MARCUS: Well boys, I’m not exactly sure what happened to the blistering sunshine from the weekend, given we’re back to gloomy and overcast weather this morning, but I digress. Jonty, can you please kick us off with best action?
JONTY: My best action certainly wasn’t thinking that my car was going to get significantly damaged by a Brent Patterson six over extra cover. My best action was at that game though. It was a one v two clash and it was going to decide who would enter finals as the premiership favourites. Dandenong West ultimately won the day, but my best action ultimately goes to a HSD cricketer. Triyan De Silva lifted Nuwan Kulesekara over the square leg fence for six. It’s obviously not often that Kulesekara gets lifted over any fence for six, given his international credentials at DDCA level and because he gets so much movement, constantly beating the bat. He got a little bit straight at times in his opening spell, and De Silva punished him, sending fielders into the forest of trees between Reedy Reserve and the Monash Freeway.
DAVE: I had a plethora of options to choose from, with 1440 runs scored across four games of Casey Cardinia Premier, and two double centuries were made. But my best action happened at the Kookaburra Cup on Sunday. Kooweerup played Merinda Park and its two big guns at the top, Chris Bright and Luke McMaster, had done very little in the preliminary games. Merinda Park sent them in, and McMaster made 50 off 18 balls. My best action took place on his 18th ball; he got a good length ball around knee-roll height and smacked it over mid-wicket for six, to bring up his 50. From those 18 balls, seven went to the boundary and four over the fence…52 runs just in boundaries. The Demons were 1/121 at drinks, and it was game over. Bright then turned the game in the field with one of the quickest stumpings you’ll ever see; up to the stumps off a medium pacer. So the two blokes who hadn’t fired, came up trumps in the grand final…that’s typical Kooweerup.
MARCUS: Mine sounds pretty similar to McMaster’s six. I went and watched Mahela Udawatte late in the day at North Dandenong, batting for Hallam Kalora Park, who rolled North Dandenong pretty cheaply and were content to take their time in the chase, but Udawatte had other ideas. He’s a left-hander and was facing a left-arm seamer, got a ball around hip height and just flicked his wrists on it, sending the ball down to the square leg boundary for a couple of bounces over the rope. He made it look so easy, and to get such elevation with such a simple manoeuvre had his teammates in awe.
PREMIERSHIP PIES (NOT THOSE ONES)
MARCUS: Alright fellas, preheat your ovens and get your oven mitts on, because we’re heading into the kitchen for the next segment. Here’s the assignment – think of a pie chart, and assign percentages of the pie chart to teams in your cricket competitions, based on their chances of winning the flag. But, with each team, you need to assign them a filling, with the more incongruous link between team and ingredient, the better.
DAVE: Here’s one I prepared earlier. I’m like that lady on Weekend Sunrise, Sarah Di Lorenzo! Tooradin is taking up 40 per cent of my pie, and they’re a real thick steak family pie, full of big chunks. They’ve got good quality players all the way down the list. Put it this way: a Pakenham pie would have a fair bit of Smith and Tormey in it, but the Tooradin pie is chock-full of flavoursome chunks of that quality.
MARCUS: So the big chunks are the big names like the Sweeney boys, and then the gravy and other fillings is like the role players that bring it all together?
DAVE: Exactly, the peas and veggies. Now Kooweerup, they’re 35 per cent of the pie, so just below Tooradin. They’re the Scotch Fillet Pie. It looks like all the other pies, but when you bite into it you see and taste the quality filling. You’ve got the McMaster’s, the Bright’s, you’ve got eight premierships in 12 years – that’s one tasty pie. Pakenham, they’re a steak and bacon, and I’m giving them 15 per cent. You’ll mostly get a good one out of Pakenham, but the pastry is a little bit flakey, kind of like their middle order. In one bite you’ll get Chris Smith or Dale Tormey, but then you might get the foul taste of an 8 for 9 collapse. The final 10 per cent of the pie is Cardinia, and they’re a hot curry pie. When they’re hot, they’re really hot, but sometimes you get a pie that hasn’t been warmed up properly. Cardinia has the ability to be that pie. You might get Morteza Ali or Alex Nooy, who made 202 on the weekend, and if they’ve heated up nicely, a Cardinia pie could do anything, but sometimes, they will let you down. The crust gets a little bit tough.
MARCUS: Interesting to see that you’ve got all savoury options, but that does sounds like a delicious pie. Make sure you’ve got some dead horse on standby.
DAVE: Rob Nooy from Cardinia is the ‘dead horse’ delivery man.
JONTY: I’ll start with Turf 2, and I’m giving Dandenong West 45 per cent. They’re a lemon meringue pie; it’s got that outer pillowy layer that rises in the oven, and they consistently rise to the occasion when the game is in the balance. HSD I’m also giving 45 per cent. The type of pie they are, is the Collingwood Mag(Pie)! They always win the close games.
MARCUS: That’s not a filling! I’m vetoing that, unless you put actual Magpie in there.
JONTY: Sure, let’s do that. HSD is a team that, if it goes close, you can bank on it to win it. You never want to give them a sniff. Parkfield get the remaining 10 per cent, and they’re a cheesecake. Really clean like when you cut into a cheesecake, and they have a lot of nice elements, but they’re not in the premiership conversation yet, despite having all the requirements.
MARCUS: Do they have a crumbling base?
JONTY: They do, certainly in two-day cricket, they’re seen as more of a one-day side.
DAVE: So they haven’t had the strawberry glazed topping put on yet? The strawberry cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, that’s my favourite.
JONTY: They have not. Now, Turf 3, there’s a bit more going on here. Coomoora, with 35 per cent, are the coconut cream pie.
*MARCUS AND DAVE ERUPT WITH LAUGHTER*
DAVE: I’ve never heard of that!
JONTY: It’s upmarket and something you’d see in a posh restaurant, but they’re quite messy, and Coomoora haven’t quite got it all together yet this season. At 20 per cent, Lynbrook, I’ve given a tangy lemon pie, because give them a sniff, and you’ll be left with a sour taste, as they have done on a handful of occasions this season – something they’ve struggled with previously. Berwick Springs, also with 20 per cent, I’ve given them the key lime pie. They’ve got one star ingredient, but their auxiliary ingredients are starting to really lift and play good cricket at the right time.
MARCUS: They’ve got a good foundation of Jackson ‘Marie’ biscuits!
JONTY: Fountain Gate get 15 per cent and I’ve given them the curry pie for a slightly different reason to Dave. With a curry pie, you expect spice, something that attacks the taste buds, and that’s the way Fountain Gate bat; they attack opposition bowlers. They’re as hard as a bull at a gate, and sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t. Doveton North, despite them sitting in the top four and comfortably going to make finals, I’m giving them 10 per cent, and they’re a gingerbread pie. They played their best cricket around Christmas time, not March.
MARCUS: Fantastic, Jonty. I’ve got more of a dessert theme with my pies, and I hope you like cherries, because I’m giving Springvale South 95 per cent of my pie. It’s going to be chock-full of bright red cherries, and if they win the T20 competition on Sunday, that will be a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. With a cherry pie, you often get the lattice layers of pastry going across the top that get nice and crunchy. So once you get through the tough exterior of layers of Ryan Quirk and Mitch Forsyth at the top of the order, then you get into the star of the pie, the cherries of Jordan Wyatt, Jarryd Straker, Blade Baxter.
DAVE: They’re pretty good with a red cherry in March, those boys!
MARCUS: They certainly are, and I don’t really see any team coming close to them in the premiership race, unless something drastic happens. I’m going to give three percent of the pie to Berwick, and they’re a blackberry pie. They’re a bit of an enigma or an unknown quantity, and with Berwick’s spread of contributors, you never quite know who’s going to step up, giving them a layer of mystery. But now we’re going with a severe switch-up for the remaining two per cent, in the form of a Hallam Kalora Park curry chicken. They’re a bit of wildcard, and they’re coming with such a rush in the back half of the year that it’s going to be such a drastic juxtaposition to the sweetness of the remainder of the pie. They’ve got Beaconsfield and St Mary’s in their remaining two games after this, which is two more likely wins. Their bowling attack, with Lauchlan Gregson, Jordan Hammond and Wlll Whyte, has a fair bit of spice to it, too. Damn, who’s hungry?
UNDER THE RADAR
MARCUS: I thought we’d cap off the show today by giving out some love to some guys who may not be getting the platitudes that they deserve for their seasons to date. Who are some players that fit this bill?
DAVE: Cambell Bryan from Merinda Park is one. He’s been a rock for the Cobras this year, top 10 in runs in the competition with 336 runs and has worked his way in amongst all the big guns. And at Devon Meadows, who have made the jump from District cricket this year, Riley Worsteling has been excellent, taking 17 wickets and sitting fifth on the leading wicket-takers list, having taken wickets in nine games this year. He’s been super reliable, and a guy Lucas Ligt can really lean on whenever he needs a breakthrough.
JONTY: Rahoul Pankhania from Coomoora is probably one that I haven’t given enough credit to this season. He got a century earlier in the year which I covered. Other than that he has not scored a half-century, but there’s been plenty of pressure absorbing 20s and 30s at the top of the order. They’re a batting line up that really likes to go at opposition attacks, and it hasn’t really come off this season, but Pankhania has been a rock at the other end, and I think he’ll be important for them come finals. I still have Coomoora as premiership favourites in Turf 3. James Kellett has come across from Hampton Park to Lynbrook, scored 231 runs at 29 and taken regular wickets as well. Now that he doesn’t have the pressure to lead the Hampton Park attack, I think he’s been really good for Lynbrook as that first/second change bowler. And Medie Dala from Lynbrook also, has 22 wickets at 15. His medium pacers are causing a bit of trouble and he plays Marriott Waters Reserve really well.
MARCUS: I’m going to go with someone you’re familiar with, Jonty, in Callan Tout. He’s taken 21 wickets, equal second on the leading wicket-takers tally, but I’m a real fan of his consistency. Here are his wickets in each innings this season: Three, two, two, two, two, one, one, three and five. Every week he’s contributing, and made a seamless jump from Turf 2 to Turf 1 with his unnerving accuracy and pace. Leigh Booth from Hallam Kalora Park is another. He finished third in the Wookey Medal last season and doesn’t have a big score to his name yet, but he’s got scores of 40, 60, 41 and 45 for 230 runs, putting him in the top 10 for total runs this season. He’s someone you can bank on for big runs too, coming into finals.
Well, I’m off to the nearest bakery. Who’s coming with me?