The Friars had the treat of playing on the North Oval of the MCC HQ at Beaumaris. We expected a perfect ground with short grass and a beautiful batting strip and it didn't disappoint. The picket fence around the ground and electronic scoreboard was absolutely a beautiful setting for cricket.
Roly from MCC won the toss and elected to bat. It was a perfect batting wicket, however the Friars would have bowled first anyway following two losses batting first.
Bhavesh "BB" and Alex Nikolovski (Whitefriars debut) opened the bowling with swing, pace and accuracy. The first 5 overs were bowled with the score 2/5 with BB taking both wickets with the help of some dot ball pressure at the other end from Alex. Tyler Parker (Whitefriars Debut) replaced Alex and the northern end and kept the pressure on with an excellent 5th stump line and top-of-off length. Adam "Cheesy" Marchesi replaced BB and did the same as Roly started to look to increase the scoring and looked like the danger man. Both Tyler and Cheesy picked up well-deserved wickets and kept the pressure building on Melbourne. MCC at drinks 3/67.
Left-arm-orthodox Manny Uppal (Whitefriars debut) came on at the northern end and almost picked up Roly from his first ball who was on 49 at the time. Manny also picked up a well deserved wicket before straining a hamstring while chasing a ball along the boundary. The injury opened the door for 13 year old William Haugh (Whitefriars debut) to bowl from the southern end. He bowled an impeccable line and length and picked up a 1/8 off his 4 overs at the death. Roly said that he was trying hard to get him away, but couldn't.
Bhavesh and Alex Nikolovski also bowled well at the end with Alex picking up two wickets from two balls and getting reward from his excellent bowling.
The ground fielding was excellent and having the rare benefit of having a youthful team made a big difference. (2x 13 y/o and 2 x 20 y/o). BB's ground fielding was exceptional with 2 catches and a run-out.
At the end of the innings, Melbourne had put on 9/137. Roly making 65 and outstanding bowling figures from the team:
David Stephen and Dan Keane (Whitefriars debut) opened the batting and put on a 67 opening stand scoring at a solid and steady 4 an over after 17 overs when Dan fell after an excellent 27 followed by the captain the very next ball also for 27, with the Friars suddenly 2/67 of 17. Cheesy and Darren consolidates and kept the scoring moving with some excellent stroke play. When Darren fell for 26, the partnership had put the Friars into a comfortable position- 3/119 after 29 overs. Cheesy and Brendan "Goo" Gouin then steered the Friars to their first victory of the season Cheesy ended up on 27 not out and Goo looked very positive for his 7 not out.
Our sincerest thanks to the players who filled in for us this week and we hope they enjoyed their experience with Whitefriars and the MCC Club XI competition. Players were:
Also a huge thank you to Tim Sedgewick who came off his nightshift as a paramedic who sent a text message at 8:39 AM telling me that he was about to go to sleep and then turned up to play.
They all represented the club with distinction and we would welcome all of them back in the future.
It was an excellent all-round game today with everyone playing a role in the victory. It is always a pleasure to play at the MCC grounds, but more so, it is a pleasure to play against such a great group of players who share our passion for upholding the spirit of cricket. Roly and his team should be congratulated for how they played the game. We look forward to playing against them and sharing a beer with them at the end of our next game against them at Whitefriars.
Well done everyone.
This review was entered for WC by: David Stephen
The views expressed in this match review are those of the club entering the review, and not of Cricket Australia.
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