A McKenna masterclass led the Students to victory in the First XI, as University claimed two wins from four against the Hawks.
After double booking himself on Friday afternoon, Fergus McKenna has been dealt a heavy blow; unwelcome at Hawthorn Indoor Cricket Centre until he “restores his credibility.” We reckon he’s got some credits in the bank, but after reading the evidence below, you be the judge:
At a loose end on the eve of Round Three
Ferg thought, “I know – a net will do me!”
And so, he booked at Hawthorn Indoor
With extra practice, of his game he’d be sure!
Alas, his afternoon plans soon did shift
But in alerting the Hawthorn Centre, Ferg was not swift.
Blacklisted by Lenny, with only himself to blame,
The skipper said, “It’s no matter” and saved his runs for the Main!
In the side for his debut, fast bowler Angus Molden would have to bide his time, as Uni were sent in to bat on Saturday morning. Promoted to the top of the order, Mitch Domann wasted no time getting into his work – seemingly aiming for Jon Stone’s room at Ormond College – as he clipped balls easily off his legs.
Coming in at 1/11, Ferg was disciplined early on a wicket that offered enough. Quickly finding his rhythm, he started blasting balls straight and after taking 18 from an over, the skipper didn’t look back. Partnering with Andrej Yaksender for the majority of his innings, Gus put on a masterclass as he balanced brutish power with maturity and poise for a three-hour stay at the crease. A true captain’s knock, his third First XI century helped push Uni well beyond 200 and further solidified his place as one of the premier batters in the competition.
Speaking of the competition’s best, Yak made another half-century on Saturday. 81 to go with 73 the week before, the Polish Conundrum is leaving opposition sides scratching their heads yet again. With a First XI average of in excess of 50 since his debut in 2017/18, we love watching Yak go about his business; his prolific run-making only set to continue with a brand-new pair of bright white batting spikes.
So, thanks to the efforts of the top order, Uni would be defending 259 in the afternoon. Squid and Mackin (who does an incredible job to run under the wind for a man who stands at more than 7-feet tall) both struck early and Uni were away. Some hard-hitting from the Hawks’ middle order levelled the contest, before Angus Molden took the ball on debut.
Bashing his length and hitting flesh, Gus broke through for his maiden wicket with a short ball that hurried the Kingston skipper. A fine catch from Buckets sealed the deal, and Molden was away. Though the Hawks threatened through the middle, it was Molden again who broke the game apart in his second spell, claiming a further two wickets to finish with 3/46 on debut. A fine effort, he combined with Fawad (4/10) who was simply a class above – to secure the points for Uni; Kingston bowled out for 221.
Having navigated Beach Road and the cyclists who ride three abreast, the Second XI arrived at Walter Galt and would bowl first in their contest against the Hawks.
On time this weekend and having proudly proclaimed he has “worked out cricket – again!” during the week, Lucien Bienvenu claimed the first two wickets of the innings. Steady bowling ensured the run-rate never got out of hand, and a typically miserly spell from James Bett (1/19 off ten overs) handed the Students the momentum. A fast finishing Kingston managed to get their score up to 200, but Uni would be confident that with a deep batting line-up they could get the job done.
Opening the batting, Josh Hahnel was mightily impressive at the top of the order in just his second match as a Student. Classy and self-assured, he crafted a maiden half-century (59) alongside fellow West-sider, Hugo Bienvenu (51). The pair, who made the drive together in Hugo’s car called Wanda, couldn’t bear to be apart, sharing a 100-run stand and putting Uni in a strong position.
Unfortunately, after their respective dismissals, only James Horn (29) managed double figures, as the Second XI lost 8/53 to fall short of Kingston. A disappointing result, Reliable sources confirm that Nick Ritchie hit possibly the greatest cut shot of all time, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Chasing their first win of the season, the Third XI would bat first, and with KD at the top of the list, it was something of an action replay from the week before; the classy right-hander making it look all too easy.
Crafting 42 at almost a run-a-ball, Kevin was a class above and gave Uni the fast start, partnering with Michael Forwood. A product of the TOG Trinity Factory, Michael has been dubbed “second Yak” by club coach Daniel Hutton. A bold assertion, Forwood lived up to the name on Saturday, blasting 76 to give the Students the upper hand.
Jayden Kennedy – who wears smart casual clothes better than most – blasted 30 from 18 balls, before some strong lower-order hitting from Jimmy Anderson (33), Lachie Pedley (24) and Tom Savill (21 off 10!) saw Uni finish with a mammoth 9/251 from their 45 overs.
Full of momentum (Lo – it does exist!) Tom Savill picked up where he left off, claiming the first two wickets of the innings. Durrant was equally impressive with the ball, claiming three wickets, while McNab and Rithin Rakes who bowls leg breaks snared one apiece. A strong bowling effort all round, the Hawks only managed 176, meaning the Third XI claimed the first bonus point of the year!
JB took the captain’s armband and was thrown right in the deep end as the Students fought hard and almost won the unwinnable at Highett Reserve.
Batting first, only two University batters managed double figures; Yas Muntasir and Hayden Lim – incidentally two proud Lowerites – showing resistance as the order crumbled around them. Yas (18 off 73) dug in at the top, whilst Limmy (14 from 60) helped stem a flow of wickets – from one end at least – during the middle of the innings.
With just 76 to defend, it was always going to be a tall order, but the young side showed real fight as they took it to the Hawks. Tom Uhr-Henry was outstanding with 4 wickets, to give University a real chance, as Hendro Dias, whose laconic approach to the wicket belies the fizzing off-spinners that follow, took 2. Individual wickets to Ram Nayak and Khush Talati almost sealed the deal, but unfortunately Uni fell just short, Kingston passing the total with two wickets to spare.
A great effort from the Fourth XI, they will be looking to set things right next weekend.