In two contrasting matches, the 2nd & 4th XI managed wins against Prahran on the weekend. The 1st & 3rd XI saw some very good individual performances, but not the consistency required for victory.
At Camberwell Sports Ground the 1st XI batted first on a fresh wicket having been sent in, and once again the openers to get into double figures. However, three quick wickets saw us fall to 3/44, and after Simon Hill’s breezy 21 from 15 balls came to an end, 4/73. Daniel Rawson from there became the mainstay of the innings; he scored 76 and shared 50 run partnerships with Brendan Drew (27) and Shubham Bhargave (31). Dylan Hodge in his debut 1st XI innings provided a great cameo at the end, scoring 34 from 21 balls, pushing our score up to 9/236.
Prahran found their highest scorer at the top of the order, which created difficulties for the Pies who needed early wickets. Having been 2/56, Prahran put on 104 for the third wicket, and from here were always in a position to win the game. The opening bowlers were the tightest for the Pies, Will Walker (3/30) continuing his good form, but no-one else went under five an over as our total was passed in the last over with four wickets remaining.
Down at Watson Park, the 3rd XI batted first and posted what should have been a very competitive total of 7/250. Hamish Burrill top scored with 85*, a welcome return to form while Paddy McKenna repeated the dose of last week with another 70. That pair put on a hundred run partnership, while the opening pair of Trapani & Martin put on 54. The innings was closed with Lachie Mahon joining Burrill for an unvanquished partnership of 50.
The defence didn’t proceed at all well – the only bowlers to go under six an over were Mahon, Trapani and Fraser Thomas. Similar to the 1st XI, a Prahran opener provided the base, while the number four batsman provided the requisite support to haul down the total, this time with two overs remaining. Huzaifa Ahmed was the only multiple wicket-taker with 2/44 from 7.
Having had a shocker with the stick last week, things weren’t much better for the 4th XI this week at Righetti Reserve. They were stuck in by Prahran, and while four batsmen reached double figures, none could surpass 19 as we were bowled out for 107. However, what followed was a great show of character, as the 4th XI managed to score an unlikely victory.
This week’s captain Chris Bridle was the leading “wrecker”, taking 3/19 from 7 overs as he continued his comeback from injury. Dan Walker struck early while two run outs and tight bowling saw Prahran fall from 2/38 to 82 all out. Robert Capstick took a wicket in his first game for the season, having been a super club man over the past few weeks in spite of missing out, and Sachin Anand wrapped up the game with the last wicket, having top scored with the bat.
At Toorak Park, Shane Mays won the toss and batted first as things panned out similarly as the previous week for the 2nd XI.The top five all got scores above 23, but only Tom Rickarby was able to notch up a half century. We ended up with a very impressive total, 8/282, but it could have been very different when Rickarby (60) fell, leaving us 7/217 with eight overs remaining. But an awesome partnership of 60 from 40 balls between Kevin Prior (22) and Steve Singh (44*) pushed us up to a competitive total, and may well have been the difference in the game.
In response, wickets were hard to come by on a good wicket, and Prahran put on 113 for the first wicket. However, Joe Doyle once again was able to keep things tight opening up, and set the tone as we were able to keep a lid on the run rate. The wickets of the two openers either side of the drinks break didn’t halt the momentum as much as we would have liked, but regular wickets over the next fifteen overs put us in a strong position entering the last ten. Some lusty hitting gave us a few nervous moments, but we ended up winning by eight runs. Mark Dwyer took his 400th wicket in the match, and bowled a super last two overs to ensure victory, while the spinners (Kevin Prior and Jack McNamara) took a pair of wickets each.
This week we come up against Footscray Edgewater, who have begun this year in very good form. The 1st XI have won three in a row, and at 2-2 we desperately need a win out at Merv Hughes Oval.