New year, and a fresh start for some

The rain played havoc across the competition on Saturday, causing the 1st and 3rd XI matches to be called off and played as one day matches this coming weekend. However, our 2nd & 4th XIs played a significant amount of cricket down at Geelong, and will be able to resume from their current positions.

The 3rd XI played minimal cricket, with the rain coming after 4.2 overs and Camberwell 1/23. The 1st XI were washed out just after lunch at 2/75 – Tom Rickarby was looking good with 36*, and Simon Hill (13*) also at the crease. Morgan Persson-Clark was forced to retire hurt after being struck by the ball, and will be forced to miss the coming one day game.

Down at Geelong, the 4th XI couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, taking two wickets in two balls for Geelong to be 2/2. The Cats managed to repair the innings from there, a 100 run fourth wicket partnership the catalyst to them reaching tea in a strong position. The introduction of Riyaz Pathan helped change the game, his off-spin broke the partnership to have the Cats 4/143. From here, we were able to wrestle the game back onto our terms – Pathan ended the day with 4/29 from 18 overs, while Simon Rachcoff (2/31) was the other multiple wicket-taker – as Geelong finished the day at 9/196 from 61 overs.

Over on the main ground at Kardinia Park, we inserted the Cats and they got off to a reasonable start. Matthew Whittaker struck with the score on 35 as the opener was struck on the pads leaving the ball, but we weren’t able to get another breakthrough till the score was 106 thanks to Whittaker again.

Intermittent rain helped create some extra breaks to disturb the batsmen’s concentration, and we were able to make the most of that. Jack McNamara struck with a caught and bowled just before one of those intermissions, and was able to grab two more quick wickets before tea to reduce Geelong from 2/153 to 5/165. Shubham Bhargave claimed the last two wickets of the day, before rain finally ended proceedings, with Geelong 7/197 from 69.3 overs.

So the 1st & 3rd XIs will be grabbing the white ball this weekend, with some changes to the teams allowed by Cricket Victoria. The 3rd XI have a big ask against the top ranked Cats, who will also be playing in the White Ball Final on the Sunday, while the 1st XI desperately need some points to get themselves back into finals contention.

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