Sugar Shane reigns

Shane Mays notched up a super 96* from only 57 balls, as he led the performances on Sunday in Round 8 against Northcote. We claimed three wins against the Dragons, with the top two grades completing a perfect weekend.

Out at Binnak Park, the 3rd XI were set 100 to win, with Cam Gell taking 3/21 in his first bowl for the season. Tom Vanderslik was also excellent as he wound up with 2/11 from his allotment, while the target was tougher to achieve than what it sounded on a big ground with a slow outfield.

The reply fell 17 runs short of victory, with Paddy McKenna, Tom Vanderslik and Chris Bridle the only three batsmen to reach double figures. We were bowled out with nine balls remaining, leaving the 3rd XI eighth with three wins and a no result.

The 4th XI were victorious in the earlier game, as they bowled first as well. We only took four wickets, but were able to restrict the Dragons to 78 from their twenty overs. Sachin Anand did a great job with 1/9 from his four overs, while the openers Simon Rachcoff and Avaneesh Sadamalla both got through their full quota for only 14 runs.

Paul Niklas led the response with his highest score for the year thus far, showing signs of a return to form with 36*. Sumeet Badkar made 22 while Tom Evans remained not out at the end as well, as the win was achieved with eight wickets in hand and three overs remaining.

At Camberwell, we were batting first against Northcote after the captain Shane Mays continued his good run with the coin toss. After the early loss of Jake Marnie, Mays and Daniel Rawson (36) consolidated, and we were 1/56 after ten overs. From there, Mays took over the innings – we lost Rawson at 83, but at the fifteen over mark we were 2/100.

A great cameo from Shubham Bhargave (26 from 15) provided some impetus, while Mays targeted the short boundary mercilessly in the closing overs. He put on a partnership of 31 with Adit Pawha, who contributed 2 from 2 balls, as we took 70 from the last five overs, setting a daunting total for Northcote to chase.

They got off to a reasonable start, but were never able to get a partnership of substance going. At 1/58 they had set themselves up reasonably well, but Mark Dwyer (3/10 off 4) and Hamish Burrill (2/13 off 4) were able to choke up the middle overs of the innings, and wickets crumbled in between the dots they were able to build. Two consecutive direct hit run outs were a highlight, and in the end Northcote were bowled out for 92 with seven balls remaining. This leaves the 2nd XI with a slight chance of a white ball final berth heading into next weekend.

The 1st XI game was a much tighter affair, as Northcote got off to a great start. Having been 2/24 in the fourth over, their third wicket partnership motored along, reaching 2/92 after ten overs. Kevin Prior took his first wicket in 1st XI cricket, in the midst of a great spell of 1/16 from four which helped pull the momentum of the game back into our favour, while Matthew Whittaker and Brendan Drew were able to close out the innings well. From where Northcote were positioned, to keep them to 8/146 was a great effort in the second ten overs.

Chris Thewlis (21 from 10) helped generate a fast start in response, as our powerplay sought to match the Dragons’. His dismissal saw our innings lose some momentum, and while Morgan Persson-Clark scored 55 from 49, substantial partnerships were hard to come by through the middle order. Needing 61 from eight overs, with seven wickets in hand, we then slumped to 5/91 – but Brendan Drew and Glen Parker (28* from 22) had enough time to establish a quality partnership. While the spin was tough to get away, going at only 5 an over for the innings, the return of the pace bowling towards the end assisted Drew (22* from 16) in hitting some late boundaries. They put on 58 to win us the game with four balls to spare.

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