Last weekend finally saw suitable conditions for all Premier matches to be conducted for the first time in weeks’, with some solid cricket being played across the competition.
At the Camberwell Sports Ground, Prahran have already achieved 1st Innings points over the Camberwell Magpies by Stumps, finishing Day One at 4/146 after dismissing the hosts for just 121. For the hosts, only Akshay Kodoth (27) passed 25 against Sam Grimwade (3/26) and Andrew Perrin (3/39), while Jake Hancock (42), Tom Loten (33 & 2/30) and James Billington (32) made sure the True Blues have 6 points in the bank ahead of Day Two. With conditions expected to be good, I would not be surprised if the True Blues push towards an outright result, with the Magpies batsmen required to improve their efforts with the willow to take some positives out of the match.
At the Geelong Cricket Ground, Fitzroy Doncaster are in the box seat after a strong day on the road against Geelong, with the visitors to resume at 3/117 chasing the Cats’ 203. For the Cats, Tyler Larkin (89) was the last batsman out after opening and had support from Dom McGlinchey (52), while Kobe Smith (3/34) was the early destroyer, reducing the Cats to 3/5. In reply, Jack Rudd (44*) and Zac Elliott (36) have laid the foundations for the Lions’ chase. For the Cats’ to have a chance of winning, they will need to get early wickets before Rudd and night watchman / skipper Ejaaz Alavi get too settled, but the advantage sits with the Lions with Sam Elliott and Peter Dickson still in the sheds.
At Mervyn G Hughes Oval, Northcote will resume the day at 0/2 in chase of Footscray’s 9/305 declared. The Dogs saw several starts from the batting line-up, with skipper Dylan Kight (70) leading the way, while Travis Dean (63), Hamish Winter-Irving (56*) and Matthew Underwood (48) all batting well, while the Dragons’ attack was led by Joe Medew-Ewen (5/70) and Sam Harbinson (3/58). With a full day of play available, this match could be an interesting one to keep an eye on over the day if the Dragons batsmen (led by Mark Phelan and Josh Sundberg) can get going or if the Dogs’ bowling attack can sniff out the wickets.
At Greenvale Reserve #1, Ringwood finished the opening day at 9/252 after a full day’s play that ebbed and flowed. The Rams batting was led by import Harry Came (60) and Jackson Freeman (57), while the Roos’ bowling attack was best led by quick Sean McNicholl (3/51) and debutant spinner Mitchell Edwards (3/52). This game will again be another one to keep an eye on as the decision lies with the Rams as to whether they keep batting the last pair or trust their bowlers to dismiss the Roos batting card that is continually improving under the watchful eyes of Sri Lankan Kaushal Silva and skipper Michael Stretton. An interesting day’s play awaits at Greenvale.
At Walter Galt Reserve, Kingston Hawthorn came out of the blocks with the bat and notched up a total of 292 against Melbourne University. This will have been a positive sign for the hosts as Jake Marnie (77), Thaveesh Attanayake (72) and Ramneet Dhindsa (68) all capitalized on time at the crease, while James Bett (5/45) toiled hard for Uni and was supported by Mark Stafford (2/52) and Steven Reid (2/67). With runs on the board now, this will give the Hawks some confidence to defend the total, while Melbourne University will be confident that their batting line-up can chase the runs against the latter’s apparent inexperienced attack. Another game that will be closely watched.
At Central Reserve North, the Monash Tigers will resume Day Two at 2/16 in reply to Melbourne’s 8/279 declared. The Demons’ innings was led by Andre De Lange (79*), with supporting knocks from Brad Melville (42), Blake Thomson (38) and Sean Sturrock (31*), while the Tigers wickets were mainly shared by Marcus Berryman (2/52), Wil Parker (2/56) and skipper Dominic Matarazzo (2/58). The Tigers will be needing to work hard from their current position at stumps and put value on their wickets early if they want to put the pressure back on the Demons’ bowlers to get the remaining wickets for the points. Melbourne still favourites in this one.
At Shepley Oval, Carlton will resume at 2/41 in reply to Dandenong’s total of 134. The Panthers’ innings was a battle of attrition with only Comrey Edgeworth (51) and Lincoln Edwards (20) the only batsmen to pass 13, with Matt Wilson (3/29) and debutant Kavisan Thavarajah (3/31) leading the attack for the Blues. In return, the Blues have lost both openers Brayden Stepien (2) and Thomas Smyth (33) with James Nanopoulos (1/10) and debutant Gehan Seneviratne (1/0) striking in the closing stages of the day. With play in a precarious state, the match is well and truly up for grabs for the side that wants it most in the first hour of the day’s play.
At the CitiPower Centre, Casey-South Melbourne batted all day and at the close were 9/329. The Swans worked together as a team with Nathan Freitag (69), Luke Wells (65), Jordan Wyatt (61) and Joel Mitchell (58) all passing 50 and Devin Pollock (37) also batting well against the Saints attack led by Matt Hennig (3/71), Will Lovell (2/49) and Todd Murphy (2/121). The Saints will be confident that with the way the ground plays the target is more than achievable and their batsmen will be keen to cash in on conditions that will be conducive to batting. The Swans will need to make early inroads to come away with the points, with a high-scoring game on the cards.
Finally, at AH Butler Oval, Frankston Peninsula batted against Essendon and closed the day at 8/299. The Heat had limped to 7/155 with only Ryan Hammel (23) and Chris Dew (21) passing 20 against the bowling of Liam Bowe (3/73), Matt Doric (2/51) and Cam McClure (2/61) before Nick Boland (47*) joined import Felix Organ (128) for a 115-run 8th wicket stand before Organ finally fell to McClure with the score at 270. The Heat will be weighing up the declaration and give themselves the best chance of dismissing the Bombers’ batting card, while the latter will want as many overs as they can to chase with their top order all capable of massive scores. Expect this to go late in the day.
The Women’s 1st XI competition last weekend saw all four games proceed, with some entertaining cricket being played and some surprise results.
On Wednesday Night, Round 13 of the T20 competition was played with a number of close results.
This weekend sees Round 3 of the One Day matches, with all teams now keen to establish their positions on the ladder early.
Essendon Maribyrnong Park (1st) play Plenty Valley (2nd) on Sunday at Aberfeldie Park. Both sides are coming off good wins last weekend with the Bombers chasing 180 with plenty of time to spare and the Bats chasing 217 against Box Hill. Both sides will be keen to chalk another win on the ladder and will find this as a great opportunity, with the Bombers being keen to not drop their unbeaten start at home. On paper, the Bombers have more experience in their starting XI and would hope to utilize this when bowling, but the Bats are capable of anything on their day and really need to ‘click’ with their bowling if they want to get back-to-back wins. EMP favourites at home.
Ringwood (6th) host Melbourne (5th) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams’ were competitive on the road against EMP last weekend but ultimately a lack of bowling pressure when defending ultimately cost them dearly, while the Demons played well to chase 213 against Dandenong at the Albert. On paper, the Demons appear to be the stronger side but expect the Rams’ to give it their all with their young brigade led by Bhavisha Devchand. The one area of concern for the Rams’ appears to be their inexperience with the ball and that is expected to some degree with their younger squad and the Demons’ bats may capitalize on this. Melbourne to start favourites.
Dandenong (8th) host Carlton-Brunswick (4th) at Shepley Oval. The Panthers put up a great effort with the bat to set Melbourne 213 to get but the bowling lacked the penetration required to dismiss the Demon bats and resulting in a loss that was worse than what it appeared on paper, while the Strikers pulled off a strong upset over Prahran at Princes Park #1 in keeping the True Blues to a sub-100 score (95) when chasing 163. On paper, I would think this game will be even with both sides having a couple of players that can bat and some handy bowling option. I expect the result to potentially go down to the wire, with the Panthers’ experienced heads to thrive at the death and giving them the edge.
Finally, Prahran (7th) host Box Hill (3rd) at Toorak Park. The True Blues will be keen to be back at Toorak Park after dropping last week’s match on the road, while Box Hill will be keen to redeem themselves after last week’s loss to Plenty Valley despite setting a strong score. With Anna Lanning now getting a call-up to the Melbourne Renegades in recent days, this may provide an opening for the hosts, especially if they have the services of Emma Inglis for this match as the batting advantage could swing their way. I expect that this match can also go to the wire with both sides having good bowling attacks, with the gut feel suggesting Box Hill may just have an edge with the bowlers in this one.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket:
The following Milestones were achieved last weekend during play:
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 3 ONE DAY – SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V PLENTY VALLEY at Aberfeldie Park
Umpires L McCabe & G Azzopardi
RINGWOOD V MELBOURNE at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires L Edwards & G Bawa
DANDENONG V CARLTON-BRUNSWICK at Shepley Oval
Umpires R Harrison & D Licheni
PRAHRAN V BOX HILL at Toorak Park
Umpires A Hind & J Leonard-Scott