DIVISION ONE, ROUND 8, 2020-21 SEAON
OLD SCOTCH (6/200)
def. OLD XAVERIANS CC (144)
Off the back of some strong form the OSCC First XI had the privilege of tackling rivals Old Xavier CC on the Scotch Main Oval on Sunday, looking to continue the momentum into the back end of the season.
Sam Shearer had no hesitation in winning the toss and electing to have a bat on a surface that looked flat and dry, if a little slow. Noah Croes got the boys off to a hot start, with a run a ball half century taking the score to 0-90 just before the drinks break. After Croes departed for 57 S Shearer took over where he left off, with Cam Hemp (28) blunting the Xavs bowlers at the other end in partnership with Croes and Shearer. Shearer fell for a run a ball 45, with Nick Shearer coming in to finish the innings with a crisp 20 not out to see the innings close on exactly 200. It wasn’t the usual fast and high scoring Main Oval wicket and outfield, with 200 looking a strong score. Was a touch disappointing from 1/100 at the 20 over drinks break, however, leaving the batting unit something to work on in the coming weeks.
Xavs did manage to get off to a brisk start, with openers Hays and Parsons a bit wayward early, before Parsons managed to remove the aggressive Sheedy. Hays was then able to settle in to a nice rhythm and tighten up an end, before OXCC captain Forrest started to show his intent and score a flurry of boundaries to advance the score to 1/50 off 10 overs. Just as Forrest looked to be moving his side into a strong position, form bowling pair S Shearer and Clark came on first change and tightened the screws, with Clark claiming the wickets of Forrest and Fernandopolle and Shearer claiming Rennex by the time the score had moved to 60. Suddenly the boys were well in control and never really looked back - with the star of the show clearly Clark who claimed a bag of five, to continue his fantastic season to date. S Shearer chipped in with a couple and the others were shared around the bowling unit, with Xavier dismissed for 143 in the 35th over.
It was another strong effort from the First XI, who are enjoying a solid run of form since the Christmas break. This week the boys take on South Caulfield on the Meares Oval, looking to continue to improve on a weekly basis.
DIVISION TWO, ROUND 8, 2020-21 SEAON
OLD SCOTCH (9/151)
def. MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY CC (8/146)
Sunday saw the return fixture v Melb Uni on the Melville oval. With both teams locked on 18 points in 3rd and 4th position, this was a must win game for both teams. A wet saturday night and overcast morning made for an interesting toss, where Melb Uni had no hesitation in sending us in to bat.
From the outset, this seemed like a great decision as Mark Griffiths departed early, with Charlie Schilling not long after. The long awaited return for Cam Melville (27) came much quicker than all hoped, but Melly rallied to steady the ship as wickets fell around him. When James Halse departed to leave us 4/33, things looked grim and it appeared like the 2s of old were back to collapse under the pressure of a big game, once again. A bit of a fightback from Tom Edney (13) and Fraser Sutherland (14) saw us 6/89 when they both departed, still well under par. This brought Oliver McLeish to the crease, who set the agenda from the outset dispatching his second ball for a large maximum over cow corner. Cleish batted well to save the innings and resurrect the score, with the help of some handy pinch hitting from the tail (including another big six from the skipper, but who’s counting?). When the innings closed the score was 9/151 with Cleish on 32 and John Stavris unbeaten on 9. While this was not the largest score posted on this ground in our time, it was definitely enough and that is the attitude we took into the second innings.
Will Meggitt (0/20 off 8) and James Halse (4/29 off 8) kicked proceedings off as per usual, bowling tight lines and lengths to give the Uni batsman no room to score. Halsey struck in his first over with Uni’s opener shouldering arms to a ball that swung in to take off stump. To say that got us firing would be an understatement. Despite the early wicket, Uni’s 2 and 3 batted well, stringing together a formidable partnership, which saw them 1/80 at drinks. Well on track to chase down our score. Just prior to drinks, what only can be described as a captaining masterpiece occurred, when the ball was thrown to Justin Baumgarten and Charlie Hocking with the task of turning the momentum back in our favour. 3 balls after drinks, bowling for the first time ever in his time at OSCC, Hock ripped down a half-tracker, which was top edged and caught on the boundary rope. The much important breakthrough was not one for cricket purists, however the scenes following were something to marvel. Hock finally kicked off his cement filled boots to storm to the rope and be the first to embrace the catcher. From there the pressure began to build and the belief started to grow within the team. With Justin (0/21 off 8) and Hock (2/27 off 8) holding down both ends, Uni were forced to push for quick runs, causing a Katich and Watson like run out with both players at the same end. After the set of 16, Uni were now 4 down with a run a ball in front of them for the last 6 overs.
Despite the breakthroughs, there remained two set batsman at the crease, every run was important and the Uni batsman appeared to relish the contest, constantly pushing twos to tick the score along nicely. Needless to say, there was plenty left in the game. Halsey finally broke the partnership and claimed another with the very to next ball to have Uni 6/137 with 2 overs to go. Ever the reliable, our main man, Will Meggitt bowled an extremely tight penultimate over, leaving Uni with the task of 10 off the final Halsey over. Boundaries were key and the men went back to the rope, knowing how important it ultimately was to also save 2s and keep the set batsman off strike. The third ball of the over saw a shot chipped just over mid wicket, as the infielders chased, so did Tom Edney from the rope. In one motion, Ted picked up the ball, dived and released an underarm throw straight into the keeper, which saw Schillo take the stumps with the set batsman just short of his crease. The lads erupted as the square leg umpire raised his finger, knowing full well this was the key wicket to winning the game. Halsey sent the stumps cartwheeling with the very next ball and ultimately it was too much for Uni who were unable to claim the final 5 runs required to tie.
In one of the most important games of the season, when we looked down and out on multiple occasions, it was so pleasing to see the boys rally and come through with the goods. The win pushed us into second spot and has now set up a tasty top of the table clash with the unbeaten Haileybury next week.