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Round 11: BTCC 9d/277 def Kerrimuir United 156 & 2/16 at Springfield Park.

J Berry 73, Y Rodrigo 63, A Mohandas 50*, T Arnold 7/13 & 2/5

The final round of the season saw us travel to the Springfield park to take on wooden spooners Kerrimuir CC who were looking for their first win of the season. After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, our openers Andrew Verga and Yaz Rodrigo got us off to a good start as we were able to have our first 1st wicket partnership of 50+ for the season. Verga fell for a well made 27 which then saw Jack Berry to the crease who continued his stellar season form along with Yaz who formed a 103 run partnership which ended in the 64th over with the score 2-178. Jack departed for a classy 73 and Yaz soon followed for an anchoring innings of 63. Skipper Ashwyn Mohandas continued the quest for quick runs and finished with an unbeaten 50 with 3 big sixes. Bhatiya Ratnayake also chipped in with a quickfire 25. With some good late hitting Skipper Ashwyn declared in the 78th over with the score 9-277. With the potential to feature in finals we opted to put Kerrimuir in with 2 overs remaining in search for wickets but was not able to with Kerrimuir 0/4 at the end of the first day of play.
The next week we returned hopeful that with some results in other games going our way that we could sneak into 4th position on the ladder and feature in finals. In trying hot conditions, our opening bowlers started really tight and it wasn’t long before the Tim Arnold show began terrorising the Kerrimuir top order with his line and length the have them reeling at 5-33. Chance Burridge bowled extremely well from the top end also earning a wicket.  It was then Kerrimuir who gained momentum and formed a 5th wicket partnership of 60 but Darshanna Mahawatte was introduced into the attack and earned himself a wicket first ball to put the pressure back onto the Kerrimuir tail enders. Tim Arnold returned to the crease to collect the remaining wickets and end up with the astonishing figures of 14.5 overs- 6 maidens- 13 runs – 7 wickets ! It was an incredible individual effort by Tim as Kerrimuir were bowled out for 156.
With 25 overs remaining in the day, we sent Kerrimuir back in to try and get the 10 outright points. We were able to get 2 quick wickets but Kerrimuir were able to defend for the next 12 overs and it was then decided by both captains to end the game. Tim Arnold adding a further 2 wickets to take his game figures to 21.5- 10 maidens- 19 runs and 9 wickets. It was a great all round effort from the boys and I have been proud of our commitment and endeavour especially after the Christmas break. I hope we are able to build on this and come into the 2019-20 season raring to go.


Round 11: BTCC 242 def Kerrimuir United 111 at Ted Ajani Reserve

M McCrohan 58, N Gioskos 54, J Paolucci 40, M Cassidy 35, J Haikal 6/34, M Cassidy 3/13

We came into the final round with the aim to finish the season on a high with a win against last-placed Kerrimuir. We won the toss which was a great result and decided to bat. We lost Jezz early, but Marcus and Nick Gioskos saw off some reasonably tight bowling early to consolidate and eventually put together a  great partnership of 117 for the 2nd wicket. Unfortunately we lost both set batsmen in quick succession (Marcus for 58 and Nick for 54). JP then came in for a well compiled 40, before an unlucky chop-on prematurely ended his stay. Mitch came in to blast a couple of tommys for a quickfire 35. We ended up losing 3/1 at the very end of the innings, but were confident that the 242 we had on the board would be enough.

We started off the bowling innings with a bang, with Mitchy taking 3 wickets in quick succession to have Kerrimuir reeling at 3/4. Some very defensive and negative batting saw them crawl to 56 after about 32 overs, before Jezz got the crucial breakthrough. The 20 mins before tea saw arguably two of the most horrendous cricket shots you will ever see, with two of their batsman losing their minds trying to hit out Jezz and Smithyover the fence with minutes before the main break, only to be caught at mid-off/mid-on within 2 overs of each other. We had them 6/76 at tea, and from then, Jezz removed their key batsman for 53 (thanks to a brilliant one-handed catch taken by Mitch at cover) and from there, the tail fail to wag. Some creative captaincy saw Andy Coulston enter the attack with his leggies. Ando has previously won a 2XI bowling award, but that was over 15 years ago, so we were all a bit unsure of what would eventuate. Andyland kept his cool and delivered two fairly tight overs, including one maiden. Well done AndoJezz ended up taking the last wicket finishing with career-best figures of 6/34 – a fantastic effort. We ended up winning by a very comprehensive 131 runs, a satisfying way to end the season.


Round 13: BTCC 7/174 def by Vermont South 5/178 at Timber Ridge.

J Rawlings 59, J Sticca 39*, D Sticca 2/25, N Paolucci 2/32

With a slight glimmer of hope remaining to sneak into the finals we took on Vermont South who were firmly entrenched in the 4.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, we maintained strong resistance in the face of disciplined bowling, grinding out a solid, but skinny total of 7/174, our lowest since pre-Christmas.
Jade Rawlings rounded out a great season with the bat making 59, ably supported by our “finisher” Josh Sticca with a busy 39 not out.
We felt we were short by 50-75 runs, but knew, given our season long efforts in the field, we were a chance. On the Monday leading into week 2, our opening bowler, Aker, pulled out with an ankle, making the mountain higher.
In the face of adversity, lesser teams would have shrunk away. Not us.
Despite playing the entire innings with 10 players, and a bowler down, in 38 degree heat, we turned in our most complete performance of the season.
We took them to the last over, through very tight, disciplined bowling.
No one bowler deserves singling out, as they were all fantastic, but more shown through a statistic, where we conceded only 43 runs over a 26 over period mid to late innings
In the field we refused to drop our heads and not for one ball did we have a drop in our intensity.
We played with pride, for each other, the chat continuing right through to the end. We followed our team rules to the letter, our ethics and strength on show, and acknowledged by the opposition at days end. It is why we play cricket.

Bring on next season….


Round 13: BTCC 144 def by Park Orchards 208 at Stintons Reserve.

D McClean 3/56, T Shepherd 2/21, M Leggio 2/31.

For our final game of the year, we ventured out to Park Orchards to take on the 2nd top side in the competition. We knew that we could not make the finals mathematically, but we still wanted to finish the season on a high with a hard fought win.
After being sent in by the opposition, our openers got us off to a great start again. Les Pataki (29) and Ben Wolnizer (26) had an opening stand of 58 in just 12 overs. Unfortunately, as has been the case in a few of our games this year, we suffered a batting collapse to go from 0/58 to 5/81. Matt Leggio and Hamish McClean steadied the ship and got us to 5/111 after our 32 overs.
The Park Orchards openers came out very aggressively and were 0/57 in the 9th over until Dave McClean made the first breakthrough. We then piled on the pressure, with great bowling from Tom Shepherd (2/21, who has improved with every game), Paul Pavlidis and Steve Yuen. After their 32 overs they were 6/122 and we knew that we were right in the game.
We started off week 2 perfectly, with 2 quick wickets to reduce the opposition to 8/127. Dave McClean finished with 3/56. Park Orchards then put on a quick fire 66 run stand, and added a few more runs for the last wicket, finishing all out for 208.
Our middle and lower order were no match for some disciplined quality swing bowling and some extraordinary slips catching. We were all out for 144, shook hands with the opposition and wished them well for the finals.
Our season has been a mix of performances, some great wins early in the season and a some disappointing and heavy losses in the latter half. We saw the emergence of Tom Shepherd who showed great skill and maturity and was not intimidated playing senior cricket. Also, a new player in Andy Sexton has been a great addition to the team, as well as some cameo appearances from Mark Allsop and Stuart McKenzie who we hope can play more games in the coming season!