Season 2011/12 – Round 3 Summary

1s Vs Sunshine Heights Cricket Club

Round 3 saw the 1st XI at home again, this time to the boys from Sunshine Heights. Overnight rain got under the covers and left a spot that would cause some of the batsmen a couple of headaches. Winning the toss Sunshine surprisingly took the option of first use with the stick. Weerasinghe struck with his first ball of the day removing the captain LBW with an inswinging yorker that players far more capable than him wouldn’t have got bat on. A couple more breaks from Weerasinghe saw the Heights on the back foot and with the immediate success of Paul Grant, 5/37 was a good hours work from the Seddon boys. From here Sunshine Heights fought back to hit the tea break at 5/90. The reintroduction of Weerasinghe had instant effect. 3 more wickets giving him 6 of the 8 to fall ripped the middle order to shreds. A wicket each to Nicholls and Tim Grant saw the visitors dismissed for 128. 12 overs were to be negotiated and despite the early loss of the make shift opener, Van Kruining, Seddon took the honours finishing at 1/31

Day 2 presented more friendlier batting conditions as Seddon went about the job of chasing the remaining runs. A tight first hour saw 10 runs added for no loss. Tim Grant fell for 10 with the score at 44 and the home side were still on track. Oldham fell cheaply and with the side teetering at 3/53 a steady partnership was required. Procko joined Weerasinghe and the pair added another 20 odd before Weerasinghe chased a wide one and was caught at slip. 4 for 74 and the home side were still in command. Grieves joined Procko and the pair got the side to the shadows of tea at 4/97 when disaster struck. Procko was caught in the gully for a well made 39. Next over Grieves hit a half tracker to point and the very next ball Webb skied a full toss down leg side to leave the hosts in deep trouble at 7/97. Paul Grant joined Kriebardis and the pair got the score to within 8 runs, before Kriebardis departed. Grant got another runs closer before he fell for 21 with the side 1 run short of tying the match. Nicholls guided one through point to tie the scores, before he duly fell leaving Seddon all out for 128 also. 3 points thrown away and hopefully that will be the end of the generous nature of the side who have far too often gifted points to the opposition in the last couple of seasons.

26 overs to play out saw Weerasingher collect is 7th wicket for the game as well as singles to Weitzell and Oldham seeing out time with Sunshine reaching 67 for 3.

A disappointing result that the batsmen have to take the responsibility for. The test will be how the group responds this week.

2’s vs Sunshine Heights Cricket Club

Round 3 – Seddon V Sunshine Heights

Round 3 of the VTCA saw the Seddon 2nd XI travel to Sunshine West to take on newcomers to the competition Sunshine Heights. After navigating their way to Glengala Rd (affectionately dubbed ‘Glengarlic’ Rd in the 1960s by local southern European immigrants who settled in the area) the boys convened in the centre of a well manicured Ainsworth Reserve to inspect the pitch. A very generous covering of grass and a less than rock hard underbelly suggested a slow, seaming deck.

Sandeep was a late call up to the side when selected wicketkeeper Vuos Vu sustained a shoulder injury late in the week. Apparently he dislocated the joint on Thursday night whilst trying to impress the local teenage mums at a Werribee discotechque with his signature dance move, the ‘Hanoi half-pretzel’. Glenroy Coyle was advised to bring his ‘keeping gloves and pads accordingly.

The side adjourned to the demountable change rooms to white up while skipper Lethal Davies tossed with the Sunshine Heights captain. The temperature inside the rooms was a sweltering 105 degree despite it being a cool, cloudy day. A rumour quickly circulated that the local Finnish community actually commissioned the rooms as their Sauna during the winter months. Macca demonstrated he is a man for all seasons when he shouted ‘antaa objektimuoto panna alasti’!!! which is apparently Finnish for ‘let’s get naked’. He was given a definitive thumbs down by all present, primarily because nobody wanted to see the hirsute Macedonian in his birthday suit.

The outfield was as dry as Fezza’s sense of humour, in spite of the customary Friday night deluge of rain. Lethal’s decision to invite the opposition to bowl therefore seemed a sound one. Ubiquitous Seddon legend Jim Tzambazakis wanted to tell everyone he agreed with Lethal’s decision to bat, however a mysterious throat malady had rendered his voice-box more or less redundant, much to the relief of those of us who had fallen foul of his verbosity over the years.

John Rice-Whetton (JRW) and Stevie ‘The Hat’ Butera were the first combatants to face the SH attack. Predictably, the pitch played slow and ‘poppy’ which made scoring difficult as the ball refused to come onto the bat with any pace. The Hat was the first victim of the slow deck when he mistimed his bread and butter shot, the pull, and top-edged one to the keeper. This brought a wickedly hungover Matty ‘Sting’ Rae to the crease. It took a while for Sting to adapt to the fact that he was supposed to be playing cricket, as evidenced by the fact he forgot to run when JRW caressed one through a gap in the covers for what should have been an easy three, but ultimately yielded only a single run.

Stevie ‘The Finger’ Butera arrived back at centre wicket to umpire both ends. JRW would have preferred it if he had stayed in the Sauna when ‘The Finger’ fired him after being rapped on the pads. At 2/40 this brought David ‘Fezzbollah’ Ferry into the fold. Fezzbollah and Sting pottered around until tea when play was adjourned at a solid if unspectacular 2/85. Scoring freely was proving a challenge, however with 8 wickets in hand no one was panicking as the bowling was tight but patently lacked the potency to cause a batting collapse.

Sting, frustrated with the slow pitch and possibly keen for a sleep, skied one and departed for 49. Glenroy Coyle lasted one ball which unfortunately for him was a sandshoe crusher. ‘The Finger’ Butera had no option but to raise the dodgy digit, signaling the end of Glenroy’s day. The tension was palpable for the Hatrick ball. Late recruit Sandeep faced up to every batsman’s nightmare and unfortunately misjudged the line of a straight one that pitched in line and cannoned into his back pad just below the knee roll on the line of middle stump. Everyone at the ground held their breath in anticipation and fixed their gaze on ‘The Finger’ Butera who deliberated for an eternity before finally delivering his verdict……not out!!! A couple of balls later Sandeep smashed a catch straight to a Harbajan Singh doppleganger at covers. New recruit Nick sauntered confidently out to the middle but unfortunately became another victim of ‘The Finger’ without troubling the scorers unduly. Fezzbollah then fired off a faulty RPG which was caught by a counter-insurgent at mid-wicket for a well compiled 35. 7/109.

Round 2 half century maker Sheldon D’Souza joined Macca at the crease with the Seddon innings in deeper pooh than the day Silvio the Septic Tank Specialist lost his balance whilst undertaking the weekly purge of the Elephant facilities at Werribee Open Plains Zoo. Fortunately, the former’s good form held and his eye was in virtually immediately. A promising partnership ended when Macca, after being on the receiving end of a couple of absolute ball-tearers from the nippy opening bowler, succumbed to a leading edge. At 8/125 Lethal Davies wandered out to join Sheldon. Lethal’s lack of batting prowess was legendary, so a score of even 150 was looking optimistic with on N greelish Jr to come. The skipper was having none of it however and confidently declared to a skeptical Sting (who had relieved The Finger of his umpiring duties) that he would be happy with 180.

Sting’s pessimism was proven to be misguided as Sheldon and Lethal proceeded to make a mockery of the awkward track and smash the tidy SH bowling attack to all parts of the ground with aplomb. At one point after taking a quick single the ensuing throw at the stumps ricocheted off the meat of Sheldon’s willow and headed for the fine leg boundary. Sheldon and Lethal, being gentlemen of the highest class declined to take advantage of the potential overthrows and settled for just the single. Unfortunately for the SH boys, the ball came to rest a meter outside the boundary rope. Sting signaled ‘5 runs’ to the scorers at which point he was accosted by the entire fielding side who proffered 11 different opinions as to what exactly should happen. Variations on the theme of no ball, dead ball, replay the ball, double hit (‘he should be out!) etc confused the bejesus out of a rapidly deteriorating Sting who was forced to consult Glenroy Coyle whom he knew was a Level 3 Umpire. Glenroy excitedly entered the arena waving a tattered copy of ‘The Laws of Cricket’ above his head and directed the Sunshine Heights skipper’s attention to by-law 14.2.4 (otherwise known in the umpiring fraternity as the ‘stiff shit’ law) which clearly dictates that even though the overthrows were inadvertently caused by the batsman any subsequent runs were still counted towards the score. The opposition’s objections were drowned out by a strident Lethal who was shouting at the scorers to make sure they credited the 5 runs to his ledger.

After the drama had subsided, the two fast bowlers continued to pile on the runs, much to the relief of the Seddon middle order batsmen. By some miracle of metaphysics Lethal managed to bludgeon 29 with his particular brand of swashbuckle, although to be fair to the skipper he did in fact play some very tidy strokes, the best being a swipe back over the opening bowlers head for a one bounce four. Finally the innings concluded on 197 with Sheldon not out on 39 and boasting an impressive club batting average of 125 for season 2011/12. More importantly, he saved the first Seddon ‘West B2’ innings from debacle status.

7 overs were left for the Sunshine Heights batsmen to face despite the fairly late time of 7.30pm. An uneventful half hour was highlighted by Glenroy ‘Iron Gloves’ Coyle’s wicket keeping which by his own admission was a bit rusty. It reminded the author of an oxidized Tin Man drinking a double Rusty Nail while listening to Neil Young’s album ‘Rust never sleeps’ and sitting in a one owner ’79 Kingswood that has been parked on a Torquay nature strip it’s entire life. And of course there was Lethal Leigh Davies, who breaks down more often than legendary 1970s lemon the Leyland P-76 twinging a hamstring in his 3rd over. Consequently someone called ‘Roy’ was forced to bowl the over out with gentle tweakers. The wash up was 0/5.

A fine, warm day greeted the Seddon boys for the 2nd Saturday of a match which on balance was probably slightly in favour of the visitors. The aforementioned Finnish community had commandeered the ‘Sauna’ for their early Xmas party so a recently dumped shipping container had to suffice as changerooms. Glenroy Coyle caused some mirth before the game by regaling all who would listen about his recent adventure in a ‘haunted’ house in Point Lonsdale. N Greelish Jr suggested Glenroy might in fact just have been living out his Scooby Doo fantasy, a suggestion which was confirmed a little later in the match when upon taking a catch Glenroy cried out ‘Zoiks!!” as a tribute to his childhood hero, Shaggy.

Upon resumption of play, it was clear that the pitch had improved little from the previous week and contained the same demons; slowness, seam and ‘pop’. Under the pressure of some tight bowling from Macca and Lethal the Sunshine Heights openers struggled to get the ball off the square. The resultant scoreboard pressure led to the swift demise of the first opener thanks to a fierce yorker from Lethal. The remaining opener gave a couple of chances that went begging but still looked very shaky. Macca bowled well without luck claiming just the one scalp, the No 3 batsman, to a sharp catch from Sandeep at short cover.

This was the cue for the longest partnership of the Sunshine Heights innings – 32. N Greelish Jr made the crucial breakthrough to take the score to 3/50: the Seddon crew sensed a kill and mobilized accordingly. The next 6 wickets fell for just 24 runs and victory was assured with Sunshine reeling at 9/74. The No 11 batsman took a liking to Fezzbollah’s bowling and smacked him for a big 6 over long on, much to the big man’s disgust. The fact that said batsman then referred to Fezz as a ‘hack’ did nothing for his mood. It probably wasn’t the best time for Lethal to suggest Fezza keep the ball up. This advice was greeted with a fairly brusque ‘get ******’ by the big unit.

The skipper took the final wicket after coming on for a second spell (downwind, naturally) to finish with 5/23. All out for an even 100 and a convincing 1st innings victory for the Seddon 2nd XI. On the face of it it might appear that Sunshine’s batting lacked depth. On the contrary, they were in fact quite an accomplished batting side. Their meagre total was in part due to the difficult pitch but more so the result of some extremely tight partnership bowling. At one stage of the innings the author counted 6 consecutive maidens and overall the Sunshine scoreboard contained more dots than a class of chicken pox riddled Hyderabad kindergarten children learning how to do ‘dot to dot’ puzzles.

It must also be noted that Glenroy ‘Play-doh Gloves’ Coyle kept wicket brilliantly and emerged from the shadows of his horrendous effort a week earlier. Rumour has it that this was largely a result of his work during the week at training with ‘Wicky Whisperer’ and 1st XI wicketkeeper Mark Webb. Either way, it would be fair to say that V Vu may regret missing his opportunity to impress at 2nd XI level.

With 36 overs still allotted to complete the days play some extra bonus points were on offer for the Seddon batsmen. Unfortunately, the less said about this innings the better. A fairly uninspired effort was highlighted by N Greelish Jr’s accomplished innings if 29 not out and Sheldon again showing he could easily hold his place in the 2nds as a batsman. 8/106 was the score when play finally wrapped up at 8.20pm.

Mention must be made of the fantastic spirit in which the match was played by Sunshine Heights. It was a pleasure to play against a club that places such an emphasis on fairness and balance without diluting their competitive nature.

3s vs Strathmore Criket Club

Perfect conditions, good picth, good outfield, crap fencing, and thick scrub parkland to the south made for an interesting day of cricket. Having lost the toss, I used the force, the opposition captain uttered “their not the droids were looking for & we’ll have a bat”. Rowie and Amogh opened the attack with solid tidy spells, at drinks we had a couple of wickets and the run tally was under 40. After drinks, while the bowling was solid, so too was the cross bat hitting. A couple of dubious LBW’s were a topic of discussion on the side lines within ear shot of Dana scoring, It appears Strathmore attended the same umpiring course as Old Essendon, something to keep in mind for the future. To the credit of the Seddon players we didn’t lose our composure and got on with play. Rolphy was thrown the ball, unlucky for him it went on safari, we were handed a spare that was probably a better specimen, however the runs were flowing freely. Amogh was rewarded in his second spell snagging 4 wickets for the day and was able to break a crucial partnership that swung the momentum back our way late in the overs.

Chasing 168 Johnno and Jamie opened with Johnno taking the first ball, By the end of the second over our run rate was 5 per over with Jamie on 10 and he had sent their new ball to watery grave with a six into the creek, Johnno was also quick off the mark in the tenth over with a delightful single though second slip. They did their job with a solid 40 odd run opening partnership, with Stevo and Phil at the crease the runs conituned to climb with some controlled bludgeoning and a lost ball count that continued to climb. Stevo and Groover swung the pendulum further in Seddon’s favour with a 60 run partnership in about 5 to 6 overs with some more lost balls. With as many overs remaining, needing less than a run a ball, the wickets began to fall. Requiring 7 runs off the last over for victory, Rolph and Amogh were gallant in the end with some quick running between wickets, ending with 167 on the last ball of the day, falling 1 run shy of a draw. Had Pricey been scoring, Jamie was going to examine the books, with Dana in control, correct weight was a given.

4s vs Taylor LAkes Cricket Club

With the weather almost playing a factor in the first days play we were treated again with another pricey road…. Unfortunately we could not put it to good use with the team being bowled out for 65 with Steve Callis top score 22, things were not looking good. We had 37 over’s to bowl for the rest of the days play and they were 2/81.

Second days play it was I have to say in the back of my mind that dare I say it we could lose outright….

It was a beautiful day to be out playing cricket with the sun beaming. The bowling was tight for most of the first session up until drinks, then as mother nature turned up the heat the bowling started to get loose, with young Hayden Dryiski being the pick of the bowlers with the figures of 19 over’s 5 maidens 2/43 and Jackson (Jacko) grieves not far behind with 12 over’s 3 maidens 1/35, they ended the day with Taylors Lakes being all out for 386 and credit were credit is due Taylors Lake bloke who battered 3/4’s of the day and made 138 and only gave 2 chances well done to him….

To the Seddon blokes who battled hard in the sun all day I thank you for you efforts hopefully we can bounce back next week and have a big win

Honourable Mentions: as previously above mentioned and also Alex Gill for is first game and his first experience of a hot Auzzie day was absolutely buggered but still was able to throw down a few more over’s for the team and steve Callis with a bit of a back problem still dug deep to give me 4 more over’s once again chaps thanks for your efforts

5s vs Wiliamstown CYMS Cricket Club

We played the top team, Williamstown CYMS, who had almost doubled our score in Round 1. Bowling first we contained their top order well, keeping them to 3 an over until the drinks break. Accurate bowling by Timm Weitzel (1/17 from 7 overs), Ragz Rojkhird (0/16 from 5) and James Mitchell (0/21 from 8) was not rewarded with wickets, so in the second half of the innings their batsmen were able to play shots with plenty of wickets in hand. This put pressure on the bowlers, but Charles Feletar stood up to take 3/36 from 8 overs, which set us a gettable total of 144 to chase. Our batsmen started solidly but slowly, reaching 1/22 from the first 12 overs. This left 5 an over to get from the next 24 overs. Norm Kotsopoulos and Ragz set about lifting the run rate and took 45 from the next 6 overs to get us to a commanding position of 1/67 at the drinks break. Norm went on to make a quality 47 and Ragz an excellent 34. Unfortunately it was mostly downhill after drinks. The run rate dropped, with only 5 runs being taken from the first 4 overs. A bad decision saw Curley Greelish given out caught behind, which began the loss of 5 wickets in 6 overs. This put pressure on the tailenders who needed to score 7 an over from the last 6 overs. We lost our last wicket in the final over with the score on 129, falling 15 short. At training and in next week’s game we could focus on avoiding maidens by looking for ways to turn the strike over. Reducing the 4 maidens from this round would be a worthy goal.

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