Just one day’s play is left for 10 of the 18 Premier Clubs for season 2019/20, while for 8 clubs this is the last chance to get things right before the pressure intensifies as the Finals roll around.
At the Russell Lucas Oval, Ringwood will resume Day Two of their match against the Camberwell Magpies at a precarious 5/80 in reply to the visitors score of 8/223 declared. The Rams have seen some top order wobble with both David King and Tom Rogers already back in the sheds late on Day One and extra pressure will sit on the shoulders of Jackson Freeman and Angus Adamson, who will need to score runs against the attack of Fekete, Walker and Whittaker, after Thomas Russ (85*) led the Magpies batting card to a competitive total. On paper, the advantage in this game sits with the Magpies, especially if they can get some early scalps on Day Two.
At Princes Park #1, the hosts (Carlton) will resume Day Two against Footscray at a precarious 7/93 in reply to the Dogs’ total of 161. The Blues will be sweating on the fitness of batting all-rounder Thomas Smyth after he sustained a compound fracture of the small finger on his bowling hand last week and has not batted at this point of the innings. With Xavier Crone and Cam Stevenson at the crease, there will be some incentive for the Blues to not make things easy for the Dogs and I would not be surprised if this game has the potential to go close to a reverse outright for a match result. Advantage stays with the Dogs to secure a home final next week.
At the University Main Oval, the hosts (Melbourne University) will resume their innings at 0/16 in reply to Casey-South Melbourne’s score of 211. The Swans were best led by recalled batsman Chris Benedek (76*), while Uni was best served by Steven Reid, Peter Hatzoglou and Mark Stafford who all finished with 3-wicket hauls each. With Uni’s batting card having been in strong form this season, they will be looking for the likes of Alex Gregory, Andre Yaksender, Fergus McKenna and Jarrod Martignago to continue with their form on their way into a Finals appearance. On current form, Uni should secure the points comfortably to take out this year’s minor premiership.
At Shepley Oval, the hosts (Dandenong) sit at Stumps at 8/277 against St Kilda after another Brett Forsyth century (126). This match has a lot at stake as the Panthers need to take the game on and find a win and rely on another result going their way (potentially at Windy Hill) to stake their claim in another Finals appearance. The Saints will either need to be prepared to get the last two wickets early or be prepared to bat out the full day to either win or secure a draw to hold their position in the Top 8, with pressure to fall on Damon Egan, skipper Adam Crosthwaite, Michael De Iacovo and Ben Davies to find runs and build enough partnerships to challenge the Panthers.
At Windy Hill, the hosts (Essendon) find themselves in a precarious position in their game against the Monash Tigers, with the visitors 1/9 in their 2nd innings and holding a lead of 100 runs. The Tigers took advantage of an inexperienced Bombers batting card for just 85 after putting up a mid-range total of 176, with Adam Amin (53) leading against Matt Doric (5/49) in his 150th 1st XI match. With the ball, Marcus Berryman (38 & 5/30) and Mitch Perry (3/20) were the Tigers destroyers and may again have something to say come the 4th innings of the game. With so much at stake, expect the Bombers to give it all they have tomorrow but I feel that they might just fall short if set around 250.
At Greenvale Reserve #1, the hosts (Greenvale Kangaroos) will resume Day Two against Fitzroy Doncaster chasing a target of 249 for victory. For the Lions, this total was only possible thanks to the batting performance of keeper Liam Banthorpe (124), who came to the wicket at a precarious 4/24 and was dismissed at 8/238, handling all the Roos attack could throw at him. The Roos were best led by ever-improving quick Sean McNicholl (5/75), while Trent Waring (3/42) and Humza Ali (2/63 + 3 catches) provided support with the ball. On paper, this would be a chance for the Roos but they will need their inexperienced batting card (minus Kaushal Silva) to fire. Lions with the runs on the board.
At AH Butler Oval, Frankston Peninsula will resume Day Two against Melbourne with a 1st innings deficit of 74 with the visitors resuming at 2/173 in reply to the hosts’ total of 99. South African leg-spinner Kyle Williamson (5/24) was the destroyer, while Kieran Elliott (3/14) and Jackson Coleman (2/19) didn’t give the Heat any freebies. In reply, Blake Thomson (101*) may look to cash in if he can get through the first hour and give the Demons a large total with some quality batting still to come before potentially putting the Heat in for another round. The pressure will be on the Heat to find early wickets but this might be a tough task, with the Dees in the box seat to finish with an Outright.
At the Geelong Cricket Ground, the hosts (Geelong) will resume against Prahran with the visitors at 0/117 in reply to their total of 217. The Cats’ struggled to find anyone who could push on past a start, with Josh McDonald (45), Eamonn Vines (38) and Mitch Reid (36) all getting starts against Matt Wilcox (4/45) and Andrew Perrin (4/59). In reply, Adam Bull (54*) and skipper Jake Hancock (64*) have got the True Blues off to a flyer and on the current form of the Geelong Cricket Ground should pass the Geelong target somewhere around lunch. The Cats have been hampered by a injury to quick Dom McGlinchey and this might be the final nail in their 2019/20 season coffin.
Finally, at Walter Galt Reserve, hosts Kingston Hawthorn will resume Day Two at 1/13 in reply to Northcote’s total of 304. The Dragons did well to get that score after appearing to be stuttering a little early before Max O’Sullivan (80), skipper Blayde Baker (75*) and Josh Sundberg (59) made timely runs against Jade Christensen (3/70) and Prateek Patil (3/100). In reply, the Hawks will be looking to not out batsmen Simo Ivetic (3*) and Ramneet Dhindsa (4*) to push hard against the Dragons attack led by Sam Harbinson and Michael Edwards. On paper, the advantage will still sit with the Dragons for first innings but an outright might not be on the cards this time around.
Women’s Premier Cricket has now completed their Home & Away season and the Top 4 positions are now locked in. EMP took out the Minor Premiership with 51 points, with Prahran, Box Hill & Plenty Valley making up the remainder of the Top 4.
Highlights from last weekend were:
Finals details will now be finalized for the Semi Finals, with communication to be made in the coming days once the Finalists are known for the Men’s competitions and ground availabilities are better known.
The following Milestones were achieved during play last weekend: