Taking heed from the film that was released just three months before he was born, Angus Molden is indeed fast and furious. Well, maybe not so furious, but certainly fast, and his rise through the grades has been equally rapid; the quick bowler selected to make his First XI debut on the weekend. Earning cap #973, we congratulate Gus and can’t wait for him to send down some thunderbolts at the Main on Saturday!
As the two C’s – close contacts and commerce – reared their heads at selection, there are two very welcome inclusions to the First XI to face Kingston on the weekend. Angus Molden in his debut fixture will be joined by club coach, Daniel Hutton, who is returning to the First XI for the first time since season 2017/18. After a dominant performance in the opening round and with a wealth of experience behind him, look for D-Bot to go big!
Winning form is good form and the First XI are keen to build on a solid first outing. Back at the Main, it will be a slightly new look top order, as Mitch Domann moves to open the batting, before putting on a “heavy shirt” – whatever that means – at the close of play.
For those keen on a “scoop” the inside word is that captain, Fergus McKenna also completed a leg session this morning; a bold strategy considering the usual recovery time required after hitting the squat rack, Andrej Yaksender famously made a hundred last year against Greenvale whilst in the throes of lower body DOMS, so it might be written in the stars for Ferg.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Mark Stafford
Thrilled to have the Hawks at home for the first time in a long time, the only thing that could make Mark happier would be bowling with a red ball. Alas, cool mint cricket it is, but if there’s one man who can get it to swing, it’s our Squid. He also has a bag full of new golf clubs, so quite literally watch him during our batting innings, lest he duck off to the range…
The return is complete. After a lengthy time on the sidelines battling persistent injury, Nick Ritchie will return to the park this weekend. A testament to his resilience and dedication, he has remained upbeat throughout the process and we couldn’t be more excited for him to get back to playing some cricket. Ritcho will slot into the number four position, and bowl some handy medium pace providing further balance to an already strong line-up.
An XI flush with batting depth, the Second XI can expect to get off to a fast start with Borgas and Hahnel at the top of the list, before the engine room of Bienvenu, Horn and Peacock (all of whom played vital roles last weekend) will look to shut the door on the Hawks.
The Second XI won’t need to spend any time deciding how to split the teams for the warm-up game, either. With 5 B’s comprising the XI (that’s Bett, Borgas, Bienvenu x 2 and Barron-Toop) the only decision to make will be which team is hats on.
And to whichever team wins? Hats off!
PLAYER TO WATCH: James Bett
Returning to Super Spork Park, where he recently claimed a 5-wicket haul, Bettsy feels right at home bayside. To that end, there is an emergent group of Hawk fans who sit near the Northern sightscreen who have been known to give some constructive feedback regarding the speed of Bettsy’s overs; should they chirp up tomorrow, our TOG might return serve with a dominant all-round performance.
Having fallen just short in their run chase last weekend, the Third XI will enjoy a youthful boost to their batting stocks as they head to Princes Park on the weekend. Ali Khan, Jimmy Anderson and Raf Epstein all in for their first match of the year in Tom Savill’s XI.
Thankfully, of that trio, Ali Khan finished year 10 during the week and is on holidays, meaning Sav can take his teacher’s hat off and focus on his role as a powerful all-rounder. With a glorious full swing of the bat and a fearsome slingy action, the skipper could have a fair say on how this one plays out.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Dan McNab
Blonde mullet in bloom and off-spinners dropping off the table, it’s hard to go past McNab this week. To that end, he’ll be keen to make the most of his Saturday on the field before he spends Sunday selling menswear at Blazer. That said, if you’re at a loose end on Sunday, pop into the Albert Park store and Dan will fit you into a linen shirt. If you’re wondering how good a salesman he is, I walked out of the shop with a shirt covered in daisies.
It is a new look Fourth XI side that will travel to Highett Reserve this weekend, looking to bank their first points of the season. Paarth Verma, Hashim Ali and James Browning are all in for their first matches of the season – with JB taking the captain’s arm band. The fast bowler acting as skipper for the first time ever in his career, it is great to see Australia bucking a trend from the Test team to the grassroots.
A young side boosted by the Dias duo, they will be looking to find a bit more reward for effort with the ball than last week; again, look to Ram Nayak and Hamish Connor to make a statement.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Hayden Lim
A dynamic wicket-keeper batter, Limmy is a proud Lowerite whose early contribution to the revamped Burra Cup competition has been outstanding. With points now up for grabs for on-field performances, there is every chance he could send Lowery back to the top of the charts with a strong showing on Saturday.