“I can promise you there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and being sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone.” – Ted Lasso
A disappointing weekend, season 21/22 came to a grinding halt on Saturday as both the Second and Third XI’s were defeated in their preliminary finals.
First and foremost, congratulations to all who navigated parking in the Harry Trott precinct on the weekend. With the Grand-Prix on one side and CV’s Bowler Talent Day on the other, it was a big ask.
Warren ruled with an iron first in the return of Doug-ball on Saturday morning, his one-eyed umpiring quickly rivalling that of E.Karageorgiou – who would in fact make an appearance later in the day.
Bowling first, Tom Walker was exceptional from the first. Using the new ball and extracting life from a traditionally benign Trott wicket, ‘Frank’ claimed the first wicket to get the Students away. A steadying partnership from St. Kilda threatened to take them beyond 100, before Molden and UV Rays Singh struck in quick succession to shift the momentum. That said, with a quick outfield and a wicket resembling the home straight across the road at Albert Park, the Saints continued to score quickly. Holding their nerve, Uni were able to take wickets relatively consistently throughout the middle overs, as the trio of young quickies; Molden (2/42), Browning and Walker, showed what they are capable of on the big stage.
Returning at the tail-end of the innings, TJ finished with a particularly impressive 3/29, while JB nabbed 2 at the other end, as Uni restricted St. Kilda to 9/213 from their 50 overs.
A pulled-pork sandwich the envy of the lunch room, conversation shifted to the best kinds of slow-cooked meats during the break. Though Emmsy settled on brisket, Bettsy and Borg assured the group that jerk chicken is the way to go. Especially when paired with a “teeny, tiny sip a’de Cointreau!”
Off to a flying start, Uni raced to 20 before the wickets started to tumble. Losing the top order in quick succession, the Students were in deep trouble at 4/32. Answering the call, James Horn and Jeremy Peacock – each fuelled by Red Bull – dug their heels in for Uni. Sharing a partnership of 30, they helped stem the flow of wickets somewhat, before they departed for 20 and 21 respectively. Yuvraj Singh was having none of it, however, blasting his second ball for six – and clubbing two more in his invaluable innings of 33 from just 37 balls. Pairing with Doug Warren (27 no), the pair helped haul the Students past 150, but it was too little, too late, as the final wicket fell with the score at 157.
An unfortunate end to another strong season, the Second XI improved on their 20/21 campaign and continue to learn and grow – blending exciting youthful talent with invaluable experience.
One of the best venues in Premier Cricket for a pre-match latté, flat-white or, in John McLaughlan’s case – a magic – the Students were well caffeinated by the time they arrived at Toorak Park.
Bowling first, it was Prahran that made the fast start in favourable batting conditions. Racing past 50, the first wicket came courtesy of a Michael ‘Bricks’ Forwood run-out. Celebrating by simply asking his teammates, “what else would you expect?” Zimt is quickly becoming a reliable force at backward point.
From there, Ale Durrant bowled an invaluable spell of right-arm spinners. With enviable control, he claimed a wicket, too as his nine overs cost just 29 runs to get the Students back in it. Similarly, John Mclaughlan and Dan McNab were as impressive as ever with 1/30 and 1/36 from their nine overs respectively, as Uni controlled the middle overs. Lucien Bienvenu (2/55) and a run-out was crucial to hamstringing the True Blues at the tail end, as Prahran finished at 7/196.
The run-chase off to the perfect start, Lucien parked a short ball over Orrong Road, while Lachie Melican – fresh from the SCG – played arguably the best cover drive of the season to get his innings underway. That said, they fell in quick succession, brining Michael Forwood to the wicket.
Having dominated the Third grade for large parts of the season, Zimt was in the mood to do so once again on Saturday. Crafting an invaluable 76 at better than a run-a-ball, Forwood cracked seven 4’s and two 6’s as he anchored Uni’s innings. Contributions from Skinner and Anderson (18 apiece) were handy, but Uni asked too much of the lower order, eventually bowled out for 176.
Falling cruelly short of another Grand Final appearance, the Third XI continues to impress; always thereabouts at the pointy end of the season.
Thanks for coming along for the ride over the last 18 weeks. It really is a pleasure to celebrate the success of the playing group each week.
Love you all.
P.S If you’ve got any tips on how to spend a Tuesday/ Thursday afternoon, I’m at a loose end.
P.P.S Football is out of the question.