Bright sunshine and warm conditions greeted players last Saturday, with a number of games seeing some unexpected scorelines and some outstanding individual performances.
At Princes Park #1, Carlton have got themselves into a position where they can win the match against St Kilda by restricting the Saints to just 218. For the Blues, Xavier Crone (5/49) led the attack with continued fine form, while the Saints had an unlikely top scorer in skipper Michael Beer (48), with support from Lachlan Holmes (45) and Jarrod Munday (40). The Saints will be keen to have their bowling attack strike some early blows as the Blues have a deep batting card on hand, with Stepien, the Smyth Brothers, Gulbis, Nick Ross and even Crone all being quality with the willow. If the Saints can’t get more than 2 breakthroughs in the first session it would be advantage Blues.
At AH Butler Oval, the home side Frankston Peninsula will need a lot to go their way after the visiting Greenvale Kangaroos finished Day One with the upper hand, declaring at 7/305 after a maiden Premier 1st XI century for Anthony Barton (118), 49 from David Worthington and 41* from Humza Ali, before Frankston Peninsula survived a short burst before stumps to resume Day Two at 0/7. Jackson Mockett (4/73) and Nick Boland (2/54) tried hardest with the ball for the Heat. This might be the match that the Kangaroos can push hard and take the points, but with Tom Wood still to bat for the Heat it is no given as Wood was in quality form early prior to a broken thumb. Advantage still sits with the Kangaroos but will need to take at least 4 wickets in the opening session to give themselves a strong chance of the points.
At the Geelong Cricket Ground, the home side will be praying for divine intervention after being set 401 to chase by Footscray. This was thanks to a chanceless maiden century (181*) for opener Ashley Armstrong, enabling the Dogs to declare at 6/400. Armstrong was supported by first-year player Nathan Caulfield (62) and the Kight Brothers (Dylan 57 and Jordan 44), while the spin of Brenton McDonald (3/104) and Hayden Butterworth (2/79) brought the Cats the occasional breakthrough. The Cats finished the day at 0/13 and will be hoping that they can capitalize on some wayward bowling from the Dogs, though the likes of Hamish Winter-Irving and Lucas Dredge will look to make it hard for the Cats’ batsmen. Advantage to the Dogs at this stage.
At Walter Galt Reserve, the home side Kingston Hawthorn will start Day Two with the chance of an upset after keeping the in-form Casey-South Melbourne to 171 and will commence the day at 2/74. The Swans were put on the back foot early with Captain-Coach Luke Wells dismissed for 6 and the side crumbling to 4/18 before a lower order fightback led by the debutant Ashvin Adihetty (44) and Lachlan Sperling (39). The Hawks’ bowlers shared the wickets before Simo Ivetic (44*) played the ‘rock’ in the card until Stumps. The Swans will be hoping for some early life in the deck to build pressure on the Hawks and hope they crumble, while the Hawks will be determined to get their first points of the season on the board and take out a big scalp in the process.
At the Albert Ground, the home side Melbourne capitalized on great batting conditions by finishing the day at 7/326 after a century from skipper Matthew Brown (157*), while Jack Harper (49) and Blake Thomson (38) provided some support. For the Panthers, James Nanopoulos (3/68) and James Wilcock (2/55) were the best of the bowlers. The decision now lies with Brown as to which way he takes the game at the start of the day, as he knows that the Panthers opening pair of skipper Tom Donnell and Brett Forsyth are capable of creating a match-winning partnership and get their side home. Brown will be needing his bowlers in top form to take the sting out of the Panthers batting card early if they are to take the points in this one.
At Toorak Park, the home side Prahran will need to get cracking with the bat after Northcote made 320 led by knocks from Steven Taylor (74), Jack Lalor (58) and Joshua Sundberg (50). The True Blues attack was best led by Lachlan Bangs (3/43), Sam Grimwade (3/71) and Nathan McNally (2/72). With skipper Jake Hancock finding some form during the week in the Vic SUPER SLAM, can the True Blues find enough spark to tame a Dragons attack that has been taking it up to teams higher on the ladder? Or will the latter find some fire and cause some panic to the True Blues line-up waiting in the Toorak Park dressing rooms? This will be a battle to watch.
At the Camberwell Sports Ground, the home side Camberwell Magpies batted and finished with 234 after a fighting lower order knock of 74 from Dylan Hodge, while Simon Hill (35) and Ben Rowles (32) also had starts, despite the bowling of reigning Ryder Medallist Trent Lawford (6/45) and Chris Moore (2/69) for the Lions. In the short session before Stumps, the Lions finished on 1/17 after the early dismissal of Zac Elliott. With plenty of batting in the sheds, this will bode well for the Lions but will need to get through the opening spell of Andrew Fekete and Will Walker before looking to capitalize on the other bowlers. Trent Lawford will be keen to fire with the bat at some stage this season, while Peter Dickson will be keen to keep churning out the runs for his beloved Lions. Advantage Lions but only just in this one.
An amazing day’s play at Central Reserve North has seen this match in the balance after 18 wickets fell for just 212 runs. The home side Monash Tigers will resume Day Two at 8/98 after bowling out Melbourne University for just 114. Uni’s innings was led by Fergus McKenna (32), before a collapse to Dominic Matarazzo (5/22) and Blade Baxter (3/19), while the Tigers started well through Adam Amin (35) before the Uni attack of Alex Gregory (3/18), Fawad Ahmed (3/26) and Wes Agar (2/24) left the match in a precarious position for the Tigers. With Ahmed and Agar out for week Two due to BBL commitments, Uni will need to wrap this innings up quickly to take the points, while the Tigers will need to get through the initial burst to secure the points for themselves and keep pushing for the top 8.
Finally at Windy Hill, the home side Essendon finished Day One in the box seat after a majestic innings of 161* from opening all-rounder James Seymour enabled Essendon to declare at 6/309 before having Ringwood teetering at 2/6 after a short burst before Stumps. Seymour received support from Isaac Conway (57) and Aaron Shellie (29), while Jackson Freeman (2/33), Ian Holland (2/45) and Matt Fotia (2/57) tried hard for the Rams. If the Rams are to chase the total down, they will need to do it without the support of Jackson Freeman and David King after both were dismissed in the 6-over session prior to Stumps. The Bombers are sitting in the cockpit and ready to take-off with another 6 points.
Women’s Premier Cricket has seen two rounds of play completed since the last week’s Preview.
Highlights from Sunday’s action saw:
Highlights from Wednesday Night’s action saw all 4 away sides take the points with them:
Sunday will see each 1st XI play two games at the St Kilda complex, with matches starting at 10:00am and 2:00pm. This weekend is linked in partnership with the Maddie Riewoldt Foundation, who will have a presence on-site to promote their charity work and their upcoming Maddie’s Match on the 17th February at Toorak Park.
With WBBL matches again on this weekend (Renegades playing at Geelong and the Stars at Casey Fields), all sides will be missing most (if not all) of their WBBL members. Regardless, there is some exciting talent coming through the ranks and will be keen to showcase their skills at the one location.
Matches for Sunday at the St Kilda complex are as fixtured below:
SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER – 10:00AM
Essendon Maribyrnong Park
Harry Trott Oval
Ian Johnson Oval
SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER – 2:00PM
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket for the following recent and upcoming milestones:
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 4 T20 – SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER (10:00am Start)
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V RINGWOOD at Junction Oval
Umpires S Fishley & C James
BOX HILL V ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK at Harry Trott Oval
Umpires N Frampton & J Richards
PRAHRAN V MELBOURNE at Ian Johnson Oval
Umpires D Jones & L McCabe
DANDENONG V PLENTY VALLEY at Ross Gregory Oval
Umpires D Gooneratne & S Olufson
ROUND 5 T20 – SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER (2:00pm Start)
MELBOURNE V DANDENONG at Junction Oval
PLENTY VALLEY V PRAHRAN at Harry Trott Oval
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V RINGWOOD at Ian Johnson Oval
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V BOX HILL at Ross Gregory Oval