Last weekend’s play in Premier Cricket saw the weather ‘toy’ with venues on the Saturday, with the result being a drawn match at two 1st XI grounds, with most other grounds having to resort to Duckworth Lewis to obtain a result. Sunday’s weather was better, with all games starting but some delays at certain venues a by-product of the previous day’s activities.
This weekend sees the return of the whites for the first time this season and the traditional ‘red cherry’ will be back out in force, ready for the bowlers to test their skill against the opposition batsmen.
The Camberwell Magpies (15th) take on the Monash Tigers (17th) at Camberwell Sports Ground. This game could be a defining moment for both club’s seasons as this could shape the general run of their season. The Tigers are in the rebuild phase and results have shown that this is going to take some time but have a chance to get on the board, while the Magpies after their Round 1 win on the road at Geelong have lost to 3 sides that currently sit in the top 5 positions of the ladder without being disgraced. Both sides need the batting to fire if they are to win, with the Tigers needing some stronger performances out of state contracted members Tom O’Connell and Jake Fraser-McGurk if they are to take the points. Camberwell Magpies to start favourites.
Casey-South Melbourne (13th) host Carlton (3rd) at Casey Fields #4. The Swans have had an up-and-down start, with last weekend seeing them get a draw with Essendon as a result of wet weather before defending a total of just 134, before notching their first win over Dandenong. After the Blues were routed by Essendon in Round 1, the Blues have won 3 in-a-row and will be keen to make it 4 but need to find some more runs outside Brayden Stepien, with the Smyth Brothers and Mackenzie Harvey due for long stints at the crease. The Swans will be looking for the same out of import Luke Wells and a strong bowling performance to keep the Blues to a score that can be chased. The experience in the reigning Premiers will give them the edge to start favourites.
Dandenong (14th) host Geelong (10th) at Shepley Oval. The Panthers last week struggled to break key partnerships at crucial times, which resulted in two losses and will be needing to put pressure on the Cats’ batting card to keep in this game. The Cats’ last week saw a tight 6-run loss against Melbourne before a bonus point win with a successful target chase on the Sunday against the Greenvale Kangaroos has them with some more confidence. The Cats’ will be relying on the batting line-up of Eamonn Vines, Tim Ludeman, Thomas Jackson and Hayden Butterworth for their runs, but will need to find some strength with the bowlers to dismiss the Panthers batting card. Current view has this going down to the wire with the home side starting favourites if captain Tom Donnell returns from injury.
Ringwood (8th) host Essendon (2nd) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams’ are just inside the Top 8 and will be keen to solidify their position after a 2-2 start in the One Day games, with both losses having been tight (1 run against Northcote and 5 wickets with 10 balls left against Fitzroy Doncaster by Duckworth Lewis). The Bombers sit in the Top 2 with 3 wins and a draw after a washout against Casey-South Melbourne likely prevented them from holding top spot and will be keen to get their team firing in the longer format. The Bombers have seen a strong start with the ball to Liam Bowe and Tom O’Donnell and will be keen for Matt Doric and James Seymour to get some form with the ball, while the Rams will be keen for the batting form so far to continue. On paper, the Bombers to fire if they get on top of the Rams’ attack.
Prahran (1st) host Fitzroy Doncaster (9th) at Toorak Park. The True Blues have jumped out of the blocks after last season, with only a washout against Footscray preventing them from being 4-0 starters. The new ball partnership of Andrew Perrin and Matt Wilcox has already paid dividends, with spinner Sam Grimwade and batsman James Billington playing fine support in their club’s current position. The Lions have been quite strong with the ball this season despite their off-season movements, with skipper Ejaaz Alavi and Nick Fletcher leading the attack with 11 and 10 wickets each. The current concern for the Lions is with the willow with only Jack Rudd having passed 100 runs so far this season and I expect this will be the weakness the True Blues look to target. Prahran to start favourites at home.
St Kilda (4th) host Footscray (7th) at the CitiPower Centre. The Saints commenced well winning their first 3 games before dropping a tight one against neighbours Melbourne last Sunday at home and will be keen to make it 4 from 5 against their opponent on their ‘spiritual home’. The Dogs were lucky that weather intervened when it did against Prahran as they were in a losing position, before regrouping on the road and defeating Frankston Peninsula. The Dogs will be needing to use this opportunity for some of their batsmen to build long innings and frustrate the Saints’ attack, while finding enough to bowl the Saints out, while the latter will be looking for the ‘new brigade’ of Matt Hennig, Todd Murphy and Will Lovell to cause carnage in the Dogs’ experienced batting card. Saints to just start favourites at home.
Frankston Peninsula (12th) host Kingston Hawthorn (16th) at AH Butler Oval. The Heat were stiff to fall 6 runs short of a revised target on Saturday against Melbourne University, before Footscray accounted for them on Sunday after a 2-0 start to the season. The Hawks tasted success with a last-over win over the Greenvale Kangaroos with Shorye Chopra starring, before reality set back in after Ringwood made over 300 against their attack on the Sunday. The big issue that the Hawks have is the lack of firepower with the ball, with only 12 wickets falling to their bowlers and 1 run out in the first 4 games and is an area the Heat batsmen can look to capitalize on. If the Hawks can keep the Heat to a score around 200 then anything is possible but on paper the Heat to start favourites at home.
The Greenvale Kangaroos (18th) host Melbourne University (6th) at Greenvale Reserve #4. The Roos just fell at the last hurdle on the Saturday against Kingston Hawthorn despite coach Kaushal Silva’s 133 and were competitive with the bat again against Geelong, before the bowlers struggled for penetration. Uni took the points last week against Frankston Peninsula and the Monash Tigers with Andrej Yaksender and Alex Gregory leading their batting at present. The Roos will need to find some strength out of their bowlers, with Sean McNicholl the only bowler to take more than 3 wickets for them, while the Uni bowlers are keen for some wickets as well, with Alex Gregory and Steven Reid leading their attack. Uni to start favourites in this one, with an Outright a chance if conditions go their way.
Finally, Melbourne (5th) host Northcote (11th) at the Albert Ground. The Demons meanwhile came out of last weekend with the points from wins against Geelong and St Kilda and with their strong batting line-up on paper could find themselves gaining form for some of their players, with skipper Cameron White due for a big knock. The Dragons took home the Brendan McArdle Shield with victory over Dandenong on the Saturday, before Prahran accounted for them on the Sunday. Both sides need to find form with the ball, so the pressure will be on the batsmen to convert starts into big innings and with the conditions usually at the Albert it will more than likely be a batting wicket. Current form suggests Melbourne to go in at favourites.
The Women’s 1st XI competition last weekend saw the points shared at 2 of the 4 grounds, with Melbourne and Box Hill the sides to come away with all points (with the latter having to win the first game of the day in a Super Over against Carlton-Brunswick), with Anna Lanning (62* & 81*) starring. Dandenong accounted for EMP in Game 1 with Courtney Neale’s spell of 4/1 off 4 overs a highlight, before the Bombers regrouped to take the points, while Ringwood defeated a WBBL-depleted Prahran in Game 1 before the True Blues balanced the day with a strong victory in the second game.
Carlton-Brunswick (8th) host Melbourne (2nd) at the AG Gillon Oval. The Strikers last week nearly saw their second win of the T20s but ultimately fell just short against Box Hill, while Melbourne took the points in both games against Plenty Valley. The biggest hurdle for the Strikers at this current point is the Demons’ batting card, with the likes of Amy Yates, Amy Vine and Renee Moffitt all showing strong early-season form. The Strikers will need a team effort to have any chance of taking the points, but current form suggests the Demons will take the points in both games.
Essendon Maribyrnong Park (3rd) play Prahran (1st) at Toorak Park. The Bombers were shaken up by Dandenong’s attack in Game 1 last weekend before countering with a tight win in the second game, while Prahran had their first loss in Game 1 to Ringwood before regrouping to win Game 2. On paper, this series has the makings of two tight games, but is subject to some degree as to who will take the field for the Bombers while the True Blues still have some international players in their ranks (Lewis, Rijke and Kalis). Splitting of points most likely.
Plenty Valley (6th) take on neighbours Box Hill (4th) at AK Line Reserve. The Bats will be looking to regroup after a tough day against Melbourne and will not find this week’s task any easier with the Mustangs in form. Anna Lanning will be the key wicket in this week’s matches after back-to-back unbeaten 50’s and the Bats will be keen to get her wicket early, while their batting card needs to find some fire to set defendable scores or chase strong targets. On paper, this feels like the Mustangs are on the way to another set of wins.
Finally, Ringwood (7th) host Dandenong (5th) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams took points in the first game against Prahran but failed to make it 2 from 2 with a batting collapse that afternoon, while the Panthers routed EMP in Game 1 but failed to defend a moderate total in Game 2. Both sides are capable of anything on their day and will be hoping conditions are conducive for their skills, with some tight results possible. Gut feel says the points will be split here in this round but don’t discount the reigning T20 premiers to possibly take both sets.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket:
The following Milestones were achieved last Saturday during play:
The following Milestones were achieved last Sunday during play:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 5 – SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER & SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
CAMBERWELL MAGPIES V MONASH TIGERS at Camberwell Sports Ground
Umpires A Medina & R McKinnon
CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE V CARLTON at Casey Fields #4
Umpires G Bawa & M Muthugounder
DANDENONG V GEELONG at Shepley Oval
Umpires M Nolan & S Olufson
RINGWOOD V ESSENDON at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires L Uthenwoldt & L Edwards
PRAHRAN V FITZROY DONCASTER at Toorak Park
Umpires M van Eck & M Robertson
ST KILDA V FOOTSCRAY at the CitiPower Centre
Umpires J Leonard-Scott & G Azzopardi
FRANKSTON PENINSULA V KINGSTON HAWTHORN at AH Butler Oval
Umpires B Davies & S Pitts
GREENVALE KANGAROOS V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires C James & M Malmberg
MELBOURNE V NORTHCOTE at Albert Ground
Umpires R Hubbard & D Ireland
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 7 & 8 T20 – SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER (10:00am and 2:00pm Start)
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V MELBOURNE at AG Gillon Oval
Umpires C Lai & R McKinnon
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V PRAHRAN at Toorak Park
Umpires M Rogers & S Sykstus
PLENTY VALLEY V BOX HILL at AK Line Reserve
Umpires J Wyatt & A Hind
RINGWOOD V DANDENONG at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires S Fishley & T Wendelken