Sam Shearer compiled a masterful 92 at Meares Oval against Melbourne High School Old Boys, but it wasn't enough to ensure victory as the game finished in a heart stopping tie.
Shearer played some glorious strokes in his wonderful innings, and richly deserved a century that has continued to allude him. Ably supported by Tim Hosking who continued his summer of valueble contributions with a handy 33. Skipper Tom Murray again was influential with 29 and Alisdair Reeves chipped in with 17. Old Scotch posted 202 off 38.1 overs, and the disappointment of not batting out the last 11 balls would take on a greater significance later.
In scenes reminiscent of last week disappointing loss, the Scotchies had Melbourne High Old Boys reeling at the drinks break at 5 for 73. Over the back end of the innings, the MHSOB late order freakishly poured on the runs to keep themselves in with an outside chance of snatching an unlikely victory. Inspite of the heavy scoring, the Old Scotch boys still looked to have the game under control, until the equation reached an unlikely 22 runs required by MHSOB for victory off the last 12 balls. Surely, the Scotchies were not going to be overrun two weeks in a row by tailenders batting out of their skins?
MHSOB scored 9 runs off the 39th over to leave them 13 to win off the last over. Surely, their bold charge was over and the Scotch boys would hold them out? In the end, MHSOB scored 12 of the 13 required off the last over to tie the game, with a crucial run out being missed as the MHSOB batsmen frantically ran for everything.
While not a loss, the lads would feel disappointed to have yet again let slip a game they would have felt reasonably confident to have closed out. But, they live to fight another day, and next week take on Old Mentone at Meares Oval in a clash that will largely shape where their season is headed.
The Celebrities ventured out to HG Smith Oval at Royal Park to take on the powerful MCC Blue. The pitch had been rain effected and had dried with cracks and woudl surely fall to pieces with any use, so Celebrities captain Matt Foskey had little hesitation in electing to bat upon winning the toss.
It was immediately apparent that Nicholas and Choudhary were concerned over the irregular bounce from the crumbling pitch and Choudhary was soon bowled off a ball that misbehaved. Star batsman O'Beirne than appeared to be harshly adjudged LBW first ball off a delivery that looked to have pitched outside leg. Before anyone had any time to catch their breath, Sam Neil narrowly survived the hattrick ball as he inside edged a delivery into his back pad. The very next ball, Neil aimed a big drive at a widish delivery and the ball deviated to almost first slip as the MCC wicket keeper and fieldsman jubilanetly appealed for caught behind, which the umpire agreed with. Did Neil hit the ball and the ground, or just the ground? Whatever actually happened, it was now 3 for 11 and with a couple overs, it was 4 for 16 as Nicholas was adjudged LBW.
The top yet again had been sliced and diced and there were reasonabel concerns as to whether the slide could be arrested and a reasonabel total posted. Skipper Foskey dug in and first with Long (14) and then Summerfield (15) the score crept up to respectability. Foskey looked destined to record a gutsy 50, but a crashed straight drive smashed into Will Michael's arm preventing run, when a bounbdary was all but a certainty. Michael was rendered one armed for the rest of the day as his right arm hung limp by his side, and Foskey was left stranded on 46 not out as the final wickets fell with nearly 5 overs to play out.
By now, the pitch was a mess of gravel and Summerfield produced a ripper to take the first wicket off the second ball of the innings to have MCC 1 for none, having caughtr the edge and Sam Neil taking a fine catch. MCC now exploded treating the pitch like it was synthetic smashing deliveries to the fence (and over) at will. The next wicket fell at 37 as Summerfield caught Wight's leading edge as the ball ballooned to Nicholas at cover. But the wicket did not slow up MCC's scoring as they continued to plunder the bowling. Summerfield then bowled Jubber with the score on 77 and MCC seemingly careering towards an inevitable victory.
Last weeks hero Johnny Stavris then had Hancock caught and then Reid followed soon after, comically run out, but due to confusion, no one was actually sure and a run out was missed at the end, though it didn't matter as the other batsman was already dismissed.
Five wickets down with 91 on the board, and the earlier general consensus that 150 would likely be a winning score was now all too real. A further wicket fell when Carboni was caught well by Foskey off Summerfield's bowling and MCC still required 5 runs to win with four wickets in hand. They duly got them and the Celebrities were left to ponder what might have been had the top order not been ripped apart. An extra 40 runs would surely have been the difference and an opportunity to knock off the top side was missed.
The Celebrities have yet another bye this week to lick their wounds and contemplate their next match against arch rivals Old Xavier at Meares Oval on Saturday 5th December.
Get down and support the lads, as they strive to bring glory to the Old Scotch name.
In the mean time...