Last weekend’s play in Premier Cricket saw the weather gods take control with play eventually getting on at only one ground in the Men’s 1st XI (Greenvale), with Melbourne University spinner Fawad Ahmed (6/9) spinning a web and dismissing the hosts for just 50.
This weekend sees the Men’s 1st & 2nd XIs play a Saturday/Sunday round, with the 3rd & 4th XIs scheduled for a One Day game in coloured clothing.
Footscray (7th) take on the Camberwell Magpies (15th) at Mervyn G Hughes Oval. The Dogs’ have commenced this season in solid form and would have liked more time last round when the weather intervened to give their batsmen more time with the willow. The Magpies, despite their off-season recruiting have fought hard with little reward for their efforts, with the efforts in the field the current area of concern. If the Dogs can capitalize on the Magpies’ bowling attack, then they will come away with the points.
Carlton (4th) host Frankston Peninsula (12th) at Princes Park #1. The Blues’ have started well but have relied a lot on the efforts of the bowlers and a ‘team effort’ with the bat to get to targets in chases, while the Heat have had a couple of positive totals with the bat but have shared the bowling around a lot. The big battle will be between the Blues’ batting line-up and the Heat’s bowling attack, as the Blues’ batting line-up need to find some scores as only Brayden Stepien has passed 100 runs so far. Carlton favourites but expect a strong fight from the visitors.
Fitzroy Doncaster (9th) host Casey-South Melbourne (13th) at Schramms Reserve #1. This match will be one to keep an eye on as the winner could find themselves in the Top 8 or knocking on the doorstep. The Lions’ have started well after losing a large part of last season’s bowling attack in the off-season, while the Swans are starting to find their feet but will want skipper Luke Wells to start to find some quality time in the middle. On paper, the area of concern is the Swans’ bowling line-up and the lack of wickets and this might be the opening the Lions’ need for the points.
Essendon (2nd) host Dandenong (14th) at Windy Hill. The Bombers’ have started well considering their off-season movements and will be keen to stay at the pointy end of the ladder, while the Panthers will be keen to push higher up the ladder after a rough start to the season. This will be a battle between both bowling attacks, with Panthers spearhead James Nanopoulos sitting on 299 1st XI wickets after his 7/43 last round. I expect the Panthers to be more competitive with the bat now skipper Tom Donnell is back from injury, but the Bombers will still have the advantage on their early season form.
Melbourne University (3rd) host Geelong (10th) at the University Main Oval. This battle looks to be a good one on paper with the Cats’ batting showing form with Eamonn Vines and Tim Ludeman going well, while Uni have been playing strong at the start with Alex Gregory and Andrej Yaksender leading the way. The big battle here in this match will be between the Uni batting card and the Cats’ bowling attack, with the leaders to be the barometer for this encounter. I expect this could go down to the wire, with Uni to just start favourites with their depth of bowling attack a deciding factor.
Northcote (11th) take on the Greenvale Kangaroos (18th) at Greenvale Reserve #1 (due to Bill Lawry Oval still being offline at present). The Dragons have been mixed this season but have seen some positives with the bat with Joshua Sundberg and Mark Phelan starting well, while the Roos have been improving but have the occasional step back, with Michael Stretton and Kaushal Silva working together to develop their side. I expect the Roos to be competitive with the bat, but the battle will be to see how much damage with the ball. Gut feel says the Dragons in a potential high-scoring game.
Melbourne (6th) host Kingston Hawthorn (16th) at the Albert Ground. The Demons have started well under skipper Cameron White and have played solid cricket without too many flashes of brilliance. The Hawks are starting to find their feet and are batting solidly but really need to have a break-out day with the ball to have any chance of an upset win. I expect the Demons’ will be keen to fire with the bat as some players need to boost their form and I am expecting Melbourne to get the points but am not expecting an outright result unless the bowlers can get going quickly.
Ringwood (8th) host the Monash Tigers (17th) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams’ have started in solid form but will be thankful for the sharing of points after their batting collapse against Essendon, while the Tiger cubs have been slowly growing through the season after the mass exodus after last season. This will be a good test for the Tigers, while the Rams will be keen to push hard to keep their current spot inside the Top 8 but will need their bowlers to fire for their experienced batting line-up to capitalize. The Tigers have a lot of youth and will continue to learn and will push the Rams’ hard but the home side to start favourites.
Finally, Prahran (1st) host St Kilda (5th) at Toorak Park for the RJ Parish Cup. Both sides have started well, with Prahran relishing their early season form thanks to the likes of James Billington and Andrew Perrin, while the Saints have seen strong growth out of their bowlers in Matt Hennig, Todd Murphy and Will Lovell plus the batting of Jonathan Merlo. I expect this game to be the match of the round and there will be no love lost between either team. On paper, I would think that Prahran have the home ground advantage but the Saints have a strong chance also.
The Women’s 1st XI competition last weekend saw play only get on at two venues, with reduced overs impacting all bar one of the 4 matches that were commenced. No play was possible at Princes Park #1 or at Toorak Park after Saturday’s weather, while in the venues that did get on EMP took the full allocation of points against Plenty Valley at AK Line, with Makinley Blows starring with the bat and a promising debut from Millie Illingworth in Game 1, while the points were split at the Albert Ground with Dandenong taking Game 1 before the hosts Melbourne took out Game 2 in a match that was reduced to 5.4 overs each side.
On Wednesday Night, Round 11 of the T20 competition was played with 3 games fixtured (Prahran vs Plenty Valley is being played Friday Night at Toorak Park) and a number of the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades WBBL players available for those sides.
This Sunday sees the commencement of the One Day season, with teams looking forward to testing their skills over the longer format of their season.
Prahran host Plenty Valley at Righetti Oval. The True Blues have had a strong start to the season in the T20s so far (sitting 3rd with 28 points at time of writing) and will be keen to transfer this into the first of the longer form matches, while Plenty Valley’s form has been up-and-down all season, with only 3 wins and sitting in 7th position in the T20s (at time of writing). The True Blues will be keen for their imports to showcase their ability in the longer format, while the Bats will be keen to take out a big scalp and look to get their season back on track. Form so far says the True Blues to start favourites.
Box Hill host Carlton-Brunswick at Box Hill City Oval. The Mustangs have been somewhat mixed in the T20s this season but have 4th position and 24 points on the table prior to the commencement of the One Day section. The Strikers meanwhile have struggled and after being washed out last weekend sit with only 8 points and 8th place. The Strikers will be keen for the longer format to test their young squad out but will be keen to get wickets early as the likes of Anna Lanning and Bec Carter can go and make some big scores if they have the opportunity. Mustangs to start favourites at home.
Melbourne host Essendon Maribyrnong Park at Beaumaris Secondary College – North Oval. Both sides have had a strong start to the season, occupying the top 2 positions on the ladder in the T20s so far and will be expecting a tough encounter in the first One Day match. The Demons have not been impacted as much as the Bombers with Representative duties but the Bombers certainly have some handy players and some experienced members that help to cover the gaps. The big battle I can see here is the Demons’ bowlers against the Bombers’ bats. On paper, the Demons look to have a slight edge.
Finally, Dandenong host Ringwood at Wilson Oval. Both sides have been somewhat competitive so far but are sitting in the bottom half of the ladder in the T20s. Both sides can both still make 4th position if results go their way but with only 3 rounds left it might be tight. The Panthers have looked to struggle for regular run-scorers and the Rams are slowly starting to build in that area, with the experience of skipper Bhavisha Devchand a key to this. The big battle will be the Panthers bowlers against the Rams’ batting card, with the advantage to come from this. On paper, I think the Rams may be a chance for an upset win.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket:
The following Milestones were achieved last Sunday during play:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 6 – SATURDAY 9 & SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
FOOTSCRAY V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires L Uthenwoldt & M Malmberg
CARLTON V FRANKSTON PENINSULA at Princes Park #1
Umpires J Shakoordeen & R Birch
FITZROY DONCASTER V CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE at Schramms Reserve #1
Umpires A Medina & B Davies
ESSENDON V DANDENONG at Windy Hill
Umpires J Leonard-Scott & C Grant
MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY V GEELONG at University Main Oval
Umpires C Lai & G Bawa
NORTHCOTE V GREENVALE KANGAROOS at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires L Edwards & T Wendelken
MELBOURNE V KINGSTON HAWTHORN at Albert Ground
Umpires M Nolan & V Calabro
RINGWOOD V MONASH TIGERS at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires R Hubbard & W Downey
PRAHRAN V ST KILDA at Toorak Park
Umpires S Olufson & S Pitts
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 1 ONE DAY – SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
PRAHRAN V PLENTY VALLEY at Righetti Oval
Umpires B Sheahan & L Tenace
BOX HILL V CARLTON-BRUNSWICK at Box Hill City Oval
Umpires D Licheni & D Ireland
MELBOURNE V ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK at Beaumaris SC – North Oval
Umpires M Rose & G Azzopardi
DANDENONG V RINGWOOD at Wilson Oval
Umpires R Harrison & S Awekar