KNIGHTS MARCH INTO FINAL
By Steve Brown
The Knoxfield Knights are on the verge of winning their way through to the Reeves Shield grand final for a re-match with The Basin, after a brilliant performance in the field against Belgrave in the preliminary final. Playing at Carrington Park, Belgrave batted first and struck trouble early at 2/8 with opening bowler Scott McKenzie on target from the beginning. Belgrave’s leading batsman of the season, Johnathan Levell tried to hold the Magpies innings together, however when he fell first over after the tea break, his team slumped to 5/58 with a snail’s pace run rate of under two runs per over. Knoxfield’s Mitchell Perry returning to the line-up after missing the semi-final, shared the new ball with McKenzie and he hit the spot claiming 2/20 from 16 overs. But it was his senior partner in McKenzie who stole the show, bagging an impressive 6/22 from 14 overs including 7 maidens. The Knights took their opportunities, holding ten catches as Belgrave was dismissed in the 72nd over for only 108. Martin Wood, promoted after the loss of Dinusha Fernando due to injury, top scored with 33.
Knoxfield faced the music for seven overs prior to stumps and were 15 without loss. Opener Ben Gerloff blunted most of the Belgrave attack with a patient 32 before the prize wickets of Scholfield and Boxell fell cheaply, giving the Magpies a sniff until Zac Wilson iced the game with 32 not out. In the end Knoxfield won comfortably by six wickets and will face The Basin in the grand final next week end at Batterham Park.
BEAVERS SURVIVE HEARTSTOPPER
At Dobson Park, the Decoite Shield preliminary final has Lysterfield well on top against Auravale after day one. In ideal bowling conditions, Lysterfield took first use of the ball dismissing the Lakers for 132. Auravale’s problems were caused by medium pacers Aiden Inglis 3/21 and Steve Kennedy 3/16. Lysterfield survived a fiery spell from Lakers speedster Tim MacDonald and was 1/67 at the close of play with arguably the best cricketer in the competition, Nathan Walsh at the crease unbeaten on 33. When play resumed, Walsh and Shane Peatling pushed the score to 1/103 when MacDonald was thrown the ball for one last effort with the season on the line.
In a dramatic turn of the events MacDonald bowled the Lakers back into the game with the fall of Walsh for 67. The Beavers then received a dose of the wobbles losing 8/24 as MacDonald ripped through the order creating one of the courageous comebacks in recent memory. Onlookers were stunned to see the Beavers 9/127 with tailenders Lachlan MacRae and Dean Morris fighting for survival. A quick single to Morris produced a shy at the stumps to win the game for the Lakers only to see the ball missing the stumps and striking the fence for four overthrows. With the game tied, the next ball was a bouncer, adjudged a wide by the umpire giving Lysterfield the right to challenge Upper Ferntree Gully for the Decoite Shield. MacDonald was brilliant in defeat, snaring 6/46 from 21 overs.
Knoxfield 4/111 (Gerloff 32 Wilson 32*) def Belgrave 108 (Wood 33 McKenzie 6/22)
Final – The Basin Vs Knoxfield @ Batterham Res, The Basin
Lysterfield 9/133 (Walsh 67 Peatling 32 MacDonald 6/46) def Auravale 132 (Inglis 3/21 Kennedy 3/16)
Final – Upper Ferntree Gully Vs Lysterfield @ Kings Park, Upper Gully.
Knoxfield 8/213 (Raab 44 Hillyer 30 Faulkner 33 Edwards 3/45) def The Basin 5/210 (Lee 53 Porch 52 Clarke 39 Edwards 30*)
Upper Gully 6/88 def Lysterfield 87 (Oliver 3/25 Birnie 3/31)
Knoxfield 175 (Smyth 48 Mitchell 33 Halls 5/37 VanMourik 3/22) def Lysterfield 93
Upwey Tecoma 263 (Hayward 99 Waters 42 Ibrahim 4/54) def Eildon Park 178 (Walshe 61 Evans 45 Waters 3/25)
Upper Gully 7/170 def Knox Gardens 65
B1 (one day grades)
Waverley Wanderers 3/107 def South Belgrave 101
Ferntree Gully 8/146 (Greenall 50* Piper 4/21) def Bayswater 100 (Wright 30 Crombie 4/25)