If it was a “faceless few” who campaigned for the recent removal of Justin Langer as Australian Men’s coach, then it was a “marked many” who performed for Uni on Saturday; their identities revealed and celebrated herein.
After Squid read a poem and Ferg won a toss, Uni batted first at the Uni Main on Saturday. Emmsy – unperturbed by the lack of newspapers available before play – showed his class first thing as the new ball nibbled around just enough. Eventually dismissed for 35, Larry had set something of a platform while wickets fell at the other end, but at 5/71, the Students needed a response. It came from Mitch Domann and Alex Gregory; the pair putting on 78 for the sixth wicket as they wrestled back some momentum. Grego, who has banked his 10,000 hours plus various taxes, dug in once again – balancing power and precision on a slow outfield for 41. Meantime, Buckets (44) played arguably his best First XI innings thus far. Although they both fell in relatively quick succession, JP took a liking to the short boundary as he made an invaluable 22 at the end of the innings to haul Uni towards 200 – eventually bowled out for 197.
Centrum might be “complete from A to Zinc,” but vegetarian Simon Mackin showed why he doesn’t need to support big pharma; his opening spell a cut above on the weekend. Combined with Mark Stafford, the pair restricted Geelong’s usually explosive top order in the power play, to give the Students the upper hand. Prakash also picked up a wicket in his first spell; Uni well on top at 3/46. A steadying Geelong partnership was broken by Simon Mackin and his dorsal fin, before Buckets did his usual Buckets thing of picking up two wickets in quick time – a serious all-round game from McGrath Nicol’s favourite vacationer.
The Students unable to break through for the majority of the last ten overs, Geelong managed to work their way back into the contest and eventually secured victory with five balls to spare. A tough loss, the First XI will need to regroup quickly.
As the Joel Selwood Stand is completed in the final stage of the Kardinia Park redevelopment, the Students were relegated to the netball change rooms on the weekend as they took on Geelong. Still, anywhere on dry land was a relief for Pencil; Barnsey almost certainly the first MUCCer to travel to cricket via ferry!
Batting first, primary teachers Hutton and Hahnel made opening up look more like an extra-curricular activity as they cruised to 50, before wickets started to tumble. When Hutton was removed for 40, Uni were in trouble at 4/63, and despite contributions from Rolfs (16) and Borgas (16), Geelong had the upper hand. Thankfully, Jeremy Peacock – whose biceps and triceps are stunningly enhanced by Rolfsy’s Lightroom filter – settled in down at the Cattery. Cracking 55 at almost a run-a-ball, Peacock would have done just that (if he weren’t so humble), as he combined with the lower order to push Uni towards 200.
The innings eventually closing at 9/187, the Students would need to bowl well in excellent batting conditions.
Doug Warren did his thing with the brand new cool mint, nabbing 2/35 from his ten overs to give the Students a chance, while fellow left arm spinner and Geelong local, James Bett was also extremely economical from his ten overs. Gus Molden was the only other wicket-taker, as Geelong cruised to a seven-wicket victory with ten overs to go.
A rare blip for the Second XI, they will look to get back on track next week.
One of the strongest sides in Third XI history, the Students recorded a truly dominant victory at Princes Park on Saturday.
Batting first in heavy conditions, it was Lucien Bienvenu who made the fast start. Batting with “the cheat code,” Luc blasted a run-a-ball 58 at the top of the order to get Uni off and racing. Joined by Ali Khan (26), the Students put on just shy of 100 for the first wicket. KD, who coached Blackburn South to the semi-final of the Kookaburra Biz T20 competition during the week, kept things going with 32, while Yuvi (33), Jimmy Anderson (28) and Tom Savill (13) all connected at the end of the innings, blasting Uni to an imposing total of 7/228 from their 45 overs.
Blessed to have JB in the side, Uni’s favourite left-arm whippet was out to wreak havoc from the first on Saturday. Twice finding the edge and then Tom Savill’s big safe mits at first slip, Uni quickly had Geelong 2/19. While Jubba did his thing, Dan McNab – possibly still fuelled by Red Bull and Blue Curacao – put on a clinic with his left-arm spinners. Claiming 3/20, Slab helped to put the nail in the coffin. That nail was soon hammered in by JB, who returned to secure a further three wickets; ensuring victory and a five-wicket haul. Just reward for his continued persistence and exceptional talent, it was great to see JB get amongst it on the weekend.
A dominant bonus point victory, the Third XI will look to continue this form right into finals.
A young team out to make a statement, Om Patel took a day off from selling indoor plants to lead the Fourth XI down the highway.
Uni bowling first, it was Geelong who made the fast start in pristine batting conditions. Racing past 50, Perera and Uhr-Henry managed to put a stop to the momentum with a wicket apiece, before Yas Muntasir was thrown the ball. Deceiving the batters with craft and guile, Yas claimed the stunning figures of 4/29 from 9 overs, breaking the game apart. Not done there, Yas snared a further two run outs to complete a demolition job – Geelong bowled out for 133.
Keen to get back on the freeway and stop in at the Red Church Drive-Thru before the masses arrived, Lachie Melican and Om Patel set about chasing the score in quick time. Patel looked a class above for his 53* which included seven 4’s and a 6, while Lachie Melican (74*) was at his brutal best; 64 of his runs coming after the ball either reached or cleared the boundary rope.
Chasing the score inside twenty overs, Uni can be well pleased with their effort and take a great deal of confidence into the back end of the season.