7 March, 2019
The MEAA Actors' team ran out convincing winners over the Writers of AWG VICTORIA to retain The Credit on Sunday at the Peanut Farm Reserve, 228 runs to 139. But despite the final margin, the 35th anniversary game was hard-fought and neck-in-neck for a great deal of the day.
Cricketers and picnickers alike came out to play on what was a very sunny St Kilda summer day.
After a welcome and acknowledgement of country, Actors skipper Andrew S. Gilbert won the toss and elected to bat. The actors started slow and steady, with their first pair of Ezra Bix (11) and Dom Wescott (14) starting strongly without loss in their 4 overs. But the Writers struck back with 5 wickets during the second pair. Kate Hanley took two spectacular leaping one-handed catches at either end of the ground - which was lucky as the first one certainly deserved a replay for the fans.
After a steadying third pair under pressure, the Actors went to drinks on 5 for 70 after 12 overs (with each wicket counting for 5 runs to the Writers).
After the break they really got motoring though. Clare Pickering and Trent Baker kept the score ticking over, but it was the final pair of Dashan Phillips (12) and Patrick Graham (42, including a couple of huge sixes and a bunch of fours) who saw the Actors through to an imposing 7/168 off their 20 overs.
Adam Hetherington was the other strong scorer with 22, while wickets went two to Gerard McCulloch and one each to Michael Harvey, Adam Wajnberg and your correspondent. Also, did I mention those catches by Kate?
The AWG innings got off to an ordinary start when Dashan bowled a superb ball to take Luka Muller's off-stump, but Luka bounced back with some lovely shots in his innings of 17 in a solid opening partnership of 30. A couple more wickets fell in the second pair, but Gerard (10) and Kate (11) bounced back with some lovely shots as we went to drinks at 4/65 - level in terms of net runs to the corresponding stage of the MEAA innings.
Unfortunately for the writers we lost too many wickets from that point on and despite some valiant big hitting by Dan Connell (15) and Hammy Goodman (7) we fell well short of the target, finishing on 12/104, with the wickets boosting the MEAA tally by 60.
Trent Baker took two wickets, while others fell to Dashan Phillips, Ezra Bix, Clare Pickering, Andrew Gilbert and Patrick Graham - along with an unfortunate four run outs. Something for us writers to work on in the next 12 months!
Many thanks to Nicholas Kyriacou for his assistance with the organisation, Mardi O'Connor and Tim Benfatto from the MEAA for helping with a delicious lunch, and to Clare Pickering for organising the half-time races and raffle, which saw an incredible array of prizes won by many of those in attendance, raising hundreds of dollars for the Victorian Actors' Benevolent Trust.
Also to MEAA captain Andrew S. Gilbert and my co-captain Kate Hanley for helping make sure the match was another fine spectacle. Until next year!