At one stage as a young bloke, Jeremy Peacock refused to get photographed unless he was wearing his Mt. Beauty cricket kit. Tomorrow, he’ll be photographed in his cricket kit once again – with one slight difference – because tomorrow, Jeremy will be wearing a MUCC First XI cap.
An incredibly popular selection, Jezza was presented First XI cap #977 by Isaiah Borgas on Thursday night. In a touching speech, Borg urged Jeremy to keep playing with the irresistible passion – both for the game and for his teammates – that has always held him in such great stead. Almost certainly the first player to make his First XI debut on a wicket he has prepared himself, Jezza is already ticking plenty of boxes and we can’t wait to see the all-rounder get stuck in tomorrow!
It could well be something of a “tan-off” in the First XI on Saturday as Peacock comes in to the side – will his groundsman’s tan rival a bronzed Mitch Domann after a week in Noosa? At the other end of the scale, two blokes with the initials ‘AY’ will be reapplying Banana Boat ad nauseam…
A crucial match-up for the Students, a strong showing against second-placed Carlton will go a long way to ensuring a Finals’ berth. The First XI are sure to be inspired by MUCC legends too – the Beer Garden set to be jam-packed for Past-Players’ Day.
All-rounder Janak Prakash is riding a high at the minute. Although his timetable for semester is now locked in, JP’s focus is still dialled to cricket; his blistering net sessions renowned around the colleges. After trying to teach a few MUCCers a Tik Tok dance during the week too, his wicket celebrations could be many and varied tomorrow.
Although all eyes will be glued to the action come 11 O’clock tomorrow morning, there is one man who will face the music at 10:15. Nick Burke required to provide a reading of either poetry or prose. A slight deviation from his traditional pre-match rev up, splash zone avoidance is still recommended.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Doug Warren
Outstanding with the new ball last week, Doug Warren is set for another big weekend. Having drained the rosé supplies at Leonda by the Yarra to help stock the bar at the Main, Doug’s fast spinners could well make the Blues feel as though they’ve had one too many. He’s also been thriving at Wordle of late. This can’t be underestimated.
Just a drive, chip and a six-foot putt (every chance that’s a three-jab) from the Uni Main, the Second XI will look to take the points at Princes Park #1. A venue where the hot wind famously blows from the stadium end and the cool wind from the trees (or something equally incongruous), the wicket can be flat and batting a pleasure.
As it relates to pleasurable batting, how fitting that Michael Forwood comes in to the Second XI for his first match at the level. A hard-earned debut, Bricks has a ton (come with me) of runs behind him in the Third XI this year and will surely make the transition appear as easy as he does with most other things. Go well, Mick!
Boosted too by the inclusions of Harrison Emms and Angus Molden, it is an imposing Second XI side that will look to secure their spot in the top eight on the weekend.
As he rules with an iron fist when it comes to paying for songs for reverse shuffle, (“Untouched by the Veronicas? No you’re late!”) James Horn will provide grunt behind the stumps, too. With some runs under his belt and big gloves that are keen on catching, no edge found by TJ or JB will be safe.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Yuvraj Singh
Uni’s indomitable all-rounder, UV Rays is quickly finding his feet at Second XI level. With bulk power and the ability to bowl off-spinners that move more through the air an open-faced tee shot, UV also has the Carrom ball. He just needs to stop smiling before he bowls it!
If it’s beginning to sound like a broken record, well, good. This Third XI team is stupendously good. After a truly dominant display last weekend, they’ll be riding a high at PP3 on the weekend.
Although Greg Chappell Cricket Centre removed more than half of Hugo Bienvenu’s bat during the week, only a brave punter would wager that Huggsy won’t get amongst it tomorrow. Currently living at Trinity College, he might well be targeting his own balcony with a well-struck slog-sweep.
To that end, Tom Savill’s swinging arc hasn’t become any smaller since the Christmas break, so expect the skipper to pound it all around Parkville if given the chance.
Om Patel – the man who Keels describes as “having exists over both wings” for his ability to swing the ball both ways – chose to use one of those exits this week; skydiving from a plane! Brave or stupid, he’s going to make some Blues look the latter on the weekend…
PLAYER TO WATCH: Elliott Durrant
From volleyball to dodgeball, Durrant hasn’t missed a beat this week. Having also helped the U17’s to victory last weekend, KD is certainly in the right frame of mind. On field performance all but a sure thing, one question remains; can he match his Dukkah* hat-trick from last week?
* Dukkah refers to KFC
They’re on a charge at the moment, and twelfth-placed Uni are keen to continue climbing the ladder. As it relates to climbing to lofty heights, two of MUCC’s Fourth XI tomorrow also went skydiving during the week. Shenan and Khush the pair who braved lofty heights. Their reviews of their experience mixed; Talati wished for an extra thousand feet, where Shen simply exclaimed, “we did it in St. Kilda – near Ferg’s!”
After his dominant effort last week, Raf Epstein will be keen to repeat the dose, but even if the top order doesn’t fire, a Trinity-inspired middle order (that’s Keeble and Preiss) will surely secure the bikkies for the Students.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Hayden Lim
A proud Lowerite whose work on the dodgeball court rivals that of Patches O’Houlihan, Lim is ever-reliable with bat and gloves. He snaffled three catches last week – form that might even see him stand up to the quickies on the weekend. To quote Dogeball once again, “It’s a bold stratergy…” But if there’s one man who can pull it off, it’s our Limmy!