On a glorious Sunday afternoon, the MCC competition recommenced with The Celebrities taking on Old Wesley. In a hard fought encounter, The Celebrities were thoroughly out played by the Old Wesleyans to go down by 8 wickets out at Old Wesley's Glen Waverley ground on a disappointing day.
Batting first, Tim Hosking, making a special guest appearance, got off to a flyer as Old Scotch were 0/40 after 9 overs, with Hosking doing the bulk of the scoring. Sadly, from this early bright point, the wickets began to tumble as each batsman in turn did not place a high value on their wicket. Hosking was eventually dismissed by a freakish diving one handed catch at square leg for a well made 40.
At 7 for 96, the innings had evaporated remarkably quickly as each batsman in turn found ways to get themselves out. The dashingly handsome, Myer catalogue worthy Alisdair Reeves, set about restoring some respectability to the innings with a deftly crafted innings. Joined by debutant Will Bonwick, the rear guard was underway. Bonwick looked in ominous touch when he mistimed a pull shot off the tricky surface that usually kept low, with the occasional ball popping tennis ball style. It was the later that brought him undone as he spooned a simple catch to square leg.
At this juncture, with the score sitting on a paltry 8 for 115, it looked that Reeves would run out of partners, First Ben Summerfield held up an end, and then John Stavris, curbing his normally attacking temperament, gave Reeva valuable support, as Reeves went on a rampage. Alisdair Reeves was eventually last man out for an excellent 59 that featured some spectacular strokes. Reeves in conjunction with the tail, had hoisted the Old Scotch score to a respectable 165.
Both games against Old Wesley last season at this ground were very low scoring affairs with the low bouncing pitch and the lush, slow outfield having a say. So the Celebrities were quietly confident that despite only two batsmen in Hosking and Reeves batting anywhere near their capacity, that all things being equal, 165 should be defendable...especially with the fine bowling line up the Celebrities had at the disposal.
Angus Harlock and Ben Summerfield bowled beautifully with the new ball to both find the edge of the batsmen's bat to the slip cordon. In Summerfield's case, he found the edge twice...and twice the catches went down. One of them a veritable dolly. Two wickets were still captured to give the Celebrities heart, but with both new batsmen receiving lives, the Scotchies were certainly making things hard for themselves.
Sadly for the Celebrities, the two reprieved batsmen gave a high class display on how to negotiate the low, slow bouncing pitch as they reeled in the Old Scotch score in the 37th over without any undue discomfort.
The post mortem was clear - only two out of the top 6 batsmen made decent scores, whilst the rest either struggled with the nature of the pitch, or simply did not put a high price on their wicket. The failure in the batting - a strength all season - meant that the Old Wesley batsmen were able to accumulate the necessary runs without taking any undue risks, negating the fine bowling effort from Celebrities. The dropped catches also played a part, but a score in the vicinity of 200 may have at least forced the Wesleyans to have to take risks. In the end, Old Wesley completed a crushing eight wicket victory with ease.
The Celebrities now journey out to Barkers Road (yet again) on Sunday to take on Old Xavier, while the A-Team, fresh from a win by forfeit also take on Old Xavier at home on Saturday afternoon in an encounter of Biblical proportions. If you bleed Cardinal, Gold and Blue, rally all your friends and head on down to Meares Oval on Saturday and/or Barkers Road on Sunday as both teams take on the Xavierians. Your support is always appreciated.
In the meantime...