FIRST XI DEFEATED ST STEPHEN’S GREYTHORN CC
In a day of rare milestones, Wilbur finally won a coin toss. Also it was Speedys 200th game which was a very big pre-game focus to get the win. Winning the toss, we elected to bat and quickly we were 1 for 0 with Speedy unfortunately making a duck. This brought Govey to the crease, who steadied the ship with Wilbur; unfortunately Govey was sent packing with a trigger LBW decision for 18 and the second top score. Doolz strode out to the crease and proceeded to play attacking cricket and make runs at ease despite the very slow infield. Doolz carried his bat throughout smacking and grinding a well made 97* in an innings where everyone else struggled. A good partnership with H for 40 runs pushed the target to 168 which was a bit below par.
St. Stephens Greythorn came out with intent as, and Montigue was very aggressive and effective and were on top with a 70 run partnership despite not bowling all that bad. H and Stiffler bowled in good spots but bowled a bad one each per over. The change of bowler to Nav Munichetty was timely and immediately got a wicket and settled the team, next ball another wicket and we were back in the game. Still their two danger men were at the crease, and quickly two fielding changes saw to the end of these two batsmen, falling for both traps and Panthers were on top. Grades continuing his superb season with the ball took a Michelle, whilst and Nav tore through them at the other end. When Nav wasn’t taking wickets, he took blinder catches. The first 9 wickets went for 17 and it was still a tight match, so Wilbur turned to his x-factor in Seed who was underbowled taking 1 for 0 off 0.1 overs.
Was another good win and showed what can happen when we continue to fight.
SECOND XI DEFEATED MONASH UNIVERSITY CC
Our two previous fixtured games against Monash Uni were cancelled due to extreme weather, so it was great to finally face the side that has been sitting 1 point above us on the ladder. 5th v 4th, we win we go to 4th, they win they go 7 points clear of us, vital match.
Knotty lost the toss again and they elected to bat. We opened with Wolfy and Junior Miles. Both doing a magnificent job keeping them to 4 for 53 off 13 overs before the bowling change. The lads had done the job removing 2 of their batsmen who were 1 and 2 on the Association Grade leading run scorers table. But alas, a bloke who obviously hadn’t had much luck this season ended up retiring on 50. Tony and Martie bowled 1st and 2nd change, before Knotty checked in with Prowsey and Blackie to see how they were feeling. He made the change to hopefully have these two see us through to the end of the innings and they did. We had a couple of little mishaps in the field but we were good enough to fix mistakes and bowling Monash Uni out for 139. Boothy the star on the field taking 3 great catches and wickets evenly shared with “Sorbent” Prowse cleaning up the tail with a 3fa.
We opened with Al and Bobby. Al held up an end while Bobby looked to score quickly. The opening partnership of 42 before Al was dismissed. This brought Boothy to the crease who looked good, but alas Bobby fell at the other end for a well made 33. Knotty joined Boothy in the middle but before long, Boothy smashed one to mid off and was caught, 3 for 69. Knotty attempted a pull shot, but hit high on the bat and lobbed between mid wicket and mid on, where there was a horrific collision between the fielders. We wish that player all the best in his recovery, as he was last seen in the back of an ambulance on his way to Box Hill hospital – maybe he needs wishes of good luck too. After a 20 minute delay, Blackie was to face his first ball. Unfortunately for us, he only lasted a few, 5 for 80, still need 60 to win off 18 overs. CK Prowse and Tony were in the middle. Average age, 78. They saw off the good bowlers, cashed in on the bad balls, ran quick singles, plenty of 2s and managed to survive the heat. With everyone on the edge of their seats, hearts in mouths stuff, the two guided us home with 4 balls to spare. A real gutsy, inspiring effort by the old Panthers. A magnificent win that now sees our finals a reality as we move into 4th position on the ladder.