ENTER THE TOYOYA GOOD FOR CRICKET RAFFLE
After a frustrating late cancellation of Round 1, the boys were chomping at the bit for a big encounter with old rivals Xavs.
After winning yet another toss Sam sent Xavs into the field as we looked to get our season off to a hot start with the bat. Young Debutant, Cam Hemp, got us off to a great start with some elegant stroke play including some gorgeous lofted straight drives. Our only issue was that no one else decided to go with him as the rest of our top 6 all fell cheaply and all of a sudden we were 6-68 when Hemp fell for a gutsy 28. At 6-68 we were going to need to tail to wag for us to be able to post anything defendable. We had another debutant, Justin Baumgarten, and Will Clark at the crease and the pair put a crucial 45 run stand before Baumgarten fell for an important 17 runs. Sadly our final 2 batsmen could only combine for 1 run leaving Clark stranded on 34 not out as we got bowled out for 128. Although it was a low total, the boys new the pitch was a tough deck to bat on and with a strong bowling line up we back ourselves in.
Nick Sparks took the new ball and just like he always does, he snagged a crucial wicket early in the game, castling the Xavier Captain for 1. After the early wicket Xavier were able to peg us back a little bit and started to build a strong partnership. Some wayward bowling for our fast bowlers gave Xavier good chances to continue to push the scoring and all of a sudden they were 1/68 and the game well and truely in their hands. On came our ever reliable captain to bowl, after receiving a “send-off” whilst batting, he was incredibly fired up to rip through this Xavier batting line up. That’s exactly what he did, castling both set batsmen with peaches. These 2 quick wickets completely flipped the momentum in the game and we didn’t stop from there. We proceeded to take the next 7 wickets for just 13 runs with Tom Loveridge (3 Wickets), Will Bonwick (2 wickets) and Sam Shearer (3 wickets) putting on a masterclass with the ball. Some lower order slogging got Xavier to 30 runs short before the finally got bowled out for a dismal 97 after some sharp work in the field by debutant Hemp.
All in all, a very satisfying win against the old rivals but lots of things to take away from the game and improve on.
FULL MATCH SCORE CARD:
The 2XI travelled to play Old Caulfield Grammarians with hopes of continuing their perfect start to the season. With blistering sun forecast for majority of the day, there was much anticipation surrounding the toss and who would be forced to face the elements. Unfortunately, Stav lost the toss and the boys were sent into the field.
Caulfield's innings began in a flurry, with the opposition looking to score positively and put away what was initially, some sub-par bowling from our boys rushing to 0/37 off 5. Ryan Higgins then found his line to take two wickets in his next over, with Stav taking a beauty in slip to have Caulfield 2/37. When Halsey struck in his first over to have the opposition at 3/48 things were looking strong, however a classy partnership steadied the ship for Caulfield and set them up for a decent total. Caulfield rounded out their innings at 6/179 off their 40 over, with a few dropped chances the only real sour point.
Despite the ominous total, the conditions were great for batting so we headed into the innings with plenty of confidence that we could get the job done. Charlie Schilling and James Watson got us off to the perfect start, picking off the bowlers and pushing the field early for an unbeaten partnership of 57 after the first 12. The confidence was high and the runs were flowing, when Schillo was caught in slips. Tom Edney came to the crease and began whacking the ball down to all areas, his classy 31 and long partnership with James Halse (33) set us up brilliantly and at drinks we were 3/90 with one hand on victory.
As is akin to the 2XI competition, a middle order collapse saw plenty of nervous faces in the sheds, but with Halsey still holding strong in the middle, we knew it would only take one further partnership to get us home. Disaster then struck, as Halsey rocketed a ball out of the middle of his bat through cover, a full stretched, diving Caulfield player took, what can only be described as a screamer, saving an inevitable boundary and removing our last recognised batsman. With the score at 7/148, it appeared that the remaining 32 runs would be too high a burden for the boys. With 3 overs to go, skipper John Stavris came to the crease at number 11, with the boys requiring 26 for victory. Boasting a career batting average of 13, it's safe to say this one was all but done and all hope of victory had been dashed. Surprisingly, Stav came to play and hit boundary after boundary to rush to 19. All of a sudden, the equation was simple, 6 off 6. While the stage had been set for a famous victory, the tailender mentality got the best of our captain who was bowled on the first ball of the last over to see us go down by 5 runs. Albeit losing the game, getting so close on a pivotal run chase fills the team with plenty of confidence going forward against what was a strong Caulfield line up.
The boys play a return fixture v Caulfield this weekend on the Meares in what promises to be another ripper before heading to the Christmas break. Needless to say, we are hoping for a slightly different outcome this time around.
— John Stavris, Captain
FULL MATCH SCORE CARD: