Inspired bowling by a hungry Celebrities fast bowling quartet who hunted in a pack, catapulted the Celebrities to the first win of the summer by slicing through Old Wesley in their Division 2 clash out at Welsey Syndal on a glorious day for cricket.
Old Wesley won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat on a bone dry batting wicket that resembled the M1 Freeway. Harlock and Summerfield took the new ball and bowled beautifully, but without too much luck. But, it was Harlock who made the breakthrough with the prized wicket of Harbinson and the score was 1/17.
After ten overs, Fairman (surprisingly overlooked for the new ball) and the larger than life Johnny Stavris took over and kept the miserly lines going to frustrate the Old Wesley batsmen. Fairman took the next wicket to have Old Wesley 2/27, and it precipitated the most extraordinary batting collapse. Stavris got in on the act, and couldn't stop taking wickets in all manners possible, and along with a seething Fairman who was bowling at great pace, Old Wesley collapsed to be all out for a scarcely believable 47.
Johnny Stavris took an incredible 5 for 15 and South African tear away Andy Fairman took a miserly 4 for 5. Of the five runs Fairman conceded, four of them came via a boundary edged through slips. Such was Fairman's dominance, the Old Wesley never at any stage looked like scoring forward of the wicket off his bowling as captain Matt Foskey packed the slips cordon in support of Fairman.
At the termination of Old Wesley's innings, Captain Foskey reminded his charges of the inept batting display the previous week against Old Haileybury and to not underestimate the task ahead. The Fozz's words proved almost prophetic as Nicholas was needlessly run out second over for a diamond duck to set a chain of events in motion that saw the Celebrities wobble to a disasterous 4 for 6 in reply, as first Charlie Long was bowled for a duck, then Griffiths was harshly adjudged LBW off an inside edge also for a duck and then Tim Bate was unluckily given out caught at first slip from what likely did not touch his bat for 2.
The situation required calm heads and Cal "Teflon" McDonough and Conor "Iceman" O'Beirne were up to the task as they steadied the ship with a composed 31 run partnership, before McDonough departed with victory in sight. Accompanied by Foskey at the crease, O'Beirne cooly struck consecutive boundaries to win the game and finish with a classy 30 not out.
So the Celebrities break their duck with a 5 wicket win. There were heroes aplenty, with all four bowlers used meriting a mention in Harlock, Summerfield, Fairman and Stavris. Throw in Conor O'Beirne's fine effort with the bat, and it is not an easy task to choose a Man of the Match - but, for his maiden five wicket haul, the honour must surely go to Johnny "Stava" Stavris who has never bowled better and with more guile and cunning.
Next week The Celebritries take on Melbourne Cricket Club Blue at HG Smith Oval in Royal Park to keep their momentum going.
The First XI were at home on The Meares against Melbourne Uni and looked well placed to record back to back wins after they posted an impressive 5 for 225 with skipper Tom Murray starring with 64 and Sam "Junior" Murray posting 39. Tom "Prez" Hosking continued his outstanding form with 38 and Alisdair Reeves a classy 37 not out.
Things started promisingly enough with the ball, only conceding 22 runs off the first 10 overs and at drinks, Melbourne Uni were way behind the run rate at 2 for 54. Surely the game was in the bag? Cricket, however, is a funny game.
Post drinks, things went awry, as the Melbourne Uni batsmen pillaged the Old Scotch bowling. Incredibly, the Melbourne Uni batsmen looted 175 off the next 18 overs to win with two overs to spare. Conceding circa 10 runs per over post drinks was most disappointing, with the Old Scotch bowlers seemingly powerless to stop the hemorrhaging of runs as the momentum swung Melbourne Uni's way.
It was an unbelievable loss, and disappointment left a bitter taste in everyone's mouth. But, much will have been learned to put to good use in the coming games in the lead up to the Christmas recess.
Next round Old Scotch take on Melbourne High School Old Boys at home on the The Meares on Sunday. Come along and lend the boys your vocal support. It is always appreciated.
In the mean time...