Round 5 Previews V Fitzroy Doncaster
The Students set a dangerous precedent on Thursday night. After even more rain during the week, we gave the Uni Main a spell and worked on one of our other great strengths instead; socialisng in the Pavvy. Should it result in a broom, our superstitious bunch would be hesitant to do anything different next week…
Those with a keen eye during the week would have noted that MyCricket said the First XI match was underway on Thursday morning. Perhaps a technological glitch, one thing was right for certain – the livescore reading that Fitzroy had won the toss (Ferg still yet to win a flip as skipper).
In any case, it will be an unchanged XI to host the Lions on Saturday. Simon Mackin went viral on Tik Tok last time he played at the Main, so keep an eye on big Kingo and his top knot tomorrow. Although some long for “Tight Fade King,” only a brave man would bet against our poney-tailed friend tomorrow.
Equally (if not more so) proficient in the salad department, Doug Warren has made a particularly strong start to the season with ball in hand. His quick orthodox spin always a headache for batters, anyone in the Parkville precinct will know about it should Doug claim an early wicket tomorrow.
Blake Reed cracked his first half-century since arriving in Melbourne last week, the man with a Grove bat clearly having found his groove. Yikes. Mercifully for Blake, he didn’t end up with Melbourne stereotypes for his fancy dress pub crawl theme, because, after living in the inner-North, he has quickly become one himself.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Andrej Yaksender
A safe bet? Usually. This week, Drej ventured North for some sun. Such warmth did he find, that he even shed the Macpac for a week. Whether our Polish prodigy comes back with a tan however, is another question entirely. Look out for Drej to make the most of being back in Melbourne with a big score tomorrow.
Mark Stafford has laid down an early challenge for the Second XI, whoever can bellow the loudest “Aaaaarrn Lioooooons” will be the winner. Not sure of what, but keep a keen ear out for it to ring out through the inner-East tomorrow.
It won’t be coming from the actual Lions, however, as they face a Student side bolstered by the inclusion of Huggsy Bear Bienvenu. Yes, that means for the first time in 22/23, it’s Bienve-DEUX! A fine inclusion, Hugs and his big pipes could find the 156g Kookaburra a park at Shoppo (easier said than done this close to Christmas).
Angus Molden also come into the side for the first time in the season, the big quickie set to run riot through the Lions’ top order. Incidentally, Gus loves making short films; he’ll have another by COB tomorrow should he film Fitzroy’s batting innings.
They say a man’s home is his castle, which is ironic since Yuvi Singh is going to sell a home tomorrow morning, and then castle the Lions. UV has been in fine form with the ball thus far in 22/23, and he could do a number on Fitzroy on a traditionally unpredictable wicket.
PLAYER TO WATCH: James Browning
Challenged by Jack Nightingale on the warm-up front last week, JB will be back with a vengeance; his intensity to span well beyond SMUCCWUP (Standard MUCC Warm Up Protocol). Indeed, JB’s speed and swing will prove a challenge for the Lions, but don’t rule out a third accidental bumper wicket in as many matches for the whippet.
“Stop it John, it’s not fair!” – Other teams’ selectors to John when he picks the Third XI each week, probably.
Unbelievably strong and set to play on a wicket dutifully covered by Lachie Melican and Nick Ritchie on Friday afternoon, the Third XI are out to make it 3/3 to start the season. Boosted by the inclusions of Melican, Harry Sheahan, and proud Lowerite, Hayden Lim, Uni have all bases covered at PP3 tomorrow.
Jamin Barron-Toop might have a Byron glow to go with the Mediterranean wash in his hair tomorrow. Having spent the week in Australia’s most relaxed town, Toopy will be raring to go against the Lions. A good surfer, rumour has it he Cowa-ed his last bunger and got straight on the plane.
Elliott Durrant will be the envy of his teammates come the lunch break tomorrow. Though he has a penchant for Kentucky Fried, Ale went Italian during the week, snagging a mid-week pizza special and ordering enough for “Dockie” (apparently that means tomorrow’s lunch).
PLAYER TO WATCH: Tom Savill
Yes, the skipper. Sav will have a fair bit of pent up energy to direct on the Lions tomorrow; report season right around the corner. Still keen to sling a couple down, one can only shudder at the thought of a poor, school-aged Cub looking at Sav the wrong way tomorrow.
Undefeated with Shen at the helm in 22/23, The Students will venture to cricket’s smallest changeroom tomorrow, as they face the Lions at Schramms #2. With McLaren’s biggest fan, Toby Rawlings and Samarth Goel, the side, Uni have a pair of handy inclusions to guide them to victory.
Additionally, Ed Savill comes in for his first game of the season. It must be getting close to pub crawl; Sav was out until 4am on Monday morning celebrating England’s World Cup victory and with Lowery set to dress up as couples and combos, his Mr Potato Head suit could get a second outing – he’ll just need a Mrs Potato Head.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Angus Harms
The Southpaw is one of the last left at College, his examinations stretching well into November (chagrin!). With a similar feel to when Ron and Harry are the last two left at Christmas, Harmsy will be out to make a statement before he heads home for a couple weeks. Then again, after a “week off” from College not all that long ago, he might be keen to hang around Parkville a while longer.
Is it too early to start talking dynasty? Perhaps, but the MUCC Women’s XI have been borderline unstoppable in season 2022/23. Taking on Clifton Hill at Ramsden St Oval on Sunday, the Students will be looking to lock away a top-two spot.
The top order batting has been particularly impressive thus far and it could well be more of the same on the weekend; Herman and Lopez the stars at the top of the list.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Dakota Edmonds
She has been red hot with the ball throughout the season, having already claimed four wickets, but Edmonds looms as an all-round threat. Set to sure up the middle order, she is reliable at number 5 and could break this one apart.
MUCC’s old boys face arch nemesis Dingley (who?) at home on Sunday and have wasted no effort in assembling a team that will happily chase 400 off their allotted 36 if required. And it might well be required, if Paul Percy is thrown the ball again.
Debutants Tom Irvine (but will he turn up this time?), Dan Lowery and Matt Schofield add to an already powerful line-up that features power hitting, neat slip work, tight sideburns and bowlers who can swing the two-piece rock around corners. Skipper Hewat is bringing along some primary school reports to write, such is his confidence of putting his feet up for much of the afternoon.
Player to watch: Ben Costello. Fresh from being champed by his wife and kids for his globe on debut, the Vets XIII’s resident cardiologist is back and with a point to prove. He’s passed a fitness test after blowing an achilles earlier in the week (eds note, was on track a sub 9 minute Prinny) and is raring to go.
Team: Matt Hewat (c), Ben Costello, Tim Grant, Stew Harris, Michael Hotton, Tom Irvine, Greg Kennedy, Dan Lowery, Josh Marquet, Brett Murphy, Paul Percy, Matt Schofield, Paul Varney.