In the first week back from the New Year break, the weather was perfect and the Western Oval was a picture that saw four great Big-Bash encounters.
GAME 29: Monday’s game promised to be a blockbuster between the four time premiers and the in-form Madness. The Mad Men took to the crease first with 0/35 coming from the power play first 5 overs.
God retired for the third time in the last 4 innings with 27 from 15 balls and Johno took 26 balls to retire on 25. Blackie chimed in to take the first Finbats wicket in the 9th over as the score went to 1/79 at half time.
Foxy smashed his way to 27 from 19 balls to retire as Pommy Pete put one into the 9 run net as he put together 30 runs from 22 balls. The second wicket fell in the 15th over with Gibbo holding onto a catch as the Mad Men went into the 3/4 time change of ends with 2/117.
Needing to up the ante to post a decent target to defend, captain Bezza took to the Finbats attack and belted 30 not out from 14 balls with his last scoring shot a towering 6.
The Madness outfit had posted a total of 166 which is just shy of their season’s average score. Blacky's 1/7 and Matty's 1/12 the pick of the Finbats bowlers.
The Finbats came out firing with 10.60 runs per over in the power play as Blackie retired with 26 from 16 balls and Ronny following with 29 from 21 balls finishing the innings with his first 6 of the season. The runs kept coming in the second quarter with Matty scoring 28 in just 13 balls at a strike rate over 200.
Nobbsy retired in 17 balls with 29 against his name as he started and ended his innings with bookend sixes. With a total at ¾ time of 0/154 the Bats only needed 13 runs from the last 5 overs to take a victory that would move them up to third position on the ladder.
Gibbon made it 5 out of 5 in the top order to retired with 25 @ a strike rate of 156. The lower order put another 3 boundaries in the scorebook to finish their 20 overs with the first 200 score of the season.
The 34 run victory gave them a much needed percentage boost. Callum Johnson picked up two wickets for the Mad Men but overall they all copped a hiding in the field.
GAME 30: Tuesday night’s fixture was the battle for fourth position with the reigning premiers Willow Warriors and the Master Batters locked together at the Christmas break with 4 wins and 3 losses each.
The Warriors batted first and put together 1/43 in the power play with Hep retiring with 27 from 16. This is his 7th retirement in 8 innings this season. Forey had his first retirement of the season with 25 from 20 balls. With 2/92 on the board at half time the Master Batters had given away 32 runs in wides.
Willows Captain Oscar kept the runs coming with a retired 25 from 23 balls and the total was 4/132 after 15 overs. The tail wagged a little in the final 5 overs but the Master Batters could not keep the ball on the pitch as they gave up a record 50 sundries (no byes according to Fish who kept wicket) as the Warriors posted a total of 4/164.
Foz picked up 1/10 and Steve Bolesta took 1/15 in his first game for the team. The Master Batters came out of the blocks scoring above the required 8.20 runs required with 2/42 in the power play. Barnsey made 25 retired from 17 balls.
The second quarter was not so productive, another two wickets falling for just 28 runs with the half time total at 4/70. With the required run rate now 13 runs behind the third term was even worse with 31 runs added and the requirement with 30 balls left was 64 runs needed. Cam McRae put together 23 runs from 22 balls in his first game for the team but they only managed 23 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in the final term to fall 40 runs short of the target with 8/124. Hazza dominated with 2/6 and Forey took 2/10 in a man of the match performance.
GAME 31: Wednesday saw two teams at the bottom of the ladder with only one win each. Sons of Pitches went into bat first against the Big Show.
Runs flowed but wickets fell and at 1/4 time SOP were 4/37. Another wicket fell in the sixth over then another in the seventh and the Pitches were in a mess at 6/44.
Azza (24 runs from 18 balls) playing in just his second game of the season and Nicholas (23 not out from 21 balls) playing in his first game for the team put on a 37 run partnership which helped a little.
But when the partnership was broken so was the Sons of Pitches and on the third ball of the 16th over the innings was over and the total had limped to 9/106.
Sachi 2/7, Pizey 2/8 and Brooksy 2/13 the main destroyers for Big Show. Big Show will only need to score at 5.30 runs per over to win. SOP did really well keeping the run rate to 4.80 in the power play with the score at 0/24.
They then picked off three wickets to have them 3/50 at half time to stay in the contest.
Old Mate Stewie was the back-bone of the innings finally retiring in the 12th over with 25 from 31 balls.
The third quarter set up the victory when Brocky made 20 from 18 balls. With the score at 4/96 at 3/4 time the Big Show needed 11 runs in the final quarter for victory.
The tail wagged when Johno and Gods had a swing and then the man of the match Mitch came in and made a quick-fire 16 from 7 balls which included a 6 from the final ball of the match. BS ended up on 6/136 to claim a 30 run victory.
For SOP J-Balls took 2 for 2 in his one over and Jordy claimed 1 wicket for 5 runs from his two overs. In an unusual twist of events it was discovered at half time of the first innings that the Big Show were fielded with 12 players for the first 10 overs. The two captains got together as the game was put on hold and it was agreed that SOP would field with 12 for their first 10 overs. Mmmmm... Pizey…
GAME 32: Friday night had the Bushchoox and the Bashers meet for a hit out. In a game that saw two 9 run nets, twelve 6s and thirty 4s, both teams posted season high totals in a run-fest.
The Choox batted first and Muzza waisted no time belting a 4 and a 9 from the first two balls and went on to retire on 30 from just 10.
With 0/55 at 1/4 time, C.J hit the second 9 of the innings and went on to retire on 36 from 24 balls. With a half time total of 2/106 and a ¾ time total of 4/146 the Bashers were going to be chasing a huge total.
Scooter became the 3rd retiree of the inning with 24 from 14 balls and everybody else made double figures. The Bushies had posted a season high 4/197 at 9.85 runs per over. Gazza, Brad and Sam all returned the tidy figures of 1/12 each. The Bashers opened up perfectly with the Panda-man Rumesh retiring in 11 balls with 25 to his name.
Garry also opened the innings and retired on 27 from 18. The Bashers were on target with 1/53 at quarter time and ahead of the target at half time with 2/104. SOC (Jacob Oakes) kept the momentum going with a quick 25 in 12 balls hitting back to back 6s.
Abel in his first game made 27 from 16 and the Bashers were ahead of the target at ¾ time with 5/153.
Needing 45 from the final 30 balls, Brad and Col did their thing adding 22 run in a 16 balls partnership. But the final 30 balls only netted 23 runs and the Choox recorded a 23 run victory. Bevo 2/9, Scooter 2/11, Muzza 2/13 the main men for the Bushchoox.