Match Previews: The Scholar’s Special

Under a cloud from the start, season 20/21’s regular season will finish under one too. After a week of rain and with more forecast, the Students are holding out hope that they will get on the park to face Kingston this weekend. Moreover, with Scholar’s Cross taking place on Saturday evening, there are a few contenders who would love the chance to put in one last vote-grabbing effort.

 

FIRST XI

Back in the top-eight, the Students have timed their run nicely with just one round to play. Speaking of timing things nicely, the First XI welcome back Steven Reid and Jarrod Martignago; adding depth to the fast-bowling and top-order batting respectively, the pair’s experience will be invaluable as the Students mount their March/ April campaign. Playing the Hawks in the heart of Victoria’s Sandbelt, it is comforting, too that ten out of MUCC’s First XI are avid golfers. The other is Harrison Emms, and if he plans to make it in the corporate world, he ought to sort out a baby draw as a matter of urgency.

 

SCHOLAR’S HOPEFUL: Andrej Yaksender

Once again, Andrej will be there or thereabouts when the whips are cracking late on Saturday night. A fine season with bat in hand, Andrej has enjoyed playing the Hawks in the past, so don’t rule out some last-minute votes on Saturday afternoon. Should he win, a Polish shotgun would certainly be a highlight.

Things in his favour

  • 436 runs @43.6
  • Cut shot
  • Early season mullet

 

SECOND XI

Currently sitting pretty in third position on the ladder, a win could see the Students claim a spot in the top two, as they play at Home for the final time in the regular season. Doug Warren and Andrew Young return, and after his Blues have once again started the season 0-2, Warren will be keen for a bag of wickets on the weekend. To that end, Om Patel will be desperate for his first Second XI scalp, the only reason he went without last weekend, because Angus Molden (6fa) hogged them all to himself!

 

SCHOLAR’S HOPEFUL: Lucien Bienvenu

Having seen the light and crossed from Carlton during the offseason, what a story it would be should Luc be crowned ‘top of the class’ at his first Scholar’s Cross. A truly remarkable year with both ball and bat, he will be quick to tell anyone that’ll listen that he ought to be the short-priced favourite.

Things in his favour

  • 228 runs
  • 17 wickets
  • Fast 2km TT
  • Blonde moustache

 

THIRD XI

Finals might be out of reach, but this is a Third XI side determined to finish their year with a victory. Tom Savill returns to the team – oozing leadership and cricketing nous, alongside the fittest pair at the club; Hugo Bienvenu and James Browning. So fit is Hugo, that James Bett refused to stand next to him for the club photo. Travelling to Highett Reserve #2, the Third XI will have no trouble finding the ground, assured by Keels that they will find it “right next to Highett #1!”

 

SCHOLAR’S HOPEFUL: Dan McNab

In his first full season as a Student, McNab’s pursuit of the Cross has been red hot. Could he be the first of the Trinity Grammar School production line to win it? An impressive year with the ball in particular, McNab has also worn the captain’s armband at different stages this year; an indication of the esteem in which he is held around the place.

Things in his favour

  • 19 wickets
  • Blonde mullet
  • Bowls in sunglasses
  • Seltzers

 

FOURTH XI

Assured by Melbourne City Council that the wicket will be fit for play at Princes Park #3, the Fourth XI are equally determined to finish their year on a high. Youthful and with plenty of upside, the Fourth XI have shown glimpses this year, as they continue to build on a strong body of work. With Jimmy Anderson performing a very convincing impression of Antony Keely of late and considering Shenan Dias is almost due for a touch up of the highlights in his hair, there is lots to be excited about in the Fourth XI on the weekend.

 

SCHOLAR’S HOPEFUL Ninad Panjwani

Not playing this weekend, Panjwani might already have the Cross sewn up. The left-arm spinner has had the time of his life this year, taking plenty of wickets and leading the Fourth XI attack. What’s more, no front pad is safe when Ninad is around; much like England ought to have done in the recent series in India, play for the straight one and be happy to be beaten on the outside…

Things in his favour

  • 15 wickets
  • FPZIT (Front Pad Zero-in Technology)
  • Red Puma spikes

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