Rocking up to Bulleen on a muggy, overcast day and with the pitch looking very green, we decided to bowl first.  Initially, this looked like the right decision, but then one of their openers decided that the small ground was to his liking and started to smash us (other than James Weitkamp, who bowled very tightly) to all parts of the ground.  Puzzles came on and picked up the other opener with a good running catch from Pete Huggett, but the onslaught continued.  Rory was able to slow their opener down, and then the skipper decided to toss the ball to Dom, who immediately picked up their number 3, leaving them at 2/157 after 21 overs.  Staring a massive run-chase down the barrel, the boys fought back well, with Dom leading the way with 4 wickets, including their opener who had done all the damage.  With him out of the picture, we started to bowl much better, and Dave Hodgson and Charlie Pentney were both able to pick up their first wicket for the club.  Brockie ended out our 40 overs with a wicket and we had a total of 238 to chase down.  Our Canadian import, Mark Carlson (playing in his first ever game of cricket) was impressive in the field, chasing the ball with determination, and saving a number of boundaries at backward square leg.  However, once again we let ourselves down with our catching, dropping a number of chances that would have reduced the overall run chase.

After tea we went into bat, and the ball started to swing noticeably.  In fact, the first over went for 12 balls – 6 of them wides!  Unfortunately, we lost wickets consistently, but it was good to see Rory put his head down and strike a well-composed 29 batting at number 3.  Dom continued his excellent match with a solid 24, and was in while the score went from 54 until 151.  James Weitkamp was very unlucky to be caught by a very sharp return chance, but was looking very good at number 4.  Dave Hodgson didn’t die wondering, and struck two massive 6’s before he was out for an entertaining 23.  It was great to see Mark Carlson hit a four in his first (and maybe last) game of cricket, but by the end of our innings, we were bowled out for 157, which was another disappointing result.

Going into the Christmas break without a win is somewhat disheartening, but like always, there were some signs that we were improving.  However, until everyone can commit to attending training regularly, we are going to struggle to do the basics well enough to win.  Hopefully, the new year will see a  change in luck for us, and we can put at least a couple of wins on the board.

Peter Weymouth

3rd XI Captain