The Students ran riot right through Carlton North on Saturday – filling every green space from the Clyde to Ikon Park in pursuit of Premiership points.
There was a valet parking service available for Jeremy Peacock at the Main on Saturday morning; Ryan keen to ensure that MUCC’s latest First XI debutant could focus on cricket, without needing to worry about sneaking the Hilux into a tight spot.
As promised, Nick Beefy Burke delivered an uplifting piece of poetry before play, too; his acrostic poem for ‘CROES’ covering all bases. That said, the wicket-keeper was more than a little flat that Beefy couldn’t come up with anything for ‘NOAH.’
Poems and parking complete, Uni would bowl first at the Main. We were treated to yet another outstanding first spell from Mark Stafford – this time duly rewarded as the big Squid broke through for the first wicket of the day thanks to a sharp caught and bowled. Janak Prakash was also particularly impressive with the new ball, nabbing the big scalps of Harvey and Smyth to give the Students the upper hand. Speaking of the upper hand, that’s the one Doug Warren used to high-five anyone within touching distance after his first wicket; a perfect set up and LBW, Slug could not be stopped as he tore away to short third man in exaltation.
On debut, Peacock was particularly impressive with the ball through the middle over. Playing a role he is well accustomed to, Jez was miserly for the entirety of his first spell and ensured the Blues were well behind the eight ball coming into the second drinks break. Though Carlton gathered some momentum in the latter part of the innings, Stafford (3/36) and Warren (2/32) were mightily impressive late in the piece to restrict the total to 211.
With a knot in his calf, Croey stood tall at the top of the order for the Students. Guzzling magnesium and pickle juice as he built a steady platform, Donkey looked in control for his 40. Partnering with McKenna (47) the duo took Uni into the second half of the innings and almost to 100, before wickets started to tumble. From 2/88, Uni fell to 5/120 in the face of a relentless and skilful bowling effort from the Blues. Hutton (28) provided some resistance and impetus through the middle order, and when Janak started to show off his fast hands for a run-a-ball 24, Uni looked in with a real chance. Though wickets kept falling at one end, Peacock looked at ease on debut as he made 22* to give one last glimmer of hope, but 210 proved a bridge too far, Uni bowled out on the second last ball for 201.
“We were genuinely staring down the barrel of chasing 400 plus the ‘t-word’ – and you know how much I hate tax.” – Harrison Emms
Thankfully for Harrison, capitalists and MUCCers, Uni played a flawless 75 overs of cricket after a shaky start, to secure a comfortable victory over Carlton. Bowling first, the Students were put on the back foot early, as the Blues raced to 86 before Angus Molden was able to break through for the first wicket. Another quick-fire partnership later, and Carlton were 2/143 with Big Bash player (and renowned big basher), Brayden Stepien walking to the middle. Inspired by Ted Lasso who declares, “there are two buttons I never like to hit; that’s panic and snooze,” the Students stayed calm and flipped the switch on the Blues; going on to claim an astonishing 8/52. A combination of disciplined bowling and five run-outs (James Horn was involved in 8 dismissals!) ensured that no Carlton batters after the top 3 reached double figures, the Students restricting them to 195.
With bat in hand, Uni were unperturbed by an early wicket, as Hahnel and Barnes went about building a solid platform. Something Pencil designs with aplomb Monday-Friday for Metricon, there could be no doubting the strength of Uni’s foundation; the pair adding 50 for the second wicket. Hahnel (34) looked a cut above, while Pencil’s 48 continued a humdinger of a season.
Still with work to do at 3/86, Isaiah Borgas walked to the middle with bat in one hand and EFTPOS machine in the other; Carlton needing to pay to witness the clinic he was about to put on. Biding his time and knocking the ball around early, he upped tempo after the second drinks break and blasted his way to 78* at exactly a run-a-ball. Always a pleasure to watch, a Borgas Masterclass consistently sees the team home; the skipper hitting the winning runs with five overs to spare.
Choccies to boiled lollies for the Third XI this week, as they went from a sugary high against St. Kilda, to hypoglycaemia against Carlton.
Batting first, the Students were quickly 1/11, and from there it was a Smash Mouth procession, only wickets replaced the years in the sense that they “didn’t (sic) stop coming.” Hugo Bienvenu (15) and Jimmy Anderson (16 not out) provided some resistance, but it was too little, as Uni were bowled out for 83 after 37 overs.
With a small total to defend, it was always going to be a challenge – even for a talented bowling attack. John McLaughlan and Lucien Bienvenu each claimed a wicket, but Carlton managed to pass the total after just 18 overs.
Be a goldfish.
The Fourth XI continued a rapid ascent up the ladder on the weekend as they recorded their third consecutive victory.
Although they encountered some significant top-order wobbles to be staring down the barrel at 3/15, the Students found some resistance and indeed momentum from their youthful middle order. Keeble (25), Muntasir (11) and Shenan Dias (36) all made valuable contributions to get the innings moving. It was, however, Harrison Preiss who played the most valuable innings of the day, crafting a stunning 73 to push Uni up towards 200. With hair flowing out the back of his helmet, the left-hander was assured throughout; only run-out off the final ball of the innings.
With a hefty score of 187 to defend, Lachie Pedley made the perfect start as he claimed a wicket with the first ball of the innings. At the celebration, captain Ed Savill instructed his team that he wanted them to be “the loudest and most excitable University XI in the Princes Park precinct.” Suffice it to say the boys didn’t need to be told twice, as they “yieweed” their way right through the batting order. Talati (2/18) was impressive again with the new ball, while Rithin Rakes – sunglasses and all, made the ball talk as he claimed 3/19 from his nine overs. Some late resistance from the Blues notwithstanding, the Students played a complete game of cricket to claim victory by 30 runs.