Round 12 Previews:
Summon the congregation, because the Students are playing the Saints. It shapes as a tantalising contest, too – Uni currently fifth in the Club Championship – and looking to make a big statement against current leaders, St. Kilda.
Pleasingly, Fawad is still recognised as one of the premier spinners in world cricket; meaning he has obtained a PSL contract for the remainder of the season, before moving into the Australian camp on their tour of Pakistan in a development role. An awesome opportunity for Fuzz, we wish him the best for the remainder of the year!
So, while Fuzz goes and makes fools of batters on the world stage, Doug Warren returns to the First XI to do the same at the Junction Oval. Particularly impressive last week against Geelong, Doug thoroughly deserves his opportunity, and the Saints best look out if they give him 17 balls to face; Slug keenly pursuing the fastest possible century. The coach also returns to the side after a handy knock at the Cattery last week.
At the Junction Oval for the first time in a long time, the Students will be looking to pull the plug on the CitiPower Centre tomorrow. Simon Mackin’s place of employment, rumour has it he refused to turn up on Friday – announcing that he’ll be doing a full eight hours on Saturday and if overtime isn’t in the picture, then neither is he.
Speaking of a full eight hours, that’s the amount of time Mitch Domann spent in the gym this week after some undue bicep-related criticism from Noah Croes and Ben Rolfs. Suitably rattled, it’s nothing a good “pull day” can’t fix – and the fruits of Mitch’s labour might well see a few balls land on Fitzroy St tomorrow.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Fergus McKenna
Once a lakeside local, McKenna will have to cross the river on Saturday morning as he makes his way from the 3121. That said, he will still feel a level of comfort at the Junction; not least since he was there last Sunday, dressed head to toe in a soft baby blue. A touch more imposing in black and royal blue, the skipper will be keen to put on a show in fine batting conditions. A fun side note is that Saint Fergus (died C. 730 AD), “occupied himself making barbarous people good.” How fitting.
Two exciting inclusions headline the Second XI this weekend as they take on the Saints at the Uni Main. Yuvraj Singh is in for his second match at the level; one of the most reliable performers since his arrival at the club, St Kilda had better pack some SPF 50+ lest they get the treatment from “UV Rays.” Joining Yuvi is JB. Back into the side, Jubba claimed 5 last week and will be champing at the bit to bowl on the Uni Main once again. An incredibly popular selection, we can’t wait to see him get amongst it tomorrow.
Ben Rolfs was thrilled with his new camera lens during the week, but there will be no time for photos on Saturday; the young all-rounder sure to put on a show in the middle. And quite literally in the middle – if you follow his Strava account, you’ll know that Wagon has the unique ability to clock up 8km within the inner circle.
The Students will have some grunt behind the pegs, too. James Horn forewent a Facebook post, preferring the group to hear it straight from the horse’s* mouth; get back to the Pavvy after play – or else!
* Horse in this instance refers to the social committee.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Isaiah Borgas
Already with one ton under his belt for season 21/22, the skipper will be looking to go again this week. A man who traditionally puts another 0 on the end of his score once he gets to 10, Borg needn’t worry about getting Pencil to do it (erasing it won’t be necessary), instead pack your ball-point pen and settle in for a Borgas masterclass.
Truly, the Third XI team at the moment is ridiculously good – and only getting better after they welcomed John McLaughlan, Lachie Melican and Om Patel into the side. While Dwayne’s cries of “caaatccchh” in the nets echo right the way to the colleges in the western quarter, Melican has simply been depositing balls there; his form with the bat exceptional at the minute.
Lucien Bienvenu has been commanding of late, too. A man who has the capacity to dress a sweater up or down to meet the occasion, Luc’s form has only been heading North and he looms as a threat with both bat and ball.
Behind the wicket, Sam Skinner was in excellent touch last week. Keeping up to James Browning, the question remains, which opening bowler is willing to have their ego bruised in the pursuit of poles tomorrow by Skinny and his quick gloves?
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ali Khan
He found some form last week, and this week, Ali Khan was named school captain. If he plans to learn some leadership skills tomorrow, he’s in the right team with Sav and Skinnsy at the helm, so if he’s not already, Ali will be the complete package by the close of play.
Dominant last weekend, the Fourth XI will be keen to continue on their merry way as they return to Princes Park on Saturday.
Welcoming back Ed Savill to lead the side, the Fourth XI will be in capable hands (so long as he doesn’t pack his famed Mr Potato Head hands that is). Shenan Dias and Rithin Rakes also return to the side – so there will be no shortage of energy and excitement on Royal Parade.
Lachie Pedley will lead the attack tomorrow, fuelled by left-over burrito bowls; his organisation and willingness to “meal-prep” setting an enviable precedent.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Will Keeble
Clearly Woolworths have clearly completed the $50 million repayment for decade-old underpayment that was announced in late 2021; Will Keeble donning a brand-new pair of white and gold Nikes during the week. Imbued with a confidence that can only come with a pair of new shows, Keebs might well “just do it,” tomorrow and steer the Students to victory.