Superb individual performances power Uni to three wins in the top three grades against St. Kilda on the weekend.
The Polish conundrum remains unsolved for yet another Premier bowling attack, as Andrej Yaksender blasts his second First XI century, while Alex Gregory sends the St. Kilda bowlers to all parts on his way to his first MUCC hundred.
Resuming at 2/81, and needing only 76 runs for victory, the First XI were confident of securing the points on Saturday morning. After the loss of Young (46) in the first over of the day, however, the door was ever so slightly ajar for St. Kilda. Thankfully, Yaksender and Gregory were quick to slam it shut.
The pair, who are currently the second and seventh highest run scorers in First XI cricket across the competition, went about making the opposition look second rate for the entire first session. A display of power hitting both through and over the rattled St. Kilda fielders saw the scoreboard race past the hundred, as Yaksender took the sixth over of the day for 18. Far from an anomaly, the pair went at a run rate of 9 per over for a five over period, as they sealed the result just after drinks. From this point on, it was party time for the in-form batsmen. Dispatching balls to the boundary at will, both moved into the shadows of a hundred at the lunch break.
As the pair resumed after lunch, they enjoyed the fruits of their earlier labour, racing to what had become seemingly inevitable centuries. In this race, it was Gregory who won, blasting a straight pull-shot down the ground for a monster six, to secure his maiden MUCC hundred. Not to be outdone, Yaksender, in trademark style, deposited the ball over the cover fieldsman and to the boundary to reach three-figures overs later. Yaksender was ultimately dismissed for a magical 115 from only 122 balls, while Alex remained unbeaten with a fine 113 from 145 balls. Well done to both batsmen, it really was incredible to watch. (Just ask Ben Rolfs who said it was the best fun he’s ever had editing MUCC TV! Be sure to check it out in the link.)
A truly wonderful partnership, Alex and Andrej’s masterful display saw them add an incredible 225 for the fourth wicket, in just over 2 hours. Their efforts, combined with Mark Stafford’s 8 wickets the week before allowed Uni to complete its most comprehensive victory of the season, and move into outright second place on the ladder.
ANDREJ YAKSENDER: 398 runs @ 79.60, 2X 50, 1X 100
ALEX GREGORY: 345 runs @ 69.00, 3X 50, 1X 100
Having raced to 3/260 last week, the Second XI were in a strong position at the start of day two but would need to put in a complete performance to secure the points. What unfolded at Harry Trott was complete dominance from the Students, as they ran riot over the Saints with bat and ball.
Following the early loss of Borgas (162) after adding six to his overnight total, Uni never looked back. Classy left-hander Daniel Hutton picked up where he left off last week; scoring at a rapid rate as he partnered with James Horn to push the score beyond 300. Hutton was dominant, piercing the ball through the field as he blasted 11 fours and 1 six, before turning a ball to mid-on and scampering through to bring up his hundred. A fine innings, it was Hutton’s sixth century at MUCC, and his unbeaten 112 brings his season tally to 194 from only three innings.
Hutton and Horn’s (22*) quick scoring in the morning allowed captain Mark Simpson to declare at the half-way point of the match, giving Uni an imposing total of 4/360 to defend.
Champing at the bit to get amongst the action with the ball was fast-bowling ace, Akon Mawien. Bursting through with the first 3 wickets, Mawien had the Saints in trouble at 3/40. From this point, they were never really able to recover, as Mawien combined with leg-spinner, Peter Hatzoglou, who bowled an inspired spell of 16 overs 4/27.
Mawien, however, was not done. The young opening bowler found another gear after the lunch break, and proved just as difficult to face with the old ball as the new, removing Drummond (50) to break the game right open, before cleaning up the tail. Ultimately finishing with the match-winning figures of 13.4 overs 6/42, Mawien put in his best shift in Uni colours, and can be extremely proud of his efforts, as he took his season tally to 11 wickets.
A comprehensive performance, the Students dominated this contest from the moment the fire on the pitch was extinguished last week, and remain on top of the ladder.
Defending 250, the Third XI never gave the Saints a look in, as the spin twins went about their work again, and a young MUCCer collected his first Premier wicket.
After a run out in the first over courtesy of Tom Walker, St. Kilda were behind the eight-ball from the first at 1/2. Things didn’t get any easier for the Saints’ top order, either, as fast-bowling pair Daniel Van Der Merwe and Tom Walker gave no respite. Walker also collected his first (of many, many) wickets in MUCC colours, in his valuable spell of 11 overs 1/37.
Before long, however, it was John McLaughlan and Kendrick Hatton who yet again strangled the opposition batsmen, and busted the game right open. McLaughlan was miserly again, bowling 21 overs on his way to the invaluable figures of 3/29, and Hatton collected 4 wickets from his 16 overs. The importance of good spinners cannot be overstated when it comes to defending a score, and with these two in the bowling line-up the Third XI will prove hard to beat.
With another victory the Third XI entrench themselves in second position on the ladder, only four points behind ladder-leaders, Ringwood.
On a difficult day for the Fourth XI, St. Kilda managed to hold onto the ascendancy they had gained last weekend.
Pushing on to 4/187 before declaring, St. Kilda closed their first innings with a lead of 72, as Ned Bennett (2/52) was the best of the MUCC bowlers.
Batting again, the Students found themselves in early trouble at 2/8, and were never really able to recover. Wickets fell consistently throughout the innings, and despite some resistance from Jonny Stone (17), Ned Bennett (28) and Nikhil Kumar (21), Uni only managed 119 before being bowled out. The total meant St. Kilda needed 48 runs to claim an outright victory, a task they managed in 11 overs. Thankfully, however, the Club as a whole found a silver lining in the fourth innings of the match, as left-armer James Browning claimed a wicket, as he continues on his return from injury.
The Fourth XI will be hoping for redemption next week as they take on Melbourne.
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SOME INFORMATION REGARDING UPCOMING EVENTS AT MUCC
Saturday 1 February
Premiership and Past Players Lunch
Inviting all past players and premiership players from 1964-65 (3rd XI), 1994-95 (3rd XI) and 1999-2000 (4th XI).
Come down to the main for lunch and drinks, while watching the 1st XI play Prahran.
Friday 21 February
MUCC Business Breakfast
The annual business breakfast will be held at RACV City Club