have made a difference. Full credit however must be paid to Monash Tigers who comprehensively outplayed the Schotchie 2s in all facets of the game.
With the traditional spring carnival recess in the competition next week, Old Scotch take on Scotch College 1st XI on the Main Oval next Saturday in the annual clash between the students and the cricket club.
We hope to see you there.