Drew Swansong ends on a high

Two outright victories and a Magpie Round was a very nice way for the club to finish the season against Casey South Melbourne. The club has finished seventh in the Club Championship, with three teams playing finals next week.

At the 4th XI, maximum points were always going to be hard to come by in good batting conditions. The Swans provided stubborn resistance, particularly from the opening batsman who lasted 162 balls for 22. Daniel Walker continued his great form, taking four second innings wickets to end up with eleven for the match, while Fraser Thomas (2/26) and Anton Ponnamperuma (3/24) were the other multiple wicket-takers.

At 8/109, effectively only 34 runs ahead, we looked in the box seat to be able to chase down Casey’s total for maximum points, but they put on 54 for the last two wickets to leave Camberwell with 89 to get from nine overs.

Alex Ross was joined by Luke Spence after the early loss of Narayana with the score on 1. They proceeded to bat in forceful fashion – Spence hitting five boundaries from one over, Ross able to utilise the ramp shot to avoid the fielders. The target was reeled in with four balls remaining, Spence finishing with 48 from 26 balls and Ross with 40 from 23. This secured a top four finish for the 4th XI, who will play Monash Tigers at Watson Park next weekend.

The 3rd XI also wound up with a chase for full points, needing 63 from 21 overs which was achieved for the loss of one wicket. Earlier we were bowled out for 150 in the pursuit of quick runs, giving Camberwell a lead of 49 on first innings.

After the quicks had done the damage in the first innings, it was “spin to win” second time around. Tom Vanderslik got himself to thirty wickets for the season, taking 4/32 and affecting a run out after Casey had gotten off to a reasonable start. Andrew Chau showed his had work at training is paying off, snaring 2/16 from eight, as the Swans were bowled out for 112.

The ten points were achieved in the thirteenth over, with Riyaz Pathan ending up 32*, and Paddy McKenna 24*. This saw McKenna end up the regular season as the top run-scorer in the 3rd XI competition, and sends the fifth placed Magpies down to Geelong for a quarter final next weekend.

The 2nd XI had a comfortable victory but couldn’t obtain outright points down at Casey South Melbourne. Needing a further 45 runs for victory overnight, this was achieved without the loss of a wicket before Ben Rowles was bowled for 76.

Shubham Bhargave joined Daniel Rawson at 3/172 and he scored his first half century for the season, upping the tempo as we set about getting as far in front as quickly as possible,  This was followed up by James Wiseman’s quickfire 40* from 23 balls as we declared at 4/336 from 89 overs. But the star of the show was Rawson, who finished his innings off with a large six over wide mid-on to bring up his 150* from 264 balls, his highest score for the club.

With a lead of 194, things started perfectly as we took early wickets to have Casey reeling at 3/20. The game changed from this point as the Casey batsmen decided the best form of defence was attack, and finished the first ten overs going at more than seven an over.

Steve Singh continued his excellent form, taking 4/65, but the opposition captain’s century made it hard for us to apply pressure from both ends. The other batsmen were able to provide the necessary support for the Swans to get in front, and eventually take enough time out of the game as they finished at 7/205 when hands were shaken. The 2nd XI will take on seventh placed Footscray next week at Camberwell.

The 1st XI structured their day similarly, trying to get in front and then see if there was the chance of maximum points. The loss of Tom Rickarby and Simon Hill (77 from 104 balls) within ten runs of the target made the planned acceleration a little more difficult, as we passed the total for the loss of five wickets.

It was Dylan Hodge who provided the main impetus, coming in at number eight and hitting 50 from 33 balls with five sixes, getting support from Kevin Prior and Matthew Whittaker as we eventually declared at 9/281, a lead of 116.

Brendan Drew affected a trademark run out to bring about the first wicket, and was able to claim another one for himself, but subsequently wickets were hard to come by. The game finished with Casey at 3/106 to wrap up a disappointing 1st XI season, as they finished 12th – seven points out of the finals.

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