The Students executed the “Double Pincer” on the weekend. A classic military technique that sees enemy forces encircled and attacked on both flanks, Uni encircled the Lions with victories in the First and Fourth XI’s.
Answering Simon Mackin’s request to “bring something tangible for the team,” Harrison Emms brought Sunday’s fish and chip paper; placing the Australian Financial Review on the team table on Saturday morning.
Ferg lost his fifth toss in a row (the odds would be close to 50/50 no?) and the Students would bowl first, meaning Janak Prakash would get first crack in his debut match. It was at the other end, however, where the early damage was done; Mark Stafford at his brilliant best. With swing and nip he nabbed two in his first spell to put the Lions on the back foot, before Alex Gregory rolled into his work.
For the majority of his spell, Greg’s figures resembled a dial tone, as his metronomic style earned both maidens and wickets. Ultimately, he finished with 4/11 from 8.2 overs – a stunning spell that gave Uni the upper-hand. Such was his command, that Alex even proclaimed, “that’s the one!” as a delivery left his hand, only for it to be edged and fall agonisingly short of Croey behind the stumps. Ben (Rolfs) Wagon was mightily impressive through the middle, claiming 2/30 from his ten overs (both caught Gregory, just in case you thought he was out of the game for a moment) to ensure Uni would be chasing less than 130. JP crashed through for a maiden wicket thanks to a quick bumper, and when Squid returned to claim the final wicket and finish with 3/18, the Lions were all out for 128.
Stylish as ever at the top, Noah Croes (27) played a pair of blistering pull shots from the top of the stumps to get Uni going. Joined by Harrison Emms (14), the pair settled nerves getting the Students more than a quarter of the way through the chase. McKenna (24) was impressive, but as the wicket started to play a few more tricks, the Students faltered, losing 5/23 and leaving the door ajar for the Lions. In his debut match, JP was oozing with composure when he came out at number 9; crafting 13* to steady the ship alongside Young (25). Ultimately, Simon Mackin sealed the deal with a dismissive swat over wide mid-on, securing victory in the 38th over, meaning the Students claimed their second bonus point in a row.
Though he had a birthday party planned for Saturday night, Harrison Barnes was keen to make real day of it, Pencil owning the spotlight for a large part of proceedings at the Main.
Batting first, Uni were in trouble from the outset, as a flurry of early wickets saw the Students precariously placed at 4/26. It was birthday boy Pencil, who is yet to be dismissed as a MUCCer, who soaked up the pressure and continued his fine early-season form. Cracking an unbeaten 81, Barnes hauled Uni back into the contest alongside Jeremy Peacock (55). Thankfully, Jezza has a new Hilux in which he can store all of his runs, so expect the scores to keep flooding in for our turf management specialist. With Uni back in the contest, Horn (11) and Bett (19) tried to push the score up towards 200, Uni’s innings closing at 6/196.
With the ball, double-barrel Toop got the boys rolling with an early wicket, before the Lions steadied in the chase. Doug Warren – now contending with far less hair – was conceding even fewe runs as he bowled a fantastic spell of quick left-arm finger spin. Claiming 1/26 from his ten overs, Uni owned the middle patch, as Jezza Peacock continued his fine match with 4/28 (that Hilux tray will need to have some room for wickets, too!). A great all-round performance, Peacock earned POTW for his efforts.
Though every Uni bowler claimed a wicket, a good dose of extras cost the Students, as Fitzroy passed the total with ten balls to spare.
In the shadow of Shoppo, the Third XI clambered out of the Schramms change rooms to bowl first against the Lions.
Back with ball in hand, JB was impressive as he claimed an early wicket to get the Students away. Truly one of the nicest actions to watch, seeing JB bowl is outstanding and it’s great to see him back. Joined by Om Patel with an early wicket (and plant sale), it was Tom Walker who really cracked this one open. Fresh from Schoolies, TJ clearly kept it in check, because he was at full pace and doing serious damage on his way to 4/13. One of Uni’s most exciting young prospects, it is wonderful to see the young fast bowler go to work. Rithin Rakes (yes, still leg breaks) was impressive with two wickets, while the best menswear salesman in the game – that’s Dan McNab – also claimed a wicket.
Chasing 171, the start of Uni’s chase resembled the Knight Bus in the sense that it was “a bumpy ride.” Michael Forwood (25) provided some welcome resistance in the middle, but was in need of some company, which happily came in the form of fellow Trinity graduate, Dan McNab. Slab managed 24 and Om Patel completed an excellent all-round game with 40 down the order, but there was simply too much to do, as Uni were bowled out for 137.
It was a run-fest at Princes Park on the weekend, as one of Uni’s favourites got amongst them to ensure the Fourth XI continued on their winning way.
Batting first, Muntasir continued his steady start to the year with 23 at the top of the order, Verma (18) was also solid at number three, but it was Run Machine Raf Epstein who really held the innings together. With his quirky style and wildly successful cricket Facebook page, Raf was ticking a lot of boxes as he cracked 81. Joined by Will Keeble (40 from 41) at the end of the innings, the Students grabbed the momentum as they posted an imposing 7/203.
The Stock Pot and Tommy Uhr-Henry made light work of the Lions top order, each claiming two wickets to ensure the Students had the upper hand. A steady flow of poles – and indeed an even spread amongst the youthful attack – ensured Uni never ceded the momentum as they put on a clinic in the field. A forty run partnership for the ninth wicket threatened briefly, but with too many runs on the board, the Students were safe and secured their second win in a row.