2021/22 Men’s Premier Cricket Wrap: Prahran
WITH the Victorian Men’s Premier Cricket competition wrapped after an entertaining 2021/22 campaign, it is time to reflect on the season that was. Each team had a different journey over the last few months, so we take a look at how each side fared over the past six months.
The Prahran True Blues had a mixed bag in season 2021/22, missing out on the finals but still showing signs of promise in a number of their games. They managed to float in and out of the top eight a few times throughout their campaign, but ultimately could not cement a spot by the time the home and away fixture wrapped up. When at their best, the True Blues could deliver a winning performance with both bat and ball, but it was not coming on a weekly basis. They had a chance to sneak into the postseason in the closing weeks, but results did not go their way, and they finished the season in 10th spot on the ladder, just one win shy of an appearance in the finals.
They started the year with a bit of inconsistency, with two wins coming from their first four outings. The True Blues were beating the sides they were meant to, but couldn’t really claim the scalp of any sides above them. To make things worse, they ended up on a three-game losing streak, before breaking it with a nice win against Melbourne University. However, the fluctuating form continued to close out the year, and their record of seven wins and eight losses was not good enough to claim eighth spot, with a lack of wins against better sides proving to be their biggest downfall.
Heading into their Round 13 clash with the True Blues, Geelong was building a fair bit of momentum. On the back of a few impressive wins, they headed into the game against Prahran as the favoured side. However, the True Blues produced a magnificent performance with bat in hand, overcoming a terrific knock from Geelong’s Hayden Butterworth to storm home and chase down a whopping total of 262. It was an effort built on the back of a combined 174 runs from top order batsmen Nicolas Blaich and Damon Egan, with the pair guiding their side to a winning score, even hitting a six off the last ball to seal the result in the 48th over.
While William Sutherland had a better average across his eight games, the award has to go to fellow batsman Jake Hancock, who was able to produce a similar output in 15 outings. He averaged a touch over 42 runs per game in season 2021/22, and was far and away the most consistent performer on a weekly basis. Hancock was also able to display his scoring capability with a season-high of 82 runs, and while there have been better outings, it also showcases how consistent his runs came.
The focus next season will come with ball in hand, as it was one of the main issues that troubled the True Blues. Against the top sides, they could not contain the opposition batting attacks, and often conceded big scores, which put the batting order under immense pressure. In the offseason, expect the side to find some economical bowlers as they look to trim down the scores they need to chase.