Although the message was “report to grounds,” only the Second XI got a game on Saturday – Ryan and Jez nailing it at the Uni Main – whilst the other three grades were called off without a ball bowled.
That said, First XI scorer Nik Sakellaropoulos made the most of the time spent waiting for a decision at Merv Hughes Oval. Wandering over to opening batter Harrison Emms, the pair engaged in a rigorous discussion on taxation policy, before Nik caught Harry napping:
“So, Harrison, your middle initials, what does the S and G stand for?”
“Ah, Simon and Geddes, Emms dutifully replied.”
“Right, and what about the M’s?”
It took Harry a moment, but he (unusually) conceded defeat.
Well played, Nik Sak.
Though he professes to have an unmatched level of competency at the coin toss, Second XI captain Hugo Bienvenu had a moment he’d rather forget on Saturday. Following the completion of the warm-up and the umpire’s five-minute warning, the opening pairs from both University and Footscray walked to the boundary, each thinking they were batting.
“I could’ve sworn he said they were bowling!”
In any case, the Students quickly shed their bats, gloves and pre-batting nerves, instead throwing the cool mint to Angus Molden who broke through for the first wicket. Tom Walker was also impressive at the top with his unnervingly quick outswing, while JB Toop picked up the second wicket.
Some strong batting through the middle saw Footscray set themselves a good launch pad (yes, we are talking, “lift-off!”) but a Nick Ritchie run-out and a James Bett wicket helped to hamstring some of the momentum. Angus Molden returned for a further two wickets to finish with 3/46, and TJ also claimed one in the last over; Footscray posting an impressive 9/244.
Ever-stylish and with enviable flamboyance through the off-side, Josh Hahnel looked at ease on Saturday, a pair of straight drives the real highlight. Unfortunately, when he was run-out off the bowler’s hand for 22, the Students were 3/45 and in some trouble. From that point, only Harrison Barnes was able to build any momentum, crafting yet another imposing 50 as he continues his outstanding year (are we talking Scholar’s Cross yet?). Too few were able to with him, however, Uni bundled out for 143 in the 48th over.
Angling for a spot inside the top four, the MUCC Women’s XI had an important contest against Melton Centrals on the weekend.
Bowling first, economical spells were the order of the day, as the Students used nine bowlers – all of whom restricted the Melton batters’ scoring rate. Jahnvi Tandon was the star with the ball, claiming 2/9 from three overs, as Dani Norman also picked up a wicket. A classy all-round effort with the ball, Uni kept Melton to 3/118 from their 36 overs.
Though the chase got off to a shaky start with an early wicket, Uni were quick to rebuild, as Herman (37) and Aquilina (13), put on 33 for the second wicket. Cath Grant was keen to take full toll once she got out to the middle, blasting 42 to see the Students home; Uni passing the total with 11 overs to spare!