St Kilda handed first loss of season by hungry Richmond

THIS past weekend saw some more action in the Victoria Men’s Premier Cricket competition, with nine games taking place across nine grounds over the weekend. After a lower scoring round last weekend, Round 13 saw many teams back to their high-scoring best, with a heap of sides surpassing the 200-run mark. There were some interesting results to take out of the round, including the competition’s ladder leader being knocked off for the first time in the 2021/22 season.

St Kilda (7/211) def. by Richmond (5/212)

In one of the most surprising results of the season, Richmond produced an outstanding performance to finally defeat St Kilda to the tune of five wickets. The home side suffered its first defeat of this campaign to make things interesting with finals approaching.

Richmond won the toss and opted to send their opponents out to the crease first given the conditions, and their comfort in chasing down a score. St Kilda have been well known to post big totals this season, so it was a risky move, but by the time both openers were dismissed for a combined two runs, it looked to be paying off. The batting side was saved slightly by the efforts of Adam Crosthwaite (60) and Jonathan Merlo (86), but could only conjure up a total of 211 from their 50 overs, giving Richmond a chance.

The Richmond batsmen headed out to the crease full of confidence in their ability to get the job done, especially with the injection of Jake Fraser-McGurk into the order at number three. Openers Shobit Singh and Yash Pednekar did a decent job of getting their side rolling, before Fraser-McGurk did the rest. The Melbourne Renegade had a classy knock of 66 runs from 65 balls, setting his side up for the win as they managed to reach the required total with just over three overs to spare in their best result this season.

Around the grounds

In a low-scoring affair, the Camberwell Magpies could not get the job done in front of their home crowd as they found themselves bested by Footscray at Camberwell Sports Ground on Saturday. The visiting side headed out to bat first, and managed a total of just 180. However, this proved too much for the Magpies, who found themselves bowled out for just 100 runs.

Essendon was able to avoid an upset loss, holding off a brave Greenvale Kangaroos side to claim a tense four-run win at Windy Hill on Saturday afternoon. With the home side batting first, they posted a score of 223, and the Kangaroos rallied behind a 109-run effort from Joshua Trembearth, but fell agonisingly short as Essendon moved into the eight with their sixth win of the season.

Melbourne was able to get the job done in its clash with Fitzroy Doncaster, claiming a four-wicket victory at Schramms Reserve on Saturday. The victors sent their opponents out to bat first, and were economical enough to keep the required total at 169, and were able to chase this down with a few overs to spare.

Ringwood have kept their finals hopes alive with a crucial win over Frankston Peninsula at AH Butler Oval on Saturday afternoon. Frankston Peninsula got off to a ripping start with opener Nicholas Taranto producing an impressive knock of 93, but Ringwood ended up having more contributors with bat in hand as they snuck home to a win with just one ball remaining.

A terrific team batting performance led Prahran to an upset win over Geelong at Geelong Cricket Ground on Saturday. Geelong posted a strong total thanks to the efforts of Hayden Butterworth and his 117-run effort, but Prahran were well-served by Nicolas Blaich and Damon Egan, who combined for 174 runs as they led their side to a massive win in the context of their season.

Carlton have continued their pursuit of top-spot, taking down Melbourne University to the tune of 10 runs at University Main Oval on Saturday. In a tense affair, Melbourne University had to chase down the total of 211, which was achievable, but they fell just short as the 50-over mark arrived faster than they would have liked.

In the penultimate round of the season, Dandenong were able to cause a major boilover by taking down Northcote in a thriller at Bill Lawry Oval on Saturday. The victors batted first, and only managed a score of 198 runs, but did an excellent job with ball in hand to keep the dangerous Jack Lalor quiet, with Northcote falling just two runs short of chasing the score down.

The final match of the round saw Casey-South Melbourne edge closer to a top-four spot by taking down Kingston Hawthorn at Casey Fields on the weekend. The victors headed out to the crease first and surpassed the 200-run mark with ease, with their total of 247 runs proving too much for the visitors in the end.

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