Monash University CC News

3rd XI season review

By Stephen Pearson (3rd XI Captain)

This season marks the first time the Monash Gryphons have contested in the SD&CCL in what is the league’s centenary season of competition. We have been entered into the lowest 2-day grade that exists, and that is the sixth Grade, a grade we found to be highly competitive, finishing the season with 2 wins, and in seventh position. This season was largely seen as a rebuilding phase, towards constructing three successful men’s teams. Being the only men’s team on synthetics pitches, we were granted the privilege of playing our home games, at the home of Monash Gryphons cricket (East Caulfield Reserve).

This season saw some very close games, including the two games against St. Andrews Gardener, which both concluding in a one-wicket result, in the favor of the opposition unfortunately. That the matches we won, including a victory by 204 runs, when Nirosh hit 168, including 10 sixes, and we also won a match wear the association deemed the opposition to have cheated by having an illegal player in their line-up.

This season has seen 41 players grace the third eleven with their presence, and although this has not helped us build a strong team, it has enabled me to meet a lot of new people, who all love their cricket, and at least for one day called themselves a “Gryphon”. That said, I would particularly like to thank the commitment of the following players through the season: Eugene Dolgikh; Mrinal Mahajan; Kiran Bhagat; Kelvin Choy; Daman Sidhu, and Akshay Atri, who all committed to playing the majority of the season. I hope they all return next season, as I strongly believe that if we can form a solid team in the third eleven our club could gain a SD&CCL flag to add our collection.

Including that marvelous innings from Nirosh mentioned above, we had 3 centuries in the thirds this season. Pranab ‘Pat’ Bhalla (143), and Abhinav ‘Abi’ Khurana (109*) were the other two, and during Pat’s innings he was ably supported by Abi again, this time with 90, and together they formed a new record 2nd wicket partnership for the club, of 201. The funny thing is that Abi was not listed to bat at 3 that day, he was in fact listed to bat at 4, but had taken his guard before anyone else had noticed that the wrong guy had gone out to bat. Unfortunately, we ended up losing that game with a horror bowling effort on the next Saturday, but because we had so many runs to defend, again it was close in the end.

Despite the tails of willow welding, we had a very impressive season with the ball as well, with our stunning new recruit Eugene Dolgikh taking 13 season wickets, and the captain (who possibly over bowled himself) taking twenty wickets, including eleven in the last two games. The best performance of the year would have to belong to Subhir though, he completed a 9 ball over, which figures of 3 wickets (all bowled) with just 3 wides conceded.

The third eleven is a good mix of enjoyment and competition, and with a strong student base, provides the ideal escape from the endless list of assignments and exams. The team is geared towards giving everyone a go, and ensuring that the whole eleven (or even as few as six) players enjoys their day of cricket.