FIRST XI MATCH REPORT
ROUND 4 – Craigieburn
Round 4 saw us packing our lunch and making the long road trip out to Craigieburn. With both teams being winless in the opening 2 matches, the stakes were high as we were desperate to get the ball rolling on our season.
After eventually arriving at the ground, we noticed that the ground was in immaculate condition, and there would be genuine value for shots. The pitch had a hint of green on the surface, but nothing that was strong enough to deter us from batting first, should we win the toss.
Which we did.
So batting first, we decided to make a few structural changes to our batting order, with newly promoted Ethan McShanag joining Andy Davies at the top of the order. This change seemed to pay dividends immediately. After Davies departed early (12), and Hywel Jones shortly after, young Ethan and Rohan Parag set upon building an innings and a total that the bowlers would be able to defend. After Parag was dismissed, the pair had managed to put on a solid partnership of 70+ and we were on track to burst over the 200 mark.
Ethan was joined by Dean Gila who had slotted into the number 5 spot and the pair continued to pile on the runs.
Unfortunately, Ethan’s innings eventually came to a close on 89, but he handed Gila the reigns to steer the innings home.
Gila finishing with a solid 51* and was well supported by Jak Donnison with a nice late innings cameo of 23.
With still 18 overs left in the day, and 224 on the board, the boys went to work to try and collect as many wickets as possible overnight. Jak Donnison struck first, picking up his maiden First XI wicket, and I managed to sneak a late one to have them at 2/57 overnight.
We knew early wickets were key on day 2, and unfortunately due to bad luck, fortunate batting and a neglected appointment to SpecSavers, we were unable to strike early. Craigieburn had wrestled the momentum of the game and had the upper hand after 10 overs, when the score sat at 2/100.
During the prematch, the team had spoken about taking our opportunities, and making our moments, because cricket is a funny game and can change in the blink of an eye. And that was exactly what happened. A quick succession of wickets had them go from 2/119 to 5/121, with Gila, Jesse Ravanello and myself each bagging crucial wickets, and importantly, removing the 2 major danger men.
If anybody thought it would be smooth sailing from that point, they were sorely mistaken. Some more staunch batting from the Craigieburn middle order, and another 50+ run partnership, we were thankful when Gila managed to pick up his second scalp of the innings with a well timed bowled, just before Tea.
Heading into Tea, Craigieburn required 38 more runs, and we required 4 wickets. It was time to dig deep. They still had the upper hand, as they had a set batsman still in, who was in his 30s, and the finish line in sight.
An early wicket after Tea was vital, and we were wrapt to see the ball smack into middle and off peg shortly after the resumption of play. 3 more to get.
Enter Hywel Jones.
Early in the next over, Jones removed the set batsman. Control was ours again. Then another. And shortly after, he picked up his 3rd wicket of the spell to close out match and secure the points. Finishing with 3/34.
One of the best wins I have been involved in at this club for quite some time. And the type of win that will turn a season around and hopefully propel us on to bigger and better things.
Injury Prone Opening Bowler
SECOND XI MATCH REPORT
ROUND 4 – Craigieburn
Round 4 was KP vs new comers Craigeburn down at home.
Day started off with a late out with Kye unable to play the 2nd week of the game. This saw Jesse Gila getting a call up from the 3rds along with Rhys Centin and Matt Devouno in for there first seconds game for the year.
Craigeburn won the toss and put us in to bat first.
With Rhys in the side we decided to change the order up dropping Dylan Tainton down the order for some power hitting in the latter stages.
Rhys and Stan both looked comfortable and solid, with Craigeburn bowling good areas the boys survived but got bogged down. Stan making 8 and Rhys out for 16.
Unfortunately for KP it didn’t get much better the boys battled hard but came up short only posting a score of 105 all out with young AB doing a great job yet again with the bat scoring 23 not out.
Day 2 with our backs against the wall the boys gathered around, order of the day was to give 110% play hard play with heart.
Unfortunately with a lower score it was going to be tough to defend on a perfect looking day.
Sadly Craigeburn overtook us just before tea.
There was a couple of standouts with the ball Peter McMahon bowling well taking 2/62 off 22 overs, AB continuing his form taking 3/53 off 18 and young Nathan Johnson getting himself on a hat-trick bowling 13 overs taking 2/33.
Unfortunately it was a long tough hot day in the office and the performance reflected, suffering a second loss on the trot.
Moving forward we sit down and speak about the positives that we as as a team can take and there have been a lot of positives that have been taken out of the 4 rounds so far, now just to make them click all together and string along consecutive wins.
When this clicks..watch this space!!!
THIRD XI MATCH REPORT
ROUND 3 – v Aberfeldie Park
After a smashing in our first home game of the season last week, we needed to find some fire and form to get back on the winners list.
After inspecting the pitch early and knowing it would dry up and keep low towards the end of the day we won the toss and chose to bowl. Spring racing normally does affect the selection of our teams, but this week we were lucky to have 10 great cricketers available.
The plan was to bowl in 4 overs spells to give everyone a go and also take a break with the warmer weather starting to show its face. We opened up with Paul who had a dream start with a wicket first ball from a simple catch from Chad behind the stumps!!! GB took the 2nd over and zipped it around the pitch to pick up the wicket of Abers captain in the 2nd over.
We had Abers 4/20 odd and had complete control of the game. Morgs bowled his beautiful off spinners for 8 overs finishing with 2/11. We shared the wickets around for the arvo and knocked them over for 58.
Lucky for us Johnny Van had our afternoon tea ready nice and early so we could have a quick bite and rest before our turn to bat.
Although chasing a small target can be very dangerous I thought we would have a crack and flip the order around to get some batting time to the bottom order. I opened up with Andrew Tardio back for his first game along with Josh. The boys both looked good early, rotating the strike and finding a few gaps in the field for a couple of boundaries. We lost Andy after about 6 overs, and not too long after Josh. This bought Frank in his first game for KP to the crease along with myself, Frank has a fantastic eye and quickly got the 39 and decided to retire himself and help out the 2nds who needed an extra fielder. I fell over not too long after that to a dubious LBW decision from Andy Tardio 😉 which bought GB and EVO to the crease. Both the lads looked good early with some great cricket shots and plenty of singles to share strike early. The boys put the pedal to the floor and both bought up their 50’s fairly quickly and we decided to declare 139 in front so we could all enjoy a couple of cold beverages under the aircon.
The win gets us back up the ladder and into 6th spot. Round 7 will see us take on St Albans on their home soil and hope that most of the lads remain available so we can take a strong team over. It will be a challenging game next week against a team who has been consistent early this season.