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Comfortable home turf victory over South Caulfield

SEASON 2023-24 ROUND 11

FEBRUARY 4, 2024


OLD SCOTCH 1XI 8/273 (40)

def. SOUTH CAULFIELD 207 (37.4)

W. Begy 77, M. Sparks 61, S. Shearer 4/28, W. Clark 2/38

The 1st XI tackled a surging South Caulfield CC, who had fielded stronger teams and produced some excellent results since the sides last met in Round 1 and found themselves knocking on the door of the top four.

Looking to make the most of a green surface and the cooler part of the day, SC elected to bowl first and had OSCC under pressure early with the wickets of Nick Sparks and Sam Shearer. Mike Sparks and Luke Adams re-built the Scotch innings beautifully, with the pair positively going about their work and scoring at ease. Once Adams fell, Will Clark continued well and combined with M Sparks and Will Begy beautifully - advancing the score and the scoring rate with ease. From there, the loss of M Sparks, for an excellent half-century, and Clark did little to halt the fun, with Begy playing some outrageous cricket strokes on his way to a scintillating 77 and Tommy Kelly joining in late, with easily his finest knock in an OSCC shirt. It was a fantastic batting innings, with the innings of M Sparks essential and the contributions of Begy and Kelly extremely promising signs.

With the temperatures now in the high-30s, the boys set out to defend the imposing total. The bowling innings did not start well, however, with SC’s opener Boyle dispatching the new ball to all parts and rocketing the score to 0-66 off 5 overs. Shearer introduced himself into the attack and was able to quickly remove the dangerous Boyle and restore some order to proceedings. From there SC still looked set to take the game deep and were reasonably well set at drinks, before a fantastic effort from the bowlers post-drinks ended up with the remaining 8 wickets falling and South Caulfield bowled out well short for 207. Clark was solid through the middle sets, with M Sparks offering some control with his off-breaks, Lachie Francis fighting back well from the opening over carnage and Shearer finishing with 4 wickets.

In the end a very solid win against a decent side, rewarded with a spot in the top 2. Next up, a big top of the table clash with the impressive Melbourne High.

— Sam Shearer (1XI Captain)


OLD SCOTCH 2XI 121 (36.1)

def. by Maccabi AJAX 5/215 (40)

T. Polkinghorne 40, C. Schilling 20, T. Loveridge 2/36, E. Shearer 1/24

The 2s were at home to top side AJAX on a brutally hot 37 degree day. Because of the extreme heat predicted for later in the day, I decided it would be opportune to bowl first when winning the toss. This is something rarely seen on a Scotch deck, however I believed the conditions warranted to the call.

Nick Buckley (1/26 off 8) again proved difficult for the opposing batsmen with his sheer pace claiming an early wicket. He was complemented by tight bowling from Tom Loveridge (2/36 off 8) as the stand out bowlers for the day. Despite this, AJAX flexed their muscles and gave little to no opportunity to our bowlers on their way to a score of 5/215 after 40 overs. Even with the large total, assessing the ground, the conditions and how we had performed with the ball (sub par) we were confident in our ability to push for a good chase.

This was short lived as 5 of our top 6 fell for a combined 14 runs. If not for a brilliant innings from Tom Polkinghorne (40), helped along by Charlie Schilling (20), Tom Loveridge (16) and Nic Bennett (12) things could have been much worse. At the end of the day we were beaten in every aspect and given a lesson from the top side.

With our finals chances still alive, we will regroup this week and look to take on PEGs again at home.

— John Stavris (2XI Captain)


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