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MERCY CRICKET - Kim Hughes Shield Wrap Round 1

2024 Recruits for the OLMC First XI receive their baggy blues from Mr David Mazza

Round 1

Grammer vs OLMC

Grammar Oval

Wednesday, 14 February 2024

Grammar won the toss and elected to bat

The Round One match was held surrounded by towering native trees of the Grammar oval. Grammar won the toss and elected to bat on a good-looking wicket. An early wicket to Toby King opened the account for the Mercy XI. The team was enthusiastic and sharp in the field from the first ball. Mercy's ground fielding was outstanding, building pressure against some quality batters. This pressure resulted in some key early wickets. Congratulations to Jay Pfoeffer, who claimed his first wicket for the College, removing Harry Burns' middle stump from the ground.

As so often happens against a quality opponent, Grammar launched a counterattack with a display of powerful straight hitting between the Bolto brothers. At the drinks break, the team discussed the importance of absorbing these periods of pressure by remaining positive and trusting that momentum always swings.

The team's positivity translated into the removal of both Bolto brothers soon after the break by spin twins Montanna Dallywater and Sheldon Johnson. Both Monty and Sheldon bowled eight overs each for very little damage on the scoreboard. Momentum was well and truly with Mercy.

From 3 for 90 at drinks, Grammar were all out for 136 in the 39th over. Well done to Toby King, who finished with two wickets, and Jay Pfoeffer, who claimed three wickets on debut. Shout out to Brady Oxford for an outstanding direct hit run out, throwing from side on with effectively one stump to aim at.

During the innings break, we celebrated a business-like fielding innings. Our attention quickly turned to the run chase. We were confident that we could chase the total if we stuck to our game plan. The plan for the batting innings rarely wavers. Two 40-run partnerships and batting all the overs out will win 95% of games.

After an early disastrous runout, Rhys McAtee and Kael O'Byrne steadied the ship with a 40-run partnership. Again, we felt momentum shift as the sun started to drop behind the trees. Molly Lincoln claimed a remarkable hat trick with her sharp turning-off spin.

The match was poised on a knife edge when Rowan Jamieson strode to the crease. He looked focused and got to work in combination with a patient, Brady Oxford. Both batsmen demonstrated maturity beyond their years, showing faith that they could chase the runs if they just took their time and got their eye in. Keen to steal every run, Brady was eventually run out for a courageous 18.

Enter Eli Underdown. He took his time and again followed our game plan by taking his time. A waist-high no-ball meant he was the lucky recipient of a 'free hit', where the batsman cannot be dismissed. Eli couched down in his stance, lifted his bat, and, with immaculate timing, launched into a six over the cover boundary. He made one of the most challenging shots in the game of cricket look easy.

Quietly going about his business at first, Rowan sensed his moment and quickly snapped into his higher gears. He was relentless in his punishment of the short ball, putting on a run chase masterclass. He used a genetic predisposition for mathematics to time his scoring acceleration based on balls remaining and runs required. His match awareness exemplifies his maturity as a cricketer and leader. As the shadows of the marri trees stretched their weary fingers to touch the Grammar pitch, Rowan secured the win with a booming six over mid-wicket. He finished on 43 not out.

A run chase like that doesn't happen every day. Players and supporters will remember the tight and undulating contest for a long time to come.

Mr David Mazza, Manager/Coach Mercy XI and Head of Year 12


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