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Nail biting victory over Old Xaverians

SEASON 2023-24 ROUND 04

NOVEMBER 19, 2023


OLD SCOTCH 1XI 195 (39.2)

def. OLD XAVERIANS 7/193 (40)

S. Dawborn 41, W. Clark 37, S. Shearer 4/59, C. Loveridge 1/21

Round 4 saw the OSCC First XI looking to make it four on the bounce to begin the campaign, up against a strong looking Old Xavier XI. The surface looked flat, but very dry and crumbly, and Sam Shearer had no hesitation in electing to bat first.

Despite appearing fairly benign, the surface did play some tricks early - with debutant Luca van der Sluys, Nick Sparks and Shearer all departing cheaply to balls holding in the dry pitch. 3/5 was a fairly unusual position for the boys to find themselves and it appeared a long way back from there.

Despite the early setbacks, Mike Sparks came to the crease and took the attack immediately back to the Xavier bowlers, plundering a number of boundaries in a run-a-ball 29. Despite not being his largest score, M Sparks changed the momentum of the game and had the OSCC boys back in the game. From there, English debutant Will Begy, in-form Will Clark and stalwart Sam Dawborn were all able to contribute nicely through the middle-overs and have the side in a position to post a competitive total.

Unfortunately from there a period of slow scoring and a flurry of wickets followed, with a score around 170 looking on the cards. Charlie Loveridge and #11 Joel Bennett had other ideas, however, and an invaluable partnership of 25 saw the score close on 195.

Despite looking a touch short of par, it was certainly a competitive effort and one the boys were confident of defending. The bowling innings started with N Sparks and Shearer consistently troubling the Xavier openers, with close shouts, wickets off no-balls and slices of OX luck meaning the pair went wicketless and Xaxier took the ascendency. Clark and Bennett also had little luck, before Loveridge came on to produce an unbelievable spell of off-spin bowling, to change the course of the run chase and eventually remove the more damaging of the OX pair.

From 0/95 at drinks it appeared a long way back for the boys, but some terrific bowling and fielding and some regular wickets meant OSCC were always in the hunt. Despite being absolutely carted in the last over and (almost) handing OX a way to win the game, Shearer was able to prize four top order wickets and break the chase open. Amongst the chaos was also some very composed fielding from Bennett, with a catch and a run-out, and Begy, who claimed a tidy catch off the last ball of the innings and to ice the game.

Despite many things going against the team on the day and a spirited effort from a strong OX side, it was a fantastic win for the OSCC boys and one where they were well and truly just able to find a way.

A great start to the season, with a tough away trip to Trinity to follow this weekend.

Sam Shearer (1XI Captain)


OLD SCOTCH 2XI 9/127 (40)

def. by OLD WESLEY 2/131 (30.1)

E. Shearer 28, T. Whitelaw 27, C. Hocking 1/16, O. McLeish 1/20

In the absence of Premiership hero and captain John Stavris, stand-in skipper Tom Edney won the toss against Melbourne Uni and elected to bat on a nice looking batting wicket.

Openers Charlie Schilling and Eddie Shearer got us off to a slow but steady start. Schilling was soon on his way while Shearer accelerated the scoring before departing for 28 off 34 balls.

Uni turned to spin and with the pace off the ball the runs dried up as the middle order struggled to tick over the scoreboard. We lost wickets either side of drinks and the departure of Whitelaw for 27 off 69 saw us slump to 6/80.

Fortunately Charlie Hocking (15 off 26) and Nic Bennett (22 off 25) formed a handy partnership to get our innings back on track with some aggressive running and clever batting saw us scrap to 9/127 off our 40 overs.

A score definitely below par but this team famously defended 100 in a Grand Final just 4 games ago. Could we see another miracle?

Gary Bennett and Jack Ross took the new ball and a dropped catch off Ross at mid-on would have been the perfect start but the Uni openers raced to 0/46 off 9 overs.

It was time for some spin. Charlie Hocking took the ball and bowled exceptionally well in tandem with Ollie McLeish at the other end. McLeish made the breakthrough removing the dangerous opener to a catch at long-on. An edge off Hocking found the oven mitts of ‘keeper Schilling to see the other opener depart and the boys had their tails up. Then another edge to Schilling off Hocking resulted in a huge appeal but Umpire Calvin was unmoved to Hocking’s utter disbelief.

With the score 2/80 at drinks it was going to take a minor miracle and unfortunately this team saves its miracles for March so Uni chased the runs fairly comfortably 2 down in the 31st over. The premiership hangover continues...

Hocking the pick of the bowlers with 2 maidens, 1/16 off his 8.

Plenty of work to do with 4 games to go until the Christmas break. Melbourne High (away) await next week.

Tom Edney (Stand-in 2XI Captain)


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