Two of the best set for the big dance

IT does not get any better than grand final weekend, regardless of the sport. In a couple of day’s time, the Victorian Men’s Premier Cricket competition will hold its deciding match, after a ripping 2021/22 season. So far, the postseason has delivered in a big way, featuring upsets and massive individual outings on a weekly basis. It has left the best two teams at the final hurdle on their quests for premiership glory. Casey-South Melbourne will take on Carlton at Albert Ground on Saturday afternoon, in what is a mouth-watering clash to close out the campaign. Both sides are coming in with plenty of momentum and there is every chance that the result could go either way, making for must-see action.

Carlton vs. Casey-South Melbourne
Saturday April 2, 10:30am
Albert Ground

In a true clash of the titans, two of the form teams of the competition will be facing off for ultimate glory on the weekend, with Carlton and Casey-South Melbourne in ripping nick of late. Neither side finished at the top of the standings, but both managed to convincingly defeat the side that did in St Kilda. It is a tough match to predict coming in, with no real favourite.

It will be a battle between two bowling attacks that have been on fire lately, with the performance here likely to be one of the deciding factors, as it has boosted the two squads in their recent wins. In the preliminary finals round, both sides demonstrated their scoring power, so it will be who can perform stronger with both bat and ball that claims the chocolates.

Carlton was clinical in taking down St Kilda in the prelim to advance to the big dance. Given their opponents led all year, Carlton were not expected to get the job done by a few pundits, but their form is irrepressible of late and they would not be denied the opportunity to compete for the flag on Saturday. Given the spread of their squad, it is hard to see a glaring weakness in their squad.

They posted a whopping total of 270 against one of the most well-rounded teams in the competition, so batting is not an issue here, given the aggressive nature they have shown in the postseason. Their bowling has also been terrific, and it has been on display in their last couple of outings. Carlton has a number of weapons with ball in hand, and each of them can be used in different scenarios. Evan Gulbis can come in when they desperately need a wicket, while Xavier Crone has been fantastically economical whenever they need to slow down the run rate. It is hard to see this side dropping a game lately, but they face a team that you could say the same for.

Despite the form of their opponents discussed above, Casey-South Melbourne has probably matched it in the postseason. They have forced their way into the big dance with some magnificent performances in their two outings. It is clear that the Swans have been the strongest bowling side of the finals series to date, and it showed in their big win over Richmond in the prelim. Despite posting a score of just 192, their work with ball in hand more than made up for it. With a strong mix of pace and spin bowlers, they have proven quite a handful for opposing batting lineups of late, and will be hoping to trouble the Carlton openers from the very first delivery.

After a consistent season, Ruwantha Kellepotha was outstanding in the win over Richmond, finishing with figures of 4/32, finding the edge three times with his surgical placement. Up the other end, Luke Manders produced one of his best performances with bat in hand, and if the opener can get off to yet another good start in the grand final, it will go a long way in driving Casey-South Melbourne to a winning score, which is what they will need against Carlton.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments