Monash University CC News

Winter Cricket 2014 Round 3

By Ahmed Moosa

Team selection was difficult this round, with more and more interest from players meaning that Bruce and Moosa had to make some tough decisions. The team that was selected included players from all of the Monash University summer teams.

The Melbourne Strikers were undefeated in their first two matches, scoring lots of runs and keeping their opponents to low totals. Coming into this match the Monash Blues knew that this would be challenging, but one that we were confident that we could win.

Bruce lost the toss, and the Blues were sent in to bat. We opened with Gordon Jones, fresh from his trip to Japan and James Byrne who was in great form- having scored an unbeaten 50 in the last match. Knowing that we had to score quickly, James immediately went on the attack, scoring 23 off the first 5 overs. During this time, Gordon spent a lot of the time rotating the strike, without facing too many deliveries. However, as the overs went on, the strike was split more evenly- but the run rate continued to rise. Both Gordon and James were in great form, hitting the ball cleanly in the air and along the ground and running between the wickets exceptionally well! James was forced to retire after reaching his 50, which included 3 fours and a 6. Gordon then batted with Bruce, who continued where James left off, piling the pressure on their bowlers. Gordon reached his 50, which included 5 fours. At this point we were 126/0 off 20- a great position. We then lost two quick wickets as Akshay was given LBW and Bruce getting caught for a quick fire 20.

Jimmy and Ipan steadied the ship, with a partnership of 46. During their partnership 2 of the Strikers players collided- leaving them both bloodied and in the emergency room. In a moment of great sportsmanship, Bruce offered a substitute fielder from our team as well as allowing the Strikers to field a player not on their team sheet.

Due to the delay, overs with reduced to 33. Trying to tee off, we lost some quick wickets. While wickets fell on one end, Jimmy continued to impress. Scoring quickly and playing some brilliant shots. He eventually fell for 41 which included 5 fours and a 6! Moose and Rusty finished off the innings. Moose hitting a quick fire 14 including a 6 and a 4 off the last 2 overs. The Gryphs ended up on 208/8.

Needing to score at almost a run a ball, and with two of their batsman still not back from the hospital, the Strikers were in for a tough innings. This was made worse by losing their in-form opener off the first ball, when he scooped a ball from Rusty straight to James. Phanee then got the other opener with a great outswinger that drew an edge. Then the Strikers opening bowler and wicket keeper came to the crease and started to attack. With runs to play with, Bruce made some smart field placements and brought himself on to replace Rusty. The change worked, and the 40 run partnership was broken when Phannee got his second- when Sash hung on to a sharp catch in gully. Phannee then got another from the next ball, when Bruce took a great catch at full stretch. And the momentum was back with the Gryphs.

Bruce then brought Moose and Jones into the attack, in order to try and get the danger batsman out. Yet again, his bowling change paid dividends, as Singh hit a long ball to James off Gordons first over. Moose then clean bowled the new batsman. Jimmy took a great stumping off Gordonís bowling, reacting quickly to remove the bails. Their final batsman was injured, limping to the crease with no intent. He immidiatelyhit a ball to James for what looked like an easy single. But after a half hearted attempt to run, James got a good throw in and Gordon ran him out to end the match.

Monash University Gryphons 208-8 (33) def Melbourne Strikers 70 a.o.

Jones 50 no & 3/9 (3). Byrne 50 no. Kumar 41. Katta 3/29 (6)

Our next match is against the strongest team in the competition, the Super Kings. Hopefully our form and positivity can be transferred from this match into our home game.