1st XI vs Monash Tigers
Round 3 saw us host Monash Tigers on a typically cold and windy day at PP1. Evan Gulbis looking to make first use of conditions by electing to bowl first. Soon enough, Cameron Stevenson had his first rattling the stumps with a rare full ball. Normal service resumed thereafter with Cam finding his usual length half way down the wicket ripping through the Tigers top order. A fantastic effort with Stevo taking the first five wickets of the innings. Xavier Crone was also providing some good partnership bowling from the City End. Despite some good early work from the bowling group, experienced pro Dan Christian still loomed as a significant threat. A bowling change saw Evan Gulbis pick up his first of two wickets with a short delivery caught in the deep. Soon after, Simon Branston had Christian trapped in front who then embarked on a somewhat over the top celebration. Well done Simmo- nice first wicket to have in the pocket for Carlton. A partnership of 40 for the last wicket brought the Tigers total to 136.
Our batting innings started with the loss of two early wickets before last round centurion Brayden Stepien and Gulbis came together. Initially fighting through some disciplined bowling, they begun to gain the ascendency through constant rotation of strike while picking up the odd boundary. After a slight rain delay the two batters begun to grab the ascendency with Evan posting his first 50 of the season. The third wicket was lost and Stepien was joined by Nick Ross with the pair chasing down the last 40 runs. Stepo finishing on a well crafted 57 and Ross 14 not out. A clinical display with Stevo 5/24 off 9 the standout.
By Harry Smyth
2nd XI vs Monash Tigers
In what one would describe as the weirdest game of cricket ever played, Monash were just too good for the Blues on a muddy Central Reserve on Saturday.
Falling two runs short of a well made 229, the Blues would be left to rue some poor fielding, which undoubtedly cost them the four points.
Bowling first, the Tiges were strangled early by first gamer Dudding and Kav Thavarajah, who unfortunately had to be repeatably warned for anal-explulsive behaviour by the umpires for several fiery outbursts at the opposition, officials, groundsman and teammates.
From 3/53, the Tigers steadily built their score as the wicket improved. Some excellent late hitting saw them reach a more than competitive total, with wickets shared between all the bowlers.
A hurricane would hit in the tea break, and after taking approximately 3 hours to get the covers on, the rain stopped and the Blues were made to chase a revised total of 215 off 45. This total would be changed to 219 30 overs into the game for reasons only known to the officials.
Steady wickets fell on a tacky wicket, until the constant rain caused a 15 minute delay at one end to dry out the bowlers landings. After one of the Monash quicks didn't want to bowl anymore - half-way through an over - Monash brought on a third spinner which allowed the Blues to raise the run-rate.
As if the game needed anymore drama, skipper Jack O'Shea rolled an ankle, called for a runner, which took 17 minutes to organise, then started blazing them everywhere after a scratchy start. In with a chance, the Baggers got close until McKenna thought he was AB Devilliers and got caught at 45 lap sweeping.
After missing 6 fielders outside the circle, then forgetting about the 6th ball of an over, the umpires reconvened the 2nd last over; but it wasn't enough to halt the tight Monash bowling, the Blues finishing 2 runs short in the 730pm moonlight.
McKenna finished with 78, while O'shea (43) and Wilson (28) were the pick of the batters.
By Lachie McKenna
3rd XI vs Monash Tigers
On a cold and miserable day at Princess park, our opening batsmen found a way to keep warm, by spending their time out in the middle after captain Sam Connop elected to bat.
A steady start of 0/29 in the powerplay, laid a platform for what was to come with Faria and Poppa taking their partnership to 100 by the time the drinks cart rolled on.
It didn’t stop there, with the pair causing a few headaches for the Tigers, until another brilliant Faria century (118) and the 195 run opening stand came to an end in the 38th over.
Whilst Poppa (79) only lasted a couple overs longer it brought the big hitting Jonno Crowe to the crease, striking a quick fire 32 off 16 to get the Blues to 254 at the end of our 45.
The boys from Monash came out in a more aggressive fashion, needing 5 and a half an over from ball one, getting to the end of their powerplay at 1/43.
A couple of wickets to Ryan O’Keefe and a big run out from Crowe a ball before going off for rain, saw the scores at 4/105 off 25.
Needing a revised target of 100 off 9 overs coming back out, the run rate required was double what it was at the start of the chase.
Restricting the Tigers to 16 off the first 3 overs back, proving the revised target an insurmountable task, finishing up 6/187 (18 runs short) with Trenwith snagging 2 late wickets.
Taking the season to a 2-1 start.
By Todd Marchant
4th XI vs Monash Tigers
Carlton won the toss and elected to bat first. After Monash took an early wicket dismissing opener Liam Connop, Carlton proceeded to accumulate 142 runs for the second-wicket partnership.
Opener Nihil Pottabathini (94 off 93 balls) played aggressively right from the outset, capitalising on anything short whilst showing great intent between the wickets in between. He was unlucky not to finish with a century in what was a fine knock.
Nikhil was well supported by Abe Sheahan (60 off 94 balls), who showed he has great hands to manipulate the field whilst also finding the boundary on five occasions.
This outstanding partnership set up the foundation perfectly for middle order batsmen Tom Starr (12 off 22 balls), Tim Line (16 off 16 balls) and Connor Braniff (14no off 21 balls) to knock the ball around and consolidate the score.
Carlton’s innings finished on 5/214 in the 43rd over after rain halted play, a very good score given boundaries were not particularly easy to come by and the wicket was a little on the slow side.
Chasing 215 in 43 overs, Monash never gave themselves a chance in the chase, maintaining a decent run rate but losing wickets all too frequently. Alex Mills (2-28 off 5 overs) took two important early wickets, while Jordan Bastian (2-27 off 7 overs) continued his good form from last week.
With Monash reeling at 4-23, Carlton needed to move swiftly through the overs to ensure a result was possible in case of further rain. This meant that Matthew Vine (5-16 off 8 overs) bowled an extended spell of off-spin to great dividends, as he took all of the next five wickets to reduce Monash to 9-90 in what was a great spell of bowling.
Manav Kumar (1-6 off 2.1 overs) polished off the innings, as Monash were dismissed for 90 in the 26th over, a comprehensive 124 run victory for the Blues, with the 4th XI progressing to 2-1 heading into the two-dayers.
By Liam Connop
1st XI vs Camberwell Magpies
Winning the toss at PP1 on a clear but fresh morning, Evan decided we would have a bowl first against Camberwell Magpies. In what has been a common theme this season our bowlers put in a really solid performance. Stevenson continued his strong early season form with the new ball. Gulbis and, for his first match in the firsts of the season, Wilson, continued to keep things tight and restrict the Camberwell batsmen. The spinners were also able to bowl tightly through the middle period of the game and maintain the pressure. Regular wickets, and a solid team effort in the field ensured that Camberwell never really got away from us. Bowling them out for 159 in the 48th over. Gulbis (4/21), Wilson (3/27) and Stevenson (3/33) were the pick of the bowlers in a strong team effort.
On a tiring wicket, a tricky little chase was ahead of us. And we didn’t help ourselves much with the loss of 3 quick wickets early, we sat precariously at 3/19. When Gulbis and Ross combined for a settling partnership of 43. The loss of two quick wickets again had us in a little trouble at 6/75. We then witnessed some brilliant and patient batting from Ross and Wilson, who combined for a wonderful partnership against some very good bowling. The guys got us ever so close to the target, and Rossy unselfishly got out attempting to get us the bonus point, we ended up wining 7 wickets down and gaining the bonus point on the last ball of the 40th over. Ross (64), Wilson (40*), and Gulbis (32), were the standout batters. A great win to finish off a really strong weekend for the team. 2 x bonus point wins is a strong way to get our season going.
By Matt Culvenor
2nd XI vs Camberwell Magpies
Round 4 saw the Blues take on Camberwell in the final one-day fixture before transitioning into red ball cricket. The Magpies won the toss and elected to bat on their home deck.
Carlton started very well with the ball, keeping the Magpies’ openers at bay, until Thavarajah’s persistence and consistency paid off, getting the first one caught in the cordon. Dudding almost instantly wrapped the pads of the number 3 batsman, having the Magpies 2-34. Not long after, Thavarajah had another one caught behind, before ending his brilliant spell at 2-22 (10). The first bowling change saw Woods get an early wicket to have the Magpies 4-51. Woods was tidy all day throughout the middle overs, finishing with 1-29 (10). From that point on, unfortunately, not much went the way of the Blues, a short square boundary and fast outfield meant our bowlers were thrust into some difficult circumstances at the back end of the Camberwell innings with mis-fields and errors costing us runs on a quick outfield. The Magpies’ captain played a classy knock of 119*, batting with their number 6 to get them to a defendable score of 4-244 cc.
The Magpies also started quite well with the ball, giving the Blues’ openers minimal scoring shots early. McKenna and Mattsson were able to withstand a couple of tight spells and continue to keep the run chase alive. Scoring become easier the longer the pair were at the crease, and the run rate was slowly rising as they put away the bad balls. The partnership reached 156 before McKenna was caught trying to further advance the game, a great knock of 76 including a couple of large blows. Scheepers continued his stunning form with the bat, taking no time to clear the infield to get his innings going. Mattsson was dismissed at 2-185 and finished with 78. O’Shea (23*) and Scheepers (52*) attacked the Magpies bowlers, and got us over the line with an over and a half remaining.
A perfectly balanced run chase and the Blues move to 2 wins and 2 losses.
By Jack Mattsson