The 1st XI couldn’t quite get over the line, but the other three teams all had victories, with some big individual scores the highlight of the day.
Simon Hill and Tom Russ helped set up Camberwell with a fifty run partnership, but after the loss of Hill (26) another partnership was hard to establish. Russ was dismissed for 58 from 51 balls, and with some lusty blows late from Steve Singh, the Pies managed to set 7/145.
After the early loss of Gotch, Meyrick Buchanan and Matthew Brown combined for a 100 run partnership that put us well behind the eight ball. Some disciplined bowling late pushed the required rate above 7 an over over the last five, but Melbourne managed to secure victory off the first ball of the last over.
The 2nd XI had a wonderful victory, chasing down 170 to win. Melbourne batted very well in the powerplay (56 runs) and at the end of the innings (62 from the last six overs), taking full toll of a good wicket and the short boundary to the Bowen Street side.
Jake Marnie (25 from 19 balls) and Shane Mays opened the batting in response, and set the innings up well as we finished the powerplay at 0/52. At the halfway mark, we were 2/73 – requiring 97 from the last ten overs. At this point, Mays took over – driving the spinner over long-off for multiple boundaries, while flaying balls over mid-wicket from the pace bowlers. He was part of a partnership of 49 with Paddy McKenna, who contributed 8 of those runs, and ended up 99* off 55 balls, the last 49 runs coming from 17 balls.
Victory was achieved with ten balls remaining, Mays accompanied by Ben Rowles (15*) when the winning runs were struck. It was a great win, that ensured a White Ball Final is still a possibility for the 2nd XI, who finished the T20 portion with three wins and a loss – much better than the four losses last season.
The 3rd XI also racked up a large total at the Albert Ground. Dylan Hodge was the star of the show, making 91 with five sixes – some of which made their way towards the Albert Park golf course, and one hit the viewing balcony. He shared a partnership of 150 with Hamish Burrill, who got 70 himself, as they racked up 3/198 from their allotment.
This proved to be too many for Melbourne, who still got themselves to 4/152. Burrill, Angus Steele and Cameron Gell all took a wicket each, while Joe Doyle was the most economical bowler.
To round up the day’s events, the 4th XI also tasted victory after defending their score of 9/136. James Vlaeminck made 59, his second half century in his two innings for the club, to hold the innings together, as cameos surrounded him – Michael Parsons with 16 was the second highest scorer.
And it was Anton Ponnamperuma back to his miserly best who led the bowling effort, with 3/15 from four overs. Melbourne were bowled out for 123 with two balls remaining, in an innings that featured three run outs. The 4th XI won three from four during the T20 period, and now sit sixth on the ladder.
With one two day game left before Christmas, the club sits first on the Club Championship ladder, and all four teams are currently in the top 8. The 1st & 2nd XI are both a chance of making the White Ball Final, if they win the one day match in the first game after Christmas.