First X1 Vs St Albans
Making the trek out to St. Albans was going to be a match where Seddon could really make an impact on the competition. Winning the toss and inviting the hosts to bat first, Seddon started sloppily in the field and with the ball. Overthrows and wayward bowling saw minimal pressure applied to the Saints batsmen. At 0/76 from the first 16 overs, Seddon may have been rueing the choice to insert the Saints. Grant and Kriebardis set about spinning Seddon’s way back into the contest. A couple of quick wickets to Kriebardis saw the St Albans reach drinks at 2/87 from the first 20. Grant and Kriebardis kept the brakes on and combining for a couple more wickets saw the Saints reach tea at 4/106 from 43. The hour after the break belonged to Seddon as St. Albans crawled to 6/128 with the contest evenly poised. A couple of missed opportunities in the field and some strong lower order hitting eventually gave St. Albans a defendable 7/219 from their full allotment. Kriebardis and Grant toiled hard for 33 and 32 overs respectively. Kriebardis was rewarded with a 5 wicket haul.
Application and Discipline was the mantra for the Seddon batsmen and despite losing Van Kruining for 3, reached drinks at 1/29. Again the batsmen failed to go on, with Shah, Grant, Godakanda and Stevens all reaching double figures but not going on to combine for a match winning partnership. All in all, another disappointing display with the stick saw Seddon bundled out for 83 from 53 overs. Bowling a second time, Seddon found some unusual wicket takers with Shah and Godakanda picking up 1 and 3 respectively. At the conclusion St Albans had posted 7/125.
A missed opportunity to create a mark but hopefully not one that prevents Seddon from reaching the finals.
Second X1 – Still to come
Sunday cricket was back on the agenda for the 2nds due to Hanmer Reserve being out of action. St. Albans, under the captaincy of the one & only Mick Else, won the toss & batted. The conditions were cold & windy, with predicted rain throughout the day.
The pre-game warm up was a sign of things to come, with a few blokes late and Davies straining his hamstring – effectively a bowler down. The lads got off to a reasonable start, having St. Albans at 2/16 thanks to O’Connor and Markovski. The fall of the 3rd wicket fell with the score on 80, whereby Rowe took the wicket caught by Tyrone at mid-on. The next wicket fell at 182, but not after the ball was reduced to a cake of soap after a couple of rain delays and the umpire deeming play could continue through more rain spells.
Unfortunately our bad luck continued until the end of play, with many catching chances a metre either side of the fieldsman, numerous plays & misses from their batsman and a couple more rain delays that reduced the ball to a big red wet blob! St. Albans ended declaring at 9/296 with two overs remaining in the day. O’Connor & Tzambazakis batted out the last two overs of the day, although a couple of anxious moments came and went due to a dropped catch in close & O’Connor deciding to charge Else’s darts to blunt the lack of spin.
Even though St. Albans made 296, I thought the boys battled hard considering the conditions and circumstances. O’Connor was the star with 4/62 off 20 overs and three fantastic catches. Rowe also bowled well, collecting 2/39 off 12 overs.
Day two and our turn to chase down 296. The weather was even worse than the Sunday previous, with heavy rain expected throughout Melbourne all morning and afternoon. The temp never rose above 14 all day, with icy winds as an added bonus! The umpired didn’t turn up the second week, due to a VTCA ruling that two umpires are required to umpire the reserve matches scheduled for the 1st elevens the same day.
Play started a little late at 1.05pm due to storms hovering around the area. Tzamba fell early with the score on 14, followed by O’Connor with the score on 32. Ferry and Butera were looking good and building a solid partnership, until Fezza called Butera through for an easy single that he didn’t hear, leaving Fezza stranded at the non-strikers end with Butera. Fezza was looking good, but had to depart for 16 with the score on 55. Fezza walked back to the sheds telling everyone how Steve Butera is his new best buddy and are planning on catching up for a beer every weekend and going to Carlton games together every week – NOT!
Stowie came to the wicket to join Butera. Unfortunately Butera fell shortly after for 19 with the score on 71. Markovski came in to pinch hit, then the intermittent rain increased to a heavy shower, so an early tea was called. The St. Albans captain Else insisted on going on as soon as the last drop of rain fell, with exactly 29 minutes of play lost due to the late start and the extended tea break. One more minute of play lost and the match reverts to normal conditions.
Therefore instructions to our batsman were to play out the overs and hope for at least one more minute of a rain delay, as 296 was beyond our reach by this stage. Somehow the rain was never heavy enough for play to be delayed from the tea break onwards, although most parts of Melbourne copped a drenching!
We ended up batting out the day 7/169, 127 runs shy of St. Albans total. Stowie top scored with a patient and controlled 62, with O’Connor chipping in with 20 and Butera & Markovski 19 each. Although it was disappointing to lose, we could be proud to bat out the day under trying conditions.
Third eleven Round 6 Versus St Bernards.
With the first week called off due to an unplayable wicket (protest pending). We were again confronted with a 36 over match. Having lost the toss we were handed the new ball, we got off to a flyer (3-24) taking some early wickets with some great catches in slips and mid on by Mackey and Dryiski. St bernards steadied with a 62 run partnership, and managed to grind out 8/130 runs, on a pitch that was showing signs of deterioration with uneven bounce.
Matt Rae and Jeff made a solid start, reaching 22 runs for no loss, however in a blink of an eye we were 5/28 with the prospect of facing an outright attempt or having to finish the day in the field. The middle order we able to slow the fall of wickets at the cost of a ballooning run rate. We managed to make it to the last over before going all out for 91.
4ths Round 6 East Keilor
Finally getting to play a two day game, we were able to demonstrate our suitability for that form of the game, but unfortunately not until the second day. Seddon batted first and never recovered from losing a wicket on the first ball, going all out for 74 in 35 overs. The only batsmen to get to double figures were Ani 16, Dan Flitton 10 and Bale 11. In reply East Keilor reached 3/99 at the end of the first day’s play. The bowlers all bowled well, but dropping one batsman 6 times gave us no chance of defending 74.
East Keilor’s captain declared at their overnight score, with a new ball in his hand. He was a bit taken aback when our resident rules expert, Rolf, explained that they’d have to bowl 37 more overs with the old ball. And by the time the new ball came on we’d managed to just about avoid an outright defeat by patient defence against some high quality bowling. Rolf (28), Sri (7), Tilly (12) and Daniel Thomas (11) all saw off a high number of overs to avoid a repeat of the first innings collapse. This enabled Ani (19) and Mohammed (23 N.O.) to come in and hit out well to push the target for East Keilor out of reach. We batted for 67 overs for a score of 9/124 (one player short). It was disappointing to lose again, but the players should take some confidence into the second half of the season, having shown for the first time that we are actually able to bat through a full day.