Despite some impressive individual performances across the grades and the first win for the season for the Second XI, the Camberwell Magpies endured another tough weekend at the hands of Prahran on Saturday.
The First XI were at home for the second week in succession, and once again skipper Andrew Fekete lost the toss as the True Blues sent the Pies in. Early indications were that the decision had backfired, as openers Rishab Guddadamane and Simon Hill put together the Pies most substantial partnership of the year so far with an opening stand of 86.
Unfortunately, the loss of Hill for 47 and a hamstring injury suffered by Guddadamane whilst taking a quick single stalled the Magpies’ progress. Despite his injury, Guddadamane battled on with the aid of a runner to post a maiden First XI half century before chopping on for 50, but his dismissal brought about a batting collapse that has been all too familiar this season. Prahran spinner Blake Parsons ripped through the middle-order to claim 5/37 as Camberwell were bowled out for 210.
Prahran in reply looked very solid early in the chase to be only one wicket down while passing 100, until a superb piece of fielding from skipper Fekete to run out Nick King (49) ignited the Magpies.
Will Walker (2/39) returned for his second spell to trap former Magpie Ollie Gunning (14) LBW in his first game back at McQueen Park, before two maiden First XI wickets to the part-time seam uppers from Adit Pawha (2/17) had the game in the balance at 5/141. Unfortunately for the Magpies, a couple of tough chances went down at crucial stages in the back end of the innings, allowing the True Blues to steady and eventually take out a four-wicket win.
The news was better at Toorak Park as the Second XI recorded the club’s first and only win so far in 2020. Prahran won the toss and elected to bat first, but it was the Magpies bowling attack who impressed in an extremely disciplined bowling performance.
Left-arm seamer Ben Jowett was the main destroyer with 3/41 from his 10 overs, but he received solid support from Hamish Burrill (2/26 off 10), Kevin Prior (2/23 off 9) and Kieren Jamieson (1/27 off 10) as the Pies restricted the True Blues to 9/186.
Camberwell started off shaky with the bat as youngsters Liam Fitzpatrick (1) and Jack Di Stefano (7) fell early to leave the Pies 2/18. But from there the evergreen Daniel Rawson and number four batsman Burrill took the game away from Prahran with a match winning partnership of 132. Rawson was eventually run out for a well-compiled 75, while Burrill capped off a fine all-round performance with 73. Despite the late wickets, Second XI debutant Will Townsend showed poise beyond his years and ensured there would be no wobbles from the Magpies as he steered Camberwell home to a six-wicket win with a quickfire 19* (to go with 1/22 with the ball and a wicket in his first over).
The Third XI experienced a dirty day at Watson Park as they were comprehensively beaten by eight wickets. Batting first, a total of 108 was never going to be enough to defend, with all-rounder Adrian Vidajic (43) the only batsman to offer any significant resistance.
Sam Nash (2/15 off 9) gave the Pies some early hope with the ball, combining with keeper Caleb Johnston twice to have the True Blues in early trouble at 2/22. But from there it was all Prahran, with Travis Jackson scoring 59* as the True Blues took the points.
The Fourth XI headed to Righetti Oval aiming to secure their first win for the season, and looked headed the right way early as Daniel Walker (3/22) ripped through Prahran’s top order to leave them 4/46.
Max Anson and Huw Gatford then put on 107 for Prahran as they finished making 206 off 45 overs.
The Pies lost an early one in reply, but steadied through Shelvin Sathiyaseelan and Sam Windisch as they put on 74 for the second wicket. When Sathiyaseelan was dismissed, Ishan Gunawardena joined Windisch as the in-form duo again put together a strong partnership.
When Gunawardena was dismissed for 42, the Pies were still well and truly in the game at 3/170 with 36 to win. After winning last week’s Physioworks Player of the Week for his 68 against Ringwood, Windisch put his name up in lights once again with his first Victorian Premier Cricket century and his first for Camberwell as he threatened to bring the Pies home.
Unfortunately though, Windisch was bowled soon after for an even 100 as the Pies fell 13 runs short.
Attention now turns to the local derby against Fitzroy Doncaster, as we hope to enter the Christmas break on a positive note with four wins.
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