Three quarters of the Students completed a Bachelor of Lion Taming over the weekend, as wins to the First, Third and Fourth XI’s saw MUCC return to the top of the Club Championship.
MUCC 316 def. FITZ-DONC 148
Taking to Schramms Reserve for their Saturday/Sunday clash, the First XI would have Fawad for day only, before the leg-spinner would be called to the Big Appeal on Sunday, and with BC Reid poised to become AC (that’s Before and After Child for those playing at home) Uni were keen to bowl first, and from the moment Fitzroy elected to bat, the Students never looked back.
Releasing any last hostility before paternal instincts kick in, Reidy broke through in the first over to have the Lions 1/0, and claiming his 200th MUCC wicket in the process- great work ‘Dos! Gregory bowled a beautiful spell and was eventually rewarded before the first drinks’ break with the figures of 1/15. The real show, however, was at the other end, where once again, Fawad proved his class. Toying with the Lions batting line-up, he beat them on both sides of the bat to have three wickets just before Lunch. Uni weren’t done there, however, as Peter Hatzoglou, fresh from messaging Shane Warne the night before, claimed Peter Dickson and Gavin Griffiths in the last over before the break, to have Fitzroy in major trouble at 7/75.
After Lunch the Lions came out swinging, and managed to get a few to the fence, as Nick Fletcher made his way to 50 from 28 balls, before Reid (2/40) and Fawad (5/55) cleaned up the tail. Fuzzy’s incredible red-ball form continues, and another 5-wicket haul takes him to 20 wickets for Uni so far in 2019/20. An incredible effort by the bowlers, Fitzroy were all out for 148 an hour shy of the tea-break.
With the chance to knock over a good portion, if not all of the chase before the close of play, Uni made it to 23, before Borgas (11) was dismissed LBW. McKenna and Gregory partnered up and showed why they are both at the top end of the First XI batting tally; dictating terms against the Lions’ bowling attack. Gregory (24) was removed by a stunner of a catch at mid-off, but McKenna was going nowhere, adding another half-century to his tally, reaching 60 before he, too was trapped LBW. Yaksender did more Yak things, like making his way to 45 and hitting the winning runs on day one, while Young made his way to 35.
A dominant first day, Uni claimed the six points and were out to take another four on the Sunday.
After the early loss of Yaksender and Young on Sunday, McNeil took it upon himself to get things moving on a slow wicket. The skipper batting with trademark aggression, and striking at almost a hundred in difficult scoring conditions. Blasting his first half-century of the season, McNeil (52) and Bett (37) added 67 for the eighth wicket, taking Uni’s lead to beyond 150 at the Lunch break.
Always feeling a chance to roll through Fitzroy after lunch on a wicket that was breaking up and keeping low, Fitzroy showed real resolve and refused to give their wickets away. Stafford (1/31) claimed the first wicket, and McKenna bounced out Nat Vardi for his first First XI wicket- yes you did read that correctly- but that was where the match ended, as the captains shook hands, and Uni left Doncaster six points heavier than they arrived, and a game clear on top of the ladder.
MUCC 210 def. BY FITZ-DONC 7/233
Batting first at the Uni Main, the Second XI were keen to get the points after being cruelled by rain last week. Batting first, the Students were in trouble from the first with early wickets seeing the score teetering at 3/27.
Noah Croes, who continues to put together a solid season with the bat, helped steady the ship with 28, but when he was run out, and Uni 5/84, the Students needed someone to stand up. Thankfully, James (Bonus) Bett answered the call and dug his heels in for Uni. Compiling 55 and passing 2000 runs for MUCC, Spork combined with James Horn, whose 35 helped the pair add 57 for the sixth wicket as Uni moved toward 150. Still pushing to reach 200 and have something to bowl at, John McLaughlan, for the second week in a row, showed his wares with the willow, blasting 25, including two 4’s and two 6’s. This late hitting helped push Uni to 210, where they were ultimately bowled out.
Unfortunately, Uni were not able to make an early breakthrough with the ball, as the Lions passed 50 without having lost a wicket. Abdul Haseeb managed to take the first two wickets late on Saturday evening to have Fitzroy 2/70, but that was where the joy ended for the Students, as the Lions added 109 for the third wicket, to all but seal the game early on Sunday morning. Haseeb finished with 3 wickets and Mawien managed 2 on a difficult day for the Students that saw Fitzroy pass the total and decide to continue to bat out the afternoon.
MUCC 3/120 def. FITZ-DONC 114
*NORMAL THIRD XI TRANSMISSION RESUMES*
After a brief interlude on a wet wicket at PP3 last round, the Third XI have returned to their winning ways with a dominant display against Fitzroy in a one-day match.
Bowling first, MUCC’s opening quick, Callum Dooley went about rubbishing all kinds of sport science and preparation adages, arriving from the circuit and the worksite to dominate the game. Bowling in Ben Roughsedge’s pants and Doug Warren’s shirt, ‘Disco’ blasted through the Lions’ batting line-up. Claiming 6 of the first 8 wickets, Dooley’s dominance brought Fitzroy to their knees, and his fantastic figures of 6/24 from eight overs are comfortably his best since arriving to the Club this year; well done Disco! Dan McNab also ‘nabbed’ two wickets to help rock and roll the Lions for 114 inside 30 overs.
In reply, Uni made light work of the chase. While there were contributions from all who batted, Roughsedge was the star. Opening the batting he took it upon himself to anchor the chase, making a commanding 58* to see the Students home. His innings included 9 fours and a 6, as Uni completed the chase in 29 overs.
A thumping win, it sees the Students back on top of the ladder with just two rounds to go before finals.
MUCC 2/286 def. FITZ-DONC 188
A wonderfully dominant display by the Students’ Fourth XI and a truly Galling day for the Lions…
Batting first at Princes Park, Uni took the game by the throat from the very first. Openers Alex Gall and Om Patel were dominant, as they added 209 for the first wicket; slamming the door shut on any hopes of early wickets for Fitzroy. The pair, who are both having impressive seasons both raced passed 50, and Patel, whose skills with the bat and ball are both proving invaluable for the Fourth XI, was ultimately dismissed for 78. Gall, however, was going nowhere. Blasting six 4’s and seven 6’s, the tall all-rounder raced to his maiden MUCC hundred in no time, taking his season tally beyond 300 runs, and helping the Students beyond 250 for the innings. A fine effort, and a deserving recipient of TRP Player of the Week- well done, Gally! Uni weren’t done there, however. As ever, the Conversation Hour with Raf Epstein was fruitful, as Raf chipped in with a handy 18*, while the coach, Antony Keely fell 48 runs shy of his annual hundred, nailing 52* from 30 balls. In his own words, he had no interest in running, accumulating 34 of his runs in boundaries. At the close of the innings, Uni had amassed an intimidating 2/286.
Never giving the Lions a look in, it was a pair of Trinity Grammar products, with a week off from school cricket who did the early damage. Tom Walker (2/37) and Tom Uhr-Henry (2/20) were disciplined in their approach, and helped prevent Fitzroy from building any momentum in their innings. As the pressure continued to build, Uni jumped on the chances they created, claiming four run-outs to eventually run out winners by 98 runs. An incredible display, it will surely give the Fourth XI some confidence and momentum to finish their season on a high.
A big weekend for Steve Reid, he and partner Claire welcomed baby girl, Amelia Andrews Reid to the world on Monday morning. Congratulations to you both! (Yes, she does have a leg-cutter already.)