Students Give Demons Their Due

Considering the overwhelming number of Melbourne (football) Club supporters amongst the Students, there was an unusual level of anti-Demon sentiment at the Main during the week. Happily, this manifest itself as a strong on-field showing as Uni went three from four against the Demons.

 

The Resilience Project Player of the Week: Dani Norman

In the Women’s XI on Sunday, Dani Norman put forth a dominant all-round performance to claim the mantle as Player of the Week. The star of Uni’s bowling innings, she claimed 4/24 including a stunning hat-trick; doing the bulk of the damage in the middle order. Not done there, she completed the day with 22 not out. Great work, Dani!

 

FIRST XI

“A poet can survive everything but a misprint.” – Oscar Wilde

 

A shrewd observation, Oscar’s remark rang true on the weekend; University starting their day with a poetry reading and proceeding to withstand Melbourne’s best efforts (and an eighth consecutive loss at the coin toss) as they cruised to a dominant victory.

 

Bowling first on a particularly flat section of Queen’s Road, Simon Mackin struck with the very first ball of the day. Perhaps a week at the Corio Best Western is the ideal preparation. In any case, it set the standard for a unified, selfless and dominant bowling display from University. Stafford, whose new Garmin road bike computer has recently clocked a number of laps around the neighbouring Albert Park Lake, was as impressive as ever with the new ball, giving Uni the upper hand. Ben Rolfs (2/41) was outstanding through the middle of the innings – though his attention did drift when he saw the Cricket Victoria photographer on the boundary. McKenna (1/16) was steady, before the openers came back and bowled another impressive closing spell in flat conditions.

 

Naturally, when the innings closed with the Demons at 8/210, Harrison Emms walked off muttering “batting trophy,” to anyone who would listen; his level of fascination akin to Gollum with his ring.

 

When the action resumed, Emmsy batted like a man who was destined for “the troph,” giving Uni the fast start as he cracked balls through the off-side and over the sightscreen. Dismissed for a run-a-ball 30, he had put the Students well ahead of the game and set a platform upon which McKenna and Croes would happily build.

 

McKenna was in a mood to take on the quick bowlers on the weekend as he blistered 42 with one 4 and two 6’s. Notably, he parked one ball onto St. Kilda Road – one can only hope the Kookaburra touched on its Myki before journeying North through the city on its way back to Parkville.

 

At the other end, Noah ‘Wombat’ Croes was happily burrowing in for yet another big knock. Oozing class and style, he played a delightfully measured innings as he made 91 not out to steer the Students to victory. With ten boundaries all around the ground, he looked right at home against a quality bowling attack. Already with a century to his name in 21/22, Donkey is playing an invaluable role at the top of the order and it really is a privilege to watch him do his thing.

 

As ever, Andrej made batting look simple when he came in with 80 runs to get. He promptly scored half of them, his 41* the core ingredient to Emmsy’s trophy hunting recipe. It shouldn’t be lost on the audience that Andrej used one of Jerry’s vintage Bradbury bats on the weekend; a stick that once blasted Shane Warne to all parts of Manuka Oval.

 

On top from the first, Uni left the Albert with a victory and a bonus point.

 

God forbid a misprint.

 

SECOND XI

Maintaining his perfect record at the toss, Hugo elected to bat first under overcast skies at the Main.

 

Though they might be on holidays, two of University’s teachers couldn’t help but be at attention when Ormond’s bells rang at 11 O’clock on Saturday; Hahnel and Durrant walking out to open the batting. Unfortunately, the early signs were that the assignment was going to be a tough one for the Students; Uni falling to 5/59 as only Bienvenu (18) recorded double figures in the top five.

 

Thankfully, the engine room answered the call. Peacock (whose penchant for a firmly worded WhatsApp is rivalled only by his equally fervent desire for a strong all-round showing) helped to steady the ship with 26. Then came the Jameses; Horn and Bett who made the Main look like Lewin Reserve as they plundered the Dees to all parts. Their partnership of 57 was invaluable, before Horn (43) departed. Bett launched two balls over the rope on his way to 38, as he hauled Uni beyond 150 (that he had hauled furniture around on moving day just two days before makes this feat even more impressive). Uni would need to bowl well to defend 166.

 

Bettsy must have been proud at mid-off on Saturday, as two products of his Trinity Cricket program went head to head. He must have been even prouder when Tom Walker knocked over Henry Brown to secure the first wicket and get the Students away. JBT got in on the action as well, before TJ struck again to have the Demons reeling at 3/17. A steadying partnership of 56 saw Melbourne wrestle back some momentum, before Gus Molden made the desperately-needed break through. From there Doug Warren (who boasts an impressive array of corduroy hats) was typically miserly through the middle with 1/28 and Jeremy Peacock (3/27) broke the back of the contest. James Bett (2/11) concluded a fine all-round game as the Students secured victory with a bonus point.

 

THIRD XI

On Saturday, the Third XI boasted one of the strongest bowling attacks the level has seen – and rightly so considering the batting-friendly conditions that presented at Beaumaris.

 

As ever, it was the Wizard who struck early, his work with the new “conker” really is unrivalled. From there, the academy contributed the next two wickets; Harry Sheahan trapping one in front, before Ali Khan executed a run-out. Taking a break from selling running shoes, Jame Browning nabbed two wickets, while the spin trident of McNab, Singh and Rakes all proved a handful for the Melbourne batting line-up. A disciplined and consistent bowling effort (one where the skipper didn’t even give himself an over) saw the Students keep the Demons to 173.

 

Taking the cheat code (his hefty Gray Nicolls) to places it hasn’t been for a while; Lucien Bienvenu opened the batting on Saturday and looked right at home. He crafted 43 to set a solid foundation for Uni, partnering with the ever-reliable Michael Forwood (34). Worringly, however, after both of them were dismissed, a flurry of wickets saw the Students collapse to 7/107 – still well shy of victory.

 

Enter Jimmy Anderson. Where MS Dhoni and James Faulkner earned reputations as “finishers” at the international level, our man Jimmy is becoming the resident Premier Cricket Ice Man. For the second week in a row, he has shouldered a hefty responsibility to steer Uni out of trouble and towards victory. His composed 43 not out on Saturday was measured, as he partnered with Rithin Rakes (22) to shut the door on Melbourne and secure the points for Uni. Fantastic to see the youth getting it done.

 

FOURTH XI

The City of Melbourne turf maintenance team must be enjoying a protracted New Year break, as the heavy outfield surface across the road at PP3 is making scoring tough. That said, Uni would bowl first on the weekend under the leadership of Parkville’s favourite Chinese Gooseberry; Tony Kiwi.

 

Steady scoring from the Demons at the top was halted somewhat by Hashim Ali and Ram Nayak – both of whom managed to break through for a wicket. Samarth Goel was also impressive on a deadening wicket, as he claimed 2/26 to hamstring the Demons and wrestle back some momentum for the Students. By the compulsory closure, Melbourne had managed 183 and Uni would need to put in a solid performance to chase it down.

 

Australian Open season, Raf Epstein has taken to his annual trick of purchasing a concession ticket to see the action for $5 per day. Hopefully that tactic lasts as long as his dominance at the wicket, because Raf once again looked a class above on Saturday. He managed 40 from 73 balls as the rest of the top five failed to reach double figures. He found some company in Antony Keely (25), but unfortunately too much was left to too few as Uni were bowled out for 122.

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