Sam Hall needed just 4 runs to crack 6,000 career runs and just “fell over the line, with 6 runs for North Geelong against Newtown & Chilwell last Saturday. A premiership player in North’s last flag in 2006-07 and a former captain, the Division One delegate under the new GCA regime, had reasons to celebrate. His career runs tally now being 6,002 runs @ 31.5 and coming off his exact career best 150 the previous round to give the Magpies their 3rd win and equal top of the ladder. His 173 runs @ 57.7 comes after his disastrous season last year with just 204 runs. He has now scored 12 centuries since his debut against Cement in 1999-2000 and has averaged 305 runs per season, excluding his woeful 2018-19 season. He has made all his runs at the same club.
Batsmen traditionally receive all the accolades, but last Saturday a trio of “fasties” shared the limelight. Lara champion all-rounder Danny Hughes passed 500 wickets in round one, and on Saturday he blitzed Leopold with a match-winning 8/35 - his best figures since 2007-08 when he captured 9/37. East-Belmont veteran David Lineen was unplayable for many Murgheboluc bats as he took 6/63 (his career best being 7/41). However Murghe still managed a highly competitive 268, again due to Indian-born Daanish Mehta, scoring an outstanding 183 or 68% of the total. This follows his 102 out of his team’s tied 190 in the previous round or 54%. Curiously Owen Dunipace (Murgheboluc) has trekked to the crease three times this season for returns of 7no,7 & 7!
Bell Post Hill were reeling at 9/121, but a career best of 78 by Aidan Barrow saw the last wicket realise 52 runs with support from towering tailender Lachie Horan (15no) against Grovedale. With Grovedale’s three scores so far between 173-190, the Barrow-Horan last wicket stand makes for an interesting climax tomorrow.
Nick Lynch achieved his first 5 wicket haul by blowing apart finals aspirant St. Josephs for just 113 - taking his career best of 7/30 in his 34th game. With South Barwon 3/50 at stumps, the Russell Zampatti boys have the job ahead of them.
Australian Limited Overs captain, Aaron Finch is battling to be fit for Australia in the T20 opening match on 27 October, Finch having niggles in his back. Meanwhile he was named in the new five-week 100 ball tournament to be held in England & Wales from next July, Finch to be paid $235,000.
GWC&FC’s Alan Russell hit a polished 89 only to be stumped by South Barwon ‘keeper Ron Russell – his brother! Whilst 18-year-old Alwyn Elstone was Bellarine’s hero with a match winning 44no. After approaching Bellarine captain Roy Brown during the week about Bellarine’s likelihood of playing 1st X1 cricket next season, the young Warrnambool Elstone played on this round, with Brown standing down giving Elstone a game. With three Newtown & Chilwell batsmen absent at a wedding, Bellarine won the match chasing 190, in a blaze of glory, its last two batsmen at the crease with Elstone farming the strike for 44no.
Also on this round in 1953, Allan Paech made his debut for Bellarine and went on to play 113 matches for Bellarine and Leopold, accumulating 1,197 runs @ 11.9 with a best of 93 and taking 57 wickets @ 26.6.
The inaugural Test between Sri Lanka and Australia took place at Kandy and ended with a comfortable win to Australia by an innings and ironically, 38 runs.(i.e. 38 years ago). The match showed the huge gulf that existed between newcomer Sri Lanka and Test hardened Australia, Australia batting just once for 4/514 to the opposition’s 271 & 205. David Hookes made a whirlwind 143, Kepler Wessels 141, Graham Yallop 98, Greg Chappell 66, and a young batsman showing promise was Allan Border with an unbeaten 47. Australia’s spinners mesmerised the opposition with Bruce Yardley taking 7 match wickets together with Tom Hogan who took 6 scalps. Whilst in Kandy, David Hookes was offered $200,000 to move to Victoria to boost the Victorian batting but he refused.