Between shifts on the covers, there were a few standout performances on the field across the grades, including the first hundred for the season, and a maiden five-wicket haul, as Uni put themselves in a strong position against Greenvale.
Winning the toss and electing to bat in arctic conditions at Greenvale Reserve, Uni made a promising start, as red-ball specialists, Emms and McKenna passed 50 for the opening stand, before the skipper was out LBW for 28 just as the rain came for the first time. Although both teams struggled to get the covers down in wild wind and heavy rain, play resumed almost on time after lunch. Coming in at number 3, Alex Gregory joined fellow St Peter’s graduate Emms at the wicket, but even the pair’s dry sense of humour wasn’t enough to stave off the rain, as the covers came on three more times before the tea break. Despite the consistent disruptions in play, Uni didn’t lose another wicket until the second last over of the day when Emms (90) was caught behind. Gregory (71*) showed patience and power at different stages, to help push Uni to 2/191 overnight, and is currently joined at the wicket by Yaksender (0*).
Special mentions also go to Fergus McKenna and Liam Scammel, who retrieved bowling mats from the Greenvale practice facilities (climbing through a hole in the nets, trudging through mud, and even fighting off a kangaroo- the animal not a Greenvale player) to cover wet spots on the ground to ensure play could resume.
The First XI will have to make up for lost time next weekend and are set for a mammoth 130 overs of play.
After the early loss of Roughsedge (8) to a dubious caught behind decision, the Students never looked back on a day that belonged to the Second XI and Max Hatzoglou at the Uni Main. Hatzoglou partnered with Yousaf Iqbal for a 170-run stand, pushing Uni into a dominant position. Not even a moving sightscreen could halt their progress, as the pair balanced power hitting and patience in difficult cricketing conditions, to put the Kangaroos on the back foot. Soon after Iqbal (74) was out LBW, Max Hatzoglou tickled one round the leg side, and in doing so, brought up his first hundred for the club. A fine achievement, it takes his season tally to 201 runs at an average of 67. Uni wasn’t done there, however, as wicket-keeper batsman, Noah Croes passed 50 for the third time this season, on his way to a rapid fire 78 from 80 balls. This powerful late innings batting pushed the Students beyond 300.
Having declared the innings closed, Uni had seven overs to make some inroads into the Kangaroos’ batting line-up. Abdul Haseeb quick to take the chance, bowling Will Shannon for 4, leaving Greenvale 1/18, still 283 shy of University. The Second XI will be keen to take the points next Saturday.
Also at Greenvale Reserve, the Third XI faced abject conditions, and spinner Kendrick Hatton would have to tackle them without his sunglasses, having broken them in the warm-up. Bowling first, it took Uni only four balls to make a breakthrough, as club favourite, Jacob Stevenson combined with wicket-keeper, James Horn for the first wicket. As play continued to be interrupted, Stevenson, to paraphrase the idiom, took wickets while the sun shined. Literally. Bowling 12 overs on the trot, Fridge stormed through Greenvale’s batting line-up to claim the outstanding figures of 6/30. His maiden 5 wicket haul, Stevenson’s performance earned him the mantle as The Resilience Project Player of the Week.
When play was abandoned for the day, Greenvale had lost 7 wickets and managed only 87 from 32 overs, and Uni will enter the second week as favourites to claim a third win in a row.
On a particularly green wicket at Princes Park 3, the Fourth XI batted first, and managed only 18 overs before play was abandoned. In that time, Alex Gall continued his promising start to the year, and remains 24 not out. Uni will enter next week at 2/52, and it will be interesting to see how the sides go about making a game of it from this point.
Despite the conditions, there was plenty to enjoy, and all teams go into next week with the chance to claim the points.