From the Convenor of Cricket, John McCallum
The opening day of cricket at Queens Park saw many of Waverley’s boys in their first matches for the summer, with the early season highlight a stunning 2-run victory to the 1st XI against Knox. Waverley built tremendous pressure in the field with exceptional bowling –especially from captain Ryan Connolly in taking 4 wickets to turn the game as Knox lost their last 5 wickets for just 15 runs. A full report from their proud coaches appears later, and the 1st XI were all presented with their Baggy Blue cap at the Summer Sports Assembly on Thursday. Jacob Tomasiello was also announced as Waverley’s captain of cricket for 2017-18. Jacob has a great passion for cricket at Waverley, and has proven leadership in supporting and mentoring younger boys at the College which will form a large aspect of this role.
Both the 9A and 10A teams produced promising performances in their Round 1 matches against Knox. The 10As were on top when rain washed out play. Bowling and fielding with commitment to restrict Knox to 7/97, Sam Lodge outstanding with 3 wickets for 8 runs. Jack Hickey scored 69 in the 9As total of 4/169, and despite early restrictive bowling, the pressure wasn’t sustained in the field and Knox scraped home after a long partnership.
There were multiple internal trial matches enjoyed by most teams, with the opportunity taken to test their skills in match situations in readiness for a big round this week against Knox and St Aloysius. Boys playing away are encouraged to leave extra travel time to ensure they arrive 30 minutes prior to their matches to find pitches and warm up.
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1st XI Day 2 v Knox: Coaches Mr J Boyd & Mr G Elliott
The day started with Knox 0 for 16 having to reach 227 for victory. Harry Whitaker looked to have made the breakthrough but the umpires deemed that the ball hadn’t carried cleanly to Ben Scarf at 1st slip. Jack Hardwicke-Owen was introduced into the attack and struck with a slower ball in his second over with Ryan Connolly taking a simple catch to have the total at 1 for 38. This became 2 for 38 when in the next over Jack Hardwicke-Owen pounced on a cover drive to rocket the ball back over the stumps to keeper Rory Doyle who whipped the bails off with the batsman well short. Then just on the hour Ryan Connolly deceived the batsman and the umpires finger was raised for the lbw decision. Waverley was hopeful of picking up a few more wickets in the hour before lunch but some solid batting had Knox in the box seat at lunch being 3 for 110.
Waverley needed a breakthrough and with 172 on the board Benjamin Scarf changed his line to around the wicket and with just his second delivery found a way through the defense to clip the top of off stump, breaking the partnership and breathing life back into the Waverley challenge. Harry Whiteman came back into the attack and induced a loose drive for Jacob Tomasiello to take the catch at point with the total on 193. Benjamin Scarf achieved another vital breakthrough in the next over dismissing the established Knox batsman and top scorer (85) as he attempted to pull a slower bouncer, resulting in a touch of glove through to keeper Rory Doyle with the score on 197.
The score had progressed to 209 when a catch was dropped on the deep mid-wicket boundary, to make matters worse the ball bounced across the boundary for 4. A this point the heads could have dropped and the game would have been over but the Waverley team had other plans. Skipper Ryan Connolly looped up a tempting leggie to see the Knox batsman open his shoulders in the direction of long off, there lurked Jack Hardwicke-Owen, who with arms stretched skywards accepted a difficult catch AFL style and take the 7th wicket with the score on 219. A huge slice of luck resulted in the 8th wicket with the score at the same total, Ryan Connolly bowled another loopy delivery that drew the Knox batsman out of his crease, the ball spun past the bat but missed the gloves of the keeper only for the ball to rebound off the keepers body on to the stumps to complete a stumping. Knox went to tea at 8 for 219 requiring a further 7 runs for victory.
The tension was high as both teams entered the field for the deciding few overs. Ryan Connolly looped another leggie into the air, the Waverley players watched as the Knox batsman aimed to clear the deep mid-on boundary, Harry Whiteman held his nerve and accepted the catch, followed by the enthusiastic congratulations from his team mates. Jack Hardwicke-Owen was given the ball to see if he could wrap it up for Waverley, first ball was blocked, the second ball was just short of a length and just a touch slower, the Knox batsman was in two minds and pushed at the ball which resulted in the ball being sent skywards in the direction of cover, there under the ball was skipper Ryan Connolly. As the ball landed safely in his grasp the Waverley team engulfed him in ecstatic celebration having claimed an unlikely victory by a meagre 2 runs in what proved a real team effort. Ryan Connolly finished with 4 for 36 off 14 overs, Jack Hardwicke-Owen 2 for 23 off 15.2 overs and Benjamin Scarf 2 for 34 off 16 overs. Some work needs to be done in the field but this win will give the side the belief needed as the season progresses. This week the game is against SAC.