If anyone was in any doubt about how much we love Rolfsy, the Students put rest to that; less than ten overs away from a Super-Mega-Farewell-Broom (that’s a broom with a bonus point in every grade). As it happened, 3 BP wins and an ice-cool victory in the Fourth XI made for a mightily successful schooling of the Pies.
Playing the first round after Christmas for the first time in a while, McKenna was out to make a day of it, winning the toss and batting first at McQueen Arena.
Blake ‘Dog’ Reed strolled out to the middle; his role as an opener down to his inability to watch his teammates bat, as much as it is his skill, patience and determination (which he has in no short supply, mind you). In any case, he didn’t plan on doing much watching this day, combining with McKenna (31), for a 71-run opening stand. Reed would finish with 61, his effort having gone a long way to setting up the match for the Students.
* Scene Missing – insert Andrej 44 *
It happens with alarming regularity, Drej with a rapid-fire knock to build the momentum through the middle. Not sure what else can be said, as sure as he wakes up on a Saturday, our proficient Pole gets a score.
Andrej was ably supported by Quokka Boy, Noah Croes. Donk crafted an invaluable 47 no at the end of the innings, to push Uni beyond 200, with some late power hitting from Jezza P (13 from 7), pushing the total to 6/219.
Fuzzy had to get to Marvel Stadium to join fellow big bashers in the Big Bash League, so he opened the bowling. As ever, he was too goo, removing Thewlis in the first over, before racing through his sets for 2/17. Remarkable stuff, it gave Uni the upper hand, before fellow tweaker, Doug Warren busted the game apart with 2/38.
A game-breaking run-out from Max Hatz made almost certain of the result, before the wily pro, Mark Stafford, cleaned up the tail – due reward for his impressive spell at the top, as he finished with 3/30.
Bowling the Pies out for just 166, Uni begin their charge up the table.
In honour of Daft Punk, it was One More Time, with Wagon at the Main on Saturday. Though he threatened to employ a “run-out-at-the-non-strikers-end”, he would have to wait for the chance, as Uni batted first.
Since the wheels of commerce refuse to stop turning, Emms was forced to vacate his spot in the side on the morning of the game, meaning Lucien and Penicl would resume their partnership at the top of the list. Their partnership of 32 was steady, before a flurry of wickets saw Uni in strife at 4/ 42. Thankfully, Huggsy Bear and UV Index were up to the challenge, compiling an invaluable 60-run partnership. Singh made it look so easy, and played the best shot in the history of the code (a straight drive past the leg-stump at the other end) to get things moving. Hugo balanced power with, well, more power on his way to 49, while Yuvi’s 34 turned the game. Both fell victim to run-outs as well… weird.
Wagon enjoyed some time at the crease, cracking a vital 38, while JBT hit a six, a four and “champed” the bowler in successive deliveries on his way to 26. An outstanding showing from the second half of the batting order, it pushed the score to beyond 200, the final total 9/211.
For every MUCCer who has been peppered by Gus Molden at training, Saturday was something of a cathartic experience. High of speed and short of length, Gus battered, bruised and bumped out the Camberwell top order to break the game apart. Quickly going to 2 out on the hook, Gus took 3 of the first four wickets, while one of the best catches EVER from James Horn, handed JB the other.
Yuvi Singh continued his outstanding form with the ball to claim 2/29 from his ten, while Wagon managed one final run-out to give Uni plenty of breathing space. A distinct lack of intent saw Camberwell last longer than they might have, but their eventual total of 164 was not enough to prevent the Bonus Point.
Sunday cricket is great, because it means that those who are a little worse for wear, can go and support with reckless abandon, which they did, but more on that later…
Back at Camberwell Sports Ground, a snaking crack down the middle of the wicket loomed large, meaning Uni’s chance to bat first was gratefully received. Despite an early wicket, KD and Birthday Bricks Forwood steadied things with an 88-run partnership. Durrant (45) overcame a ping in the string to play with class and grace, while Bricks managed 39, which he described as “better than birthday coal.”
With a platform built, the middle and lower order were set to capitalise, as cameos from Melican (36), Khan (28) and Lim (22 no) helped elevate the total. The star of the show, however, was Toby Rawlings. With an orange grip and imbued with the turbo energy of his favourite McLaren racing team, Tobes ramped, paddled and swept his way to an unbeaten 38 from 28 balls to close the innings. If you’re not sure quite how much fun it was, just check Toby’s Instagram….
With 228 to defend, Uni were always going to be tough to stop and an early wicket from Melican made sure of it. From there, it was a procession of high-quality spin from the Students, as KD and Yaseen both got in on the action with wickets. Meanwhile, Emms and Mackin provided raucous support, as the Third XI strangled the Pies, Harrison Thompson bowling an exceptional spell from the bowls club end.
Again, Camberwell seemed to stop trying to win the game in favour of batting time, but not even that would stop Uni, as a classy final over from Harry Sheahan secured the Bonus Point on the final ball.
Under the leadership of Raf Epstein (whose namesake, Raf Martignago was also in the Parkville precinct on Saturday), Uni bowled first on Saturday.
Two early wickets, courtesy of Wizard and Tharindu gave Uni the upper hand, while proud Lowerite, Tom Uhr-Henry kept things particularly tight throughout. It was Tharindu however, who broke the game apart, his spell of 3/39 enough to halt Camberwell’s momentum every time they looked like getting away from Uni. Ably supported by Samarth who went for just 25 from his nine overs, Uni restricted Camberwell to 6/187.
Embracing his role as an opener with both bat and ball, Om Patel blasted 38 at the top of the list to get things moving for Uni. Two relatively quick wickets though, was enough to give Camberwell some momentum, but even contributions through the middle saw Uni wrestle it back.
Preiss (17), McManus (23), Van Der Sluys (28) and all-round star Tharinu (38) put the Students in a winning position, before a composed knock of 13 off 14 balls from Henri Du Toit secured the chocolates for the Fourth XI in the final over.
A special weekend for the club, Uni can be well pleased with how they have kicked off after Christmas!