This week, Simon Hill will play his 300th Victorian Premier First Grade match. In the days leading up to his phenomenal milestone, we'll be counting down the best innings of Hilly's magnificent career, which has included 16 centuries in the top grade. Sit back and enjoy as CMCC scribe Josh Nevett sits down with Simon to look back at his best five innings:
It says a lot about the calibre of a player when their fifth best club innings is a mammoth 159, and this is exactly the case for Camberwell Magpies legend Simon Hill. We begin our week-long countdown with a knock that had all of Camberwell Sports Ground on its feet, anchoring a truly staggering run chase which resulted in the Magpies hauling in Fitzroy Doncaster’s 361 with two wickets to spare.
Hilly hit two sixes and 14 boundaries in his five hour, 239-ball effort, lacing a strong attack around the park in pursuit of an otherwise intimidating target. Despite his solid strike rate, Simon’s reflections on this innings centre around a foundation of strong defence.
“I remember thinking that my plan that day was to limit my risks and bat for as long as I could,” Simon said.
“I was so focused on trying to defend the ball as well as I could which is a strange thing to say when you end up with 150.”
Hilly wasn’t quite able to see it through to the end, dismissed via a run out six runs short of the target, paving the way for current club captain Andrew Fekete to show his class as he brought up the victory with a maximum in the 104th over. Appropriate celebrations ensued of course.
“I can still remember Fek running around with his arms above his head after he hit the winning runs,” Hilly said.
However, this doesn’t take away from the dominant individual innings that highlighted a remarkable team performance.
This game and Simon’s decisive innings would go on to define the seasons of each club; the Pies sneaking into finals in seventh position whilst Fitzroy Doncaster would be left to rue a missed opportunity as they finished ninth, just outside the top eight.
See the match scorecard here.