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From Behind the Stumps – A Week of Last-Over Thrillers!

John McCallum, Convenor of Cricket

It has been an exciting week of Cricket, with more than half the matches being decided in the very last few balls!

One of the highlights came midweek with the 1st XI defeating Cranbrook by just 2 runs in the final over to qualify for the CAS Final, with Lachlan Forrest a game-changer taking 5-25 with his leg-breaks. 1st XI reports appear below, and it was also fantastic to hear that Jason Sangha from last year’s graduating class has scored a century for NSW in the Sheffield Shield match v Tasmania this week at the SCG. This came after Jason scoring a fluent 38 against the touring South African team for the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra last week. Jason has a strong character and work ethic that is being recognised quickly at the highest levels of Australian Cricket, and we wish him the best in achieving his goals.

There were many close finishes in the weekend games against Knox, with this showcasing some significant improvement in both the skills and application of teams.  The 2nd XI demonstrated great heart and enthusiastic fielding to build huge pressure against the Knox batsmen- defending their total of 160 to win by 17 runs in the final overs.  Ridley Owens charged in at the death to take the final 3 wickets, while Charley Howell,  Flynn Wild and Andreas Fragias helped set up the win with key early wickets.  The 10As sadly were on the other side of a thrilling match, but similarly showed great resilience.  They came back on both day 1 and 2 of their matches to almost grab the victory, with a great team effort with the ball including 2 wickets to Pat Hoggett, and Dylan Brown remained 76 not out in his fantastic innings from last week.  The 10Bs almost snatched the win and were just 1 wicket short- with Isaac Kopsiaftis, Darcy Widdowson and Ed Sullivan highly effective with the ball.  Jesse Sonego made huge contributions to score a stylish 67, then produce a classic bowling performance to take 4/23.

There were also great displays at games at Knox, with the 9As almost winning after a great run-chase led by a superb 54 by William Dodd.  Jack Rigg and Louis Kitto also played well in strong partnerships, but late wickets fell as time ran up to secure the final runs required. The 8As also narrowly fell short chasing 135, though Will Hickey almost brought it home with a quick 47.  Connor Andrews and Stuart Swinburn took a great 3 wickets each in a strong bowling display, while the 8B and 8C teams were brave in some excellent team efforts. Caleb Urquart was particularly strong in a fine innings of 32 runs for the 8Cs.

Twenty20 v Cranbrook

A hot and humid day greeted us at Cranbrook last Tuesday as we made preparations for our Second T20 match up. We had a quick look at the pitch and everything looked set to go except for one thing; the race that stops the nation. After being stuck to a device for about 3 minutes and 22 seconds it was time to warm up an toss. We won and elected to bat which is a real advantage in the shortened format of the game. Lachlan Forrest and Alex Ferrara opened up and began filling the scoreboard with runs. Lachie managed to hit the fence a couple of times before pushing his luck eyeing off the boundary. Alex batted himself into form finding the gaps in the field and occasionally hitting the boundary. He finished his innings with a handy 31 from 39 putting Waverley in a solid position. Reid McNamara was effective, working singles as well as punching the ball long for what looked like an easy innings of 28. He did looked fatigued after his innings and we later worked out he was in fact battling an illness but he showed real resilience throughout his innings. At the close of Waverley’s innings we managed a slightly below par 121, setting Cranbrook 6 runs an over to win.

They began their innings very strongly batting with confidence and easily meeting the required run rate. Two dropped catches along the way didn’t help the cause. The two openers reached 80 without loss and Cranbrook were in the Hot Seat. Enter Lachlan Forrest and Mac Jenkins; the runs stopped flowing and the batsman became frustrated. The two openers went in quick succession and the then the flood gates opened. Lachlan took 5 for 25 from his four overs and in the process securing man of the match. Mac held his own down the other end drying up the runs and frustrating the batsmen.

The pendulum had swung in Waverley’s favour but the match was still tight. They needed 5 runs and we needed 2 wickets in the last over. Ryan Smith bowled tight and put on enough pressure to cause a run out. The next ball their number 11 was clean bowled and the victory belonged to Waverley College. 

Day 2 of Round Two: Waverley v Knox 

Beginning the day 0-25 in pursuit of the Knox total of 297, Saturday saw us needing a steady and calculated chase. Unfortunately we provided a shaky and nervous start. The two hero’s from the week before, Lachlan Forrest and Reid McNamara went with adding much their overnight total and the loss of three wickets early dampened our thoughts of a win. Oliver Ruse scored a “dirty thirty” and we had hoped that he could go on with it. Batting up the other end was Harry Whitaker who was batting himself into form. He was striking beautifully to all areas of the field. He got to fifty with ease and it looked like he was going to take the game away from Knox; they knew it, we hoped it and for a short time it was game on. Sadly the fun didn’t last and Harry gave his wicket away, popping one up to mid-wicket for 74. We did our best with the rest of the batsmen for a respectable 225.

We took two things away form that game though. One: Put a bigger value on you wicket, we are all capable of scoring bigger totals than what we did. Two: A two day game requires focus in the field for the full two days and Three: Waverley still has the best lunch in the CAS!