The 1s set themselves for a Sunday game at Fawkner against a combined Burnley/Cobras outfit showing some issues combining under the Burnley banner. With an expected maximum of 16 degrees and the thought that Bathurst was probably on in the Brens Pavilion, Mick won the toss and sent Burnley in to keep the Wombats from going into hibernation.
Greeny started well getting the prized scalp of the Burnley captain with Malinga getting his hands around a smoked ball at short cover. Burnley then took aim at the short boundaries and with a miss one, hit one attitude put on 40 runs in 9 overs before a rain delay provided a much needed break in play. Loits struck straight after the break but Burnley's No. 3 kept playing shots and at 3-100 off 24 overs it looked like a big chase was in store for the Parkers. Jeff and Mick started to pull back the scoring and when Burnley's No. 3 holed out to Ansell at long-off there was a sense that it could all change pretty quickly. Malinga came into the attack and proved impossible to get away. With Jeff and Bense chipping and Burnley screaming in vain for their batting partner to 'Trust Me!' the Parkers chipped away through the middle and lower order to take the last 7 wickets for 31 runs. Malinga easily the pick of the bowlers with 3-6 off 6 overs and Jeff turning the game around through the middle with 2-23 off 9 overs. A chase of 132 seemed very achievable but not a given in sub-zero temperatures.
Devo and Ryno started the chase solidly getting through to the another rain delay after 6 overs at 0-13. On the sidelines, on went every piece of clothing, pads, gloves and helmets that could be found to keep warm which resulted in drive-by sledges from the 3 people walking around Fawkner. Runs were hard to come by and the scoring rate was starting to become a concern when Ryno fell at 1-24 off 13 overs. A collapse followed with Burnley moving through the middle order to have the Parkers 5-59. Some urgency from Bangas and a huge 6 from Shielly over mid-on (yes, that's the right way around) ignited a glimmer of hope and put on a handy 27 run partnership, but it was short lived. There would be no lower order fight back from the Parkers this round with the last 5 wickets falling for 11 to deliver a disappointing total of 97. Devo top scored with 29 and Shielly compiled a nice 20 in good time.
Afer a last minute venue change the 2s found themselves at Albert Park 12 against Maccabi AJAX. Taking the new ball onto a somewhat muddy but cohesive deck Evo, The Duke (3-22 off 8), Evo (0-18 off 9) and Miss Viss tore through the Maccabi top order. Key destroyer was Viss who took a three wicket maiden to finish with 4-6 off 6, with Maccabi reeling at 6-15. To thier credit they stuck back after drinks, when our spinners copped some stick. Final score, all out 118 (of these 9 bowled....). An achieveable target.
Out strides Frannie and TMac in repsonse. Coming of 141* it's fair to say Frannie's eye was ok - first ball, 4 through cover. Unfortunately he skied a rank full toss from their leggie to finish on a quickfire 28 (season average 169). TMac carried his bat to a solidly played 32* and Brown chipped in with 46*. A handy 9 wicket victory in 31 overs.
On a wet Sunday, we headed over Citylink to Mooney Valley, or "Out West" as Cal put it. We arrived with rain still falling, but to our surprise the covers removed. When asked why, the umpires said "they needed to be taken off an hour before play"... Covers were back on following a brief conversation. Anyway, play was delayed with overs reduced to 41 per side and winning the toss again we batted first.
GG and Hanckock strode to the crease and after Glenn found the ropes with his first ball he got cleaned up by an absolute cracker (glad I was at the non-strikers for that one). Kesh and GG stabilized with scoring difficult on a dodgy track that had been re-turfed across the wicket rather than along it. GG got out caught at mid wicket as the heavens opened for the first time. Play resumed after a 20min break with Kesh holding things together. DB and GI came and went and Kesh's advances to leg spinner only brought about a stumping for 22 and we were in trouble. Benny Neville edged to gully which brought Sam and Bingle to the crease with us on 6/57.
These two batted really well and put on 34 in good time before Bingle (14) went on the heave and missed a straight one. Sam followed shortly after, making an innings high of 28 and looking the goods in the 3's side. With Amit and Rishi at the crease the bowling figures took a bit of a battering. Rishi hit all of his 17 runs in one over including a maximum over point which he was pretty chuffed with. Amit and Cal saw out the last overs with Cal looking for solace at the non strikers end and eventual red ink with Amit (20) getting out on the last ball of the innings for a respectable 136.
Taking the initiative of our wagging tail into the field, Cal and Amit opened up only for Amit to roll his ankle trying to stop a ball in his follow through and unable to field for the rest of the game. GI was brought onto replace Amit (after 3 balls from Ben) and bowled a treat to clean up their opener with the score on 20 ish. The rain came - we went off. The rain stopped - we went back on. Cal got rid of the other opener via a much celebrated catch by Hangers with the last ball of that spell, while GI got the #3 LBW. Sam replaced Cal and bowled OK and had his first wicket in the 3's with GG taking a skier. Then we unleashed spin from both ends, (can you hear that Bev/Ewan/Warne) with Kesh (with the gale) and Rishi (into the gale) who really dried things up to have them 6/60 ish. Kesh's rank long hop first up resulted in a run out with the non-striker welded to the crease. Rishi's slow off breaks were really hampered by the wind, so GI was brought back on and got another wicket thanks to Cal at Point taking a catch mid stretch and they were 7 down needing 5 an over to get the runs. We made ourselves known to their #6 bat, who has probably been reported, after a catch on the poorly marked boundary was ruled a 6 and then he requested a leg-side ball to be called wide. GI disagreed from cover. Kesh then bowled him and GI pulled out the aeroplane in celebration - good fun was had by all.
The 4s played at home against Youlden on a glorious day for cricket – blue sky, 25C, a flat track and lush outfield. With only 7 at the ground for the toss we were a bit concerned when YPs won the toss and decided to bat. A few stragglers arrived before the first over, including a fine effort by Fini, straight off his international flight. With one no show there must be a big thanks to Dan Bense for stepping in and fielding for the full 45 overs. His efforts with the ball and the gab were well appreciated.
With a few new faces in the 4s the bowling was done in short spells. Redwan and Aiden (Legs) opened the bowling and kept things tight, and when Dung replaced Red we had our first couple of wickets to have them 2/23. By drinks they had consolidated somewhat to be 2/65. We took a few more wickets after drinks with both Red and Giri picking up their first wickets for the club and had them 5/80. Some big hitting from their captain caused a few tremors, but tight death bowling saw us restrict them to a sub par score of 8/158 off their full count of overs. Dungy picked up 3/31 from 8, Giri grabbed 2/24 and Legs was his economical self, picking up 1/16 from his 9.
The 5's were away this week at Ajax. A wet ground meant a delayed start and eventually we got underway with Steve calling correctly and choosing to have a bowl on an interesting looking wicket. Weely and new recruit Alister got us underway and Ajax got off to a bit of a quick start before we tightened up a bit to put the pressure back on to have them 0/36 off 12. Dave M (1-11 off 5) swapped the gloves with Taff and came on to bowl and bowled their opener to get our first, before Whitey trapped their other opener off the next ball in the following over to drag us back into the contest. The increased pressure helped get a run out in the first over after drinks to have Ajax 3/59. Kris (1-19 off 6) picked up a wicket off a great catch by Dave M, while Rob steadied after a nervous start to rip out the Ajax middle order (0-15 off first 2, finishing with 4-20 off 8), combining with Whitey (3-16 off 8.3 and is on a hatrick next game) to finish them off for 99 in the 37th over. Terrific bowling and fielding pressure was what got us back in the contest and we were feeling confident at the break.