It was double delight for the Students on the weekend as they recorded victories in both the Second and Third XI’s.
“Coach, I got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” – James Horn when he arrived at Windy Hill
In the football change rooms at Windy Hill, one Student went wandering and set off an alarm before play. Playing dumb to security, it was “mischief managed,” and the Second XI wouldn’t look back.
Having won the toss, Uni would bowl first, looking to extract any life that was left in a fourth-use wicket. There was some, and Tom Walker was quick to find it with an edge behind to James Horn. From there, Jeremy Peacock (whose emergent fan-base are endlessly willing to sledge him from the sidelines) broke through for two in a row before a sharp run out from Pencil had the Woofers licking their wounds at 4/53.
Meanwhile, JB and his old man were on the tools on the sidelines; drill in hand, JB was removing the end of his shoe to avoid toenail damage. To quote Bill Lawry when Steve Harmison went for his hundredth run at the Gabba in 2006, “who’d be a bowler?!”
Power tools aside, the dogs were putting up more than a whimper in the middle. Steadying through the middle with a valuable 54-run stand, it was broken just before drinks by the indomitable Yuvraj Singh. Though he forgot finals start at 10:30, the index was high once he arrived at Windy Hill. Another two run-outs and a greedy celebration from Doug Warren ensured the total would never get out of hand; Footscray’s innings closing at 9/177.
Serendipitous timing, Uni got their innings underway just as Tom Hawkins got Geelong’s season going with a left-to-right slider. The momentum of each much the same, Uni were well on top for large parts of the chase. Despite an early wicket, Daniel Hutton looked a class above at the other end; his easy style on show once again at the top of the order. Good to know that some things stay the same despite his crossing to the south of the river. Hutton (57) partnered with Pencil, whose stunning innings of 53 included 10 bruising boundaries as he dismissed anything either side of a good length. Unbelievably consistent throughout the year, HB deserves an HD!
Despite the loss of a couple of quick wickets, steadying contributions from Borgas (16) and Peacock (17) helped the Students get close to the total. In the end, however, it was UV Rays who saw the Students home. Though his score of 13 no might not register on the Sun Protection Factor scale, it was invaluable in the scheme of the match; as was his cool and composed style.
Completing the chase with more than 3 overs to spare, the Students are through to a Preliminary Final!
In what was in all likelihood the final match on the Uni Main for the year, the Third XI made it count as they tamed the Lions in their semi-final.
Lucien gave the Lions top order a proper hello and welcome to the Main first thing. Bending the new ball, he had the first two wickets sewn up before trading hours began at Westfield. Not done there, Luc snared a run out to have Uni well on top, before double-barrel Barron joined in the action. Something of a procession from the Students, the fast-food spinners got in on the action, too; McLaughlan and McNab each with a McWicket.
Some strong lower-order hitting from the Lions in what were delightful batting conditions ensured they would have something to defend, but when the innings closed at 8/150, there was no doubt the Students had the upper hand.
Picking up where he left off with the ball, Bienvenu blasted a four and a six at the top of the order to get the innings going for Uni, before Lachie Melican settled into a groove at the other end. Sucking the life out of the Lions in a small chase, Melican batted with class and style to blast 81 from just 93 balls. His innings including seven 4’s and one maximum, he shut the door on Fitzroy and earned himself a BBQ Bacon and Cheese Stacker combo. Batted, Peli. Meanwhile, Michael ‘Zimt’ Forwood went happily about his business with 39 runs of his own. The highlight surely when he lofted the bowler straight down the ground and proceeded to run two thirds of a single with his bat still in position, making eye contact the whole way. An alpha move no doubt, it secured victory for the Students, as they passed the total with ten overs and seven wickets to spare!